Some Jobs Have Less Stress Than Others Do
When I look at a guy like Texas coach Mack Brown, I can’t help but think of a guy like Larry Blakeney.
Who is Larry Blakeney?
He’s the head coach at Troy State in Alabama – has been since 1990.
Brown reached the top of his profession miles from home; Blakeney returned home and has made a fine living.
Blakeney has been at Troy so long, he helped the football program move from Division II to Division I FBS. Since that time (2001), he’s a bit above .500 overall and his teams have been dominant in conference games at 44-19 with a handful of league championships.
I don’t know anything about the guy, except that he’s someone who seems to like the job he has and the people who sign his paychecks seem to be happy he’s the one who has it. He makes $300,000 per year.
Then there’s Brown, whose Texas team lost its ninth Red River Rivalry on Saturday in the 15 games he’s coached against Oklahoma.
Since 2000, Texas has suffered four losses of 38 points or more to the Sooners, including Saturday’s 63-21 cough job. A 52-point loss in 2003 under Brown remains the Longhorns’ worst in the rivalry’s history.
What’s worse, at $5,250,000 a year, Brown is the second-highest paid college football coach behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.3 million) and just head of Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($5,050,000). They are the only coaches in the college game making better than $5 million per year.
But there’s unrest in Austin. Texas football is down. The Longhorns haven’t won a conference championship or a Red River Rivalry since 2009 (the last two years, the scores of the RRR have been a combined 108-38 in favor of the Sooners).
This is Lloyd Carr in Burnt Orange. Like Brown, Carr won a national championship. And like Brown, his teams fizzled against their biggest rivals – Carr beat Ohio State once in seven tries before he had heard enough about it and retired.
A ”hot seat” in college football only exists if athletics directors, presidents, and lets face it, some well-heeled donors are threatening to pull dollars. Still, there are those in other walks of life who think Brown, whose ridiculously funded football program is just 17-15 in his last two-plus seasons, has never had to do more to save his job.
Larry Blakeney, in all likelihood, does not.
With money comes expectations. No one has more of either than Texas.
Last week’s games
The Red River Rivalry aside, there were other games going on in the Big 12 last weekend, most notably Texas Tech’s 49-14 humbling of then-No. 5 West Virginia with quarterback Seth Doege basically laughing at what WVU was trying to pass off as a pass rush.
With that, Kansas State, which beat Iowa State 27-21, is the lone unbeaten team in the league. Its reward is a trip to Morgantown on Saturday, where the natives are sure to be restless.
TCU had an easy time with the nation’s worst defense – and one of the few that’s more leaky than West Virginia’s – as it walloped Baylor 49-21 with backup quarterback Trevone Boykin throwing for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
Oklahoma State barely beat Kansas, 20-14, after leading the Jayhawks 20-0 in the third quarter. That was before coach Charlie Weis finally gave in and gave someone other than Dayne Crist a chance to be his quarterback. Michael Cummings led Kansas to those two touchdowns.
West Virginia dropped 12 spots to No. 17 in the AP Poll and Texas Tech finds itself ranked for the first time this season at 20. Kansas State moved up to No. 4, and the Sooners leaped from 13 to 10th. Plummeting Texas dropped from 15 to receiving votes, along with TCU, which has been doing that for two weeks now.
This week’s games
Iowa State at Oklahoma State
Texas Tech at TCU
Kansas at 10 Oklahoma
Kansas State at West Virginia
Baylor at Texas
Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com