Mack Brown, Gary Kubiak switch places on the hot seat
The fickle football fans in the Lone Star State did a major about-face within a 24-hour period about the neck of which head football coach should be on that proverbial chopping block.
For the past four weeks, many Texas Longhorns fans were calling for their long-time head coach Mack Brown to consider retiring, willfully stepping down or merely being unceremoniously fired. Today is appears that Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has assumed Brown’s position on that chopping block.
The axes were being sharpened all last week for what seemed the inevitable blowout loss the Texas Longhorns were sure to suffer last Saturday at the hands of the undefeated No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners in the annual Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
And most of the cynics were half right—the game WAS a blowout, but it was Mack Brown’s 14-point underdog Longhorns that were putting the fattening on the heads of the Sooners.
Texas played a nearly flawless football game as if the Longhorn players knew their coach’s tenure was on the chopping block if the game went according to how the odds-makers saw it. After all, Oklahoma had won by an average of 40 points the last two years.
But as the game wore on, the Texas cheering section became several hundred decibels louder because the Longhorns were dominating nearly every phase of the game.
Before Saturday’s game, the Longhorns’ defense was surrendering an average of 465 total yards, 248 of them rushing yards and 28.4 points per game according to statistics in Monday’s edition of the San Antonio Express-News. Those totals ranked at the bottom in the Big 12.
Against Oklahoma, the ‘Horns’ defense dominated as the Sooners managed only 263 total yards, including 130 yards rushing on 33 carries. UT also forced two turnovers and allowed only 13 points (the Sooners’ other touchdown came on defense).
After the 36-20 upset victory, the Longhorns now are 4-2, and more importantly 3-0 in the Big 12 and in complete control of their own destiny. And Mack Brown is proudly admiring the Golden Hat Trophy that goes to the winner of the Red River Rivalry.
If Texas wins its next six games, beginning with the TCU game Oct. 26, the ‘Horns will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl. However, they haven’t won more than four games in a row since 2009.
Down the road in Houston is another story, indeed. The Houston Texans are reeling from a four-game losing streak, three of which they were solid favorites to win. Actually, the Texans could very well be winless in their first six 2013 NFL games had it not been for a couple of ferocious rallies in the first two games against San Diego and Tennessee. And to think they had legitimate Super Bowl aspirations throughout the entire training camp last August.
Fans began bristling whenever Texans quarterback Matt Schaub threw his first pick-six interception in the Tennessee game that the team came back and won.
But the next three pick-sixes really got the nay-sayers riled up, pleading for Head Coach Gary Kubiak to make a quarterback change.
Kubiak refused, and when the inconsistent play of Schaub and the rest of the team continued, and the losses came by wider and wider margins, the focus turned away from the quarterback and more toward the coach.
These malcontents thought that the skid ended when the undefeated Seattle Seahawks came to town earlier this month and the Texans jumped out to an early 20-3 lead and completely stymied Seattle’s offense in the first half.
But Schaub threw another of his patented pick-sixes with five minutes left in the game which tied the score 20-20 and eventually sent the game into overtime. The mistakes continued in the extra period putting the visiting Seahawks into field goal position, and the three-pointer sent the Texans reeling to still another painful loss.
Kubiak defended his players after that 23-20 loss and also after the 34-3 blowout by the 49ers in San Francisco the following week. He considered inserting T.J Yates for Schaub in Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, but vetoed the idea later in the week.
Sunday the fans got what they were yapping for—unintentionally—when Schaub was sacked by Rams’ defensive lineman Chris Long and left the game in the third period with a right leg injury. Some of these bozos at Reliant Stadium actually were cheering while Schaub was lying on his back in obvious pain.
Yates came in at quarterback and as fate would have it, he threw a 98-yard pick-six that just about iced the game away for the visitors. And as Monday’s Houston Chronicle put it, “for the second consecutive game the Texans played as if they want coach Kubiak to be fired.
“In losing 38-13 to the St. Louis Rams at Reliant Stadium, the Texans were so pathetic they scored a hat trick in futility, surrendering touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.”
The article added that the Texans lost a fourth consecutive game and let the Rams score their most points since 2006 and compile their largest margin of victory since 2003.
It also pointed out that owner Bob McNair has been extremely patient with Kubiak, but he doesn’t like to be humiliated two weeks in a row.
If the Texans continue to play as they have in the last two games—getting outscored 72-16—make no mistake: McNair will fire Kubiak.
That sounds like Gary Kubiak definitely has replaced Mack Brown on the hot seat!!!
KWICKIES…The Dallas Cowboys continue to play well with a bunch of no-name players, some of which weren’t even playing any kind of football when the 2013 season began last month. Somehow 73-year-old defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has gotten the guys to buy into his old Tampa Bay defensive scheme and it appears to be working just fine. The first place tie in the NFC East Division between the Pokes and the Philadelphia Eagles will be broken after Sunday’s game in Philly. It kicks off at noon and will be shown locally on Fox (Time Warner Channel 2).
Orange’s 72-year-old marathon man Ken Ruane entered a 10-mile run that began at 7 a.m. Sunday in hopes of qualifying for an invitation to next year’s Houston Marathon. He accomplished his mission by winning his age group, covering the 10 miles in 1 hour, 18 minutes. “It was terribly hot and humid and I hadn’t run that distance in Southeast Texas in more than a year, so I was concerned that I would make the distance all right,” Ken said. “I was pleasantly surprised with my time and with my free entry into the Houston Marathon in January. Now I’ll be treated just like the Kenyans that compete in the Houston Marathon.” Ken said he finished 113th overall out of the 630 runners that finished.
A couple of teams—Stanford and Georgia– got bounced from the top 10 in this week’s Association Press Top 25 College Football Poll. Stanford dropped from No. 5 to No. 13 while Georgia slipped from No. 7 to No. 15. The top four remained intact with Alabama, Oregon, Clemson and Ohio State, Florida State moved up one place to No. 5, followed by No. 6 LSU up from No. 10, No. 7 Texas A&M up from No. 9, Louisville remained at No. 8, UCLA jumped two notches to No. 9 and Miami came up three slots to No. 10. Baylor moved up three places to No. 12 undefeated Missouri catapulted from No. 25 to No. 14, Texas Tech moved up four spots to No. 16 and Oklahoma slid from No. 12 to No. 18.
Some high school football results from last weekend that may be of interest to local fans: Orange Community Christian 81, Chester 44; Coldspring 54, Splendora 0; Cleveland 55, Huffman 14; Shepherd 27, Tarkington 7; Humble Summer Creek 20, Kingwood Park 17; Humble 23, Dayton 10; Barbers Hill 41, New Caney Porter 0; Brenham 27, Montgomery 10; C.E. King 24, New Caney 20; La Marque 17, Sweeny 10; Carthage 55, Huntington 6; Navasota 49, Madisonville 0; Center 34, Diboll 7; Waco Connally 34, Lorena 28; Waco La Vega 43, China Spring 40; Wimberley 47, Bandera 7.
JUST BETWEEN US…Several of my McNeese State teammates that played on the baseball team between the 1960-63 seasons are having an informal reunion (tailgate party) Saturday afternoon before the Homecoming football game against No. 2-ranked Sam Houston State that night. It should be lots of laughs and fun with former Cowboy players coming from as far as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma.