Mack Brown has had a lot of success at Texas. He's had his critics over the years, but he's done a great job up until the last three seasons. Brown has always been known as more of a CEO type of coach than a great X's and O's type guy. Not to say he's a bad coach, but he's being paid more to recruit and raise money then his ability to draw up plays. That shortcoming can be overcome when you have great assistant coaches and top five recruiting classes each year, but he's starting to slip. Texas had a streak of nine straight seasons with 10 or more wins, but have just 22 wins over the last three seasons. I'll say that it looked like they were on the right track with the win total increasing over the last two seasons and the overall talent being solid, but I'm not so sure anymore.
The success of the SEC and Oklahoma have always been an issue in recruiting battles, but then came Johnny Football. He wasn't their first swing and miss in recruiting, but it never seemed to bite them. Now they've missed out on the last two Heisman winners who both really wanted to go to Texas, because Mack didn't think they could play quarterback and offered them scholarships as an athlete and safety respectively. I'm not sure what the cause is, but there's no doubt that Mack has slipped in recruiting now too. When you have Vince Young and Colt McCoy, mistakes in coaching can be overcome to a certain point, but now that the recruiting is dropping off, things could start to unravel.
Rivals.com has the Texas class ranked 23rd right now; 23rd! How is that possible? Over the last four years they've finished 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 5th in the Rivals recruiting rankings; what happened? The 2013 class started off looking like another top 10, probably top 5 class last fall, but several of their early commitments dropped them. They've lost recruits to Baylor, TCU, and Texas A&M this recruiting season; that's unacceptable. If you lose a guy who wants to stay in his home state or to another powerhouse like Alabama or Oklahoma, I can get over that, but losing guys to TCU and Baylor? That should never happen at Texas. Yes, I know, those two schools are playing better football now than in the past, but Texas has the richest athletic department in the country and more tradition, success, and name recognition than any other school in the state; if they pursue a player, they shouldn't lose them to TCU or Baylor. I still think Texas is viewed as the premiere school in the state for football, but there's no doubt that other schools have closed the gap over the last three years.
The 2013 Texas recruiting class currently ranks below Ole Miss, UCLA, Clemson, and Vanderbilt according to Rivals; how far they have fallen. Recruiting rankings aren't the only indicator of future success, but I don't have much confidence in Mack's ability to "coach them up," so this ranking is very disappointing. I've avoided jumping on the "Fire Mack" bandwagon, but I'm close to joining them.