Longhorns want fond farewell for Mack Brown
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Mack Brown arrived for the Alamo Bowl with an unranked team and staring at his final game at Texas after 16 seasons.
It's hardly the ending the coach wanted, but his players say they want to at least deliver a fond farewell.
"The man has done a lot for the university, for college football," quarterback Case McCoy said Friday. "You can't look past that by any means. You can look at his records. You can look at what he's built at Texas."
Following a season of tension and frustration at Texas, the Longhorns (8-4) say they're relieved heading into Monday's game against No. 10 Oregon (10-2) that they can now reflect on Brown's legacy instead of constantly hearing questions about his future.
Brown announced this month that the Alamo Bowl will be his final game at Texas after losing at least four games for a fourth consecutive season. The school has yet to choose who will succeed the second-winningest football coach in Texas history, behind Darrell Royal.
Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, who also played under Brown, acknowledged that distractions surrounding Brown have extended far back as the last three years. He recalled Will Muschamp being named the head coach-in-waiting before leaving for Florida and the ensuing questions about when Brown might leave - which only intensified as the Longhorns sputtered.
Applewhite said he was proud of players for handling the atmosphere of uncertainty.
Brown hasn't spoken publicly since a Dec. 15 news conference when he said he was stepping down.
Texas averaged 10 wins from 2000-09 and captured two Big 12 titles. Led by two Heisman Trophy finalists in quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy, the Longhorns won a national championship in 2005 and played for another four years later.
But Texas hasn't been a contender since.