LARNED — Is this the game that gets Mack Brown fired? If Kansas State should beat Texas in Austin on Saturday, will the Longhorns pull the plug on the Mack Brown era?
The Wildcats have beaten Texas five straight times. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Don’t Mess With Texas, more like “Texas Is A Mess!”
The favorite thing in Texas right now IS NOT Armadillo pie. It’s discussing whether or not to give Mack Brown his walking papers. On the plus side, during his tenure are two appearances in the national championship game, bringing home the trophy in 2005.
That’s countered with a losing season, 5-7, in 2010, a quick way to get your keys to the Cadillac and the membership in the Austin Country Club removed. 2013 could be another of those losing seasons.
Losing to Oklahoma is bad enough, something Brown has done with regularity.
Losing to Kansas State, one of the low-budget athletic departments in the Big 12, is entirely another. The Texas athletic director is DeLoss Dodds, a former Kansas State guy. He, as much as anyone in Texas, knows the Longhorns should beat Kansas State far more times than they lose to them.
It ain’t happening!
Combine losing to Kansas State five straight times and the usual thumping by the Okies, along with an 18-11 record over the past three years, and it becomes apparent that another loss to Kansas State could seal the deal for Brown.
Kansas State’s wily Bill Snyder says, “Don’t underestimate Texas. They’ll be a handful. They’ve got good people.” That, in a few words, is the knock on Brown. He has tons of talent available and is a good recruiter, but doesn’t deliver enough victories, especially against top-notch teams.
Unfortunately for Kansas State, Brown and 1-2 Texas are in desperation mode. The Longhorns will be a dangerous team with their backs to the wall. ... Texas 31, Kansas State 27
• Chalk Talk
The popular theme in a lot of sports talk is “it’s time to pay the college athletes.” At Oklahoma State the athletes might be saying, “Again?” ... The Kansas Jayhawks don’t seem to have an offensive identity yet. They should be able to run the ball but spend a lot of time throwing it, with lots of dropped passes. Maybe Louisiana Tech will help them figure that out. ... KU 35, the Techsters 17. ... ESPN’s Lou Holtz got a little ticked on camera when Texas’ Mack Brown was being dissected by the other commentators. So much so that he left the set wagging his finger! All show? I don’t think so. Holtz has a grandson on Mack Brown’s Longhorns team. ... Why can’t Fort Hays State University compete in football? Of course, the MIAA is one of the best in the country, but they weren’t any great shakes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Facilities are good. A great school. If Kansas State can recruit to a rural area then the Tigers should be able to also. ... Lou Holtz, commenting on fellow broadcaster Mark May, “The only exercise you get is jumping to conclusions!”
• Great Bend at Garden City
The Great Bend Panthers didn’t do themselves any favors last Friday night, as they fumbled, bumbled and penalized themselves to a disheartening 21-14 loss to the 4A Ulysses Tigers.
As advertised, the battle of running backs happened with the Tigers’ Ian Rudzik carrying 19 times for 169 tough yards. The Panthers countered with Johnny Allende’s 95 yards and 96 yards from quarterback Bryce Beck.
No time to mope as Great Bend makes its first road trip of the year to tangle with the Garden City Buffaloes, who also hold a 1-1 record after two games with Oklahoma schools. The Buffs scored 21 first-quarter points and held on for a one-point win last Friday night over Woodward, Okla.
Great Bend took the opposite approach, going scoreless in the first half and then rallying, only to make several costly errors in the last three minutes, costing the game. The Buffs are favored, but it will be close. ... Garden City 27, Great Bend 22.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned