The Alamo Bowl did see a rare blowout as Oregon had no problem asserting their dominance and superiority with a 30-7 win against Texas, but the attention was mostly turned towards someone who might have coached his last College Football game, Mack Brown, instead of the real star, Marcus Mariota.
All the cameras, all the talk on the television; everything seemed to be about Mack Brown and how nice a guy he is and how great of a coach he is. However, things haven’t worked out for him during the last four seasons, and Texas finish at 8-5 in 2013, not being able to return to their dominant days of up to 2009.
Oregon and Mariota weren’t really interested in the human side of the bowl game. Mariota, recently deciding to stay on for another season with the Ducks, was on fire. He finished with 18-of-26 for 253 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the team in running, gaining 133 yards on the ground. There was only one offensive touchdown from Oregon, gaining 469 yards but doing most of its damage by limiting Texas to 236 and scoring two more touchdowns of Case McCoy interceptions in another terrible game from the senior who won’t leave too many fond memories behind with Longhorn fans.
Does this take the sting off what ultimately is a slightly disappointing season? Probably not. Oregon does finish the year 11-2, but weren’t in a BCS game for the first time since 2008, and look back to their losses against Arizona and Stanford, thinking how things could have been different. Everyone was expecting their high powered offense to take them back to the national title game where they fell short against Auburn three years ago, but something was missing, and Mariota remained to try and fix that. Mark Helfrich didn’t really want to speak in terms of success and failure, as so often no one leaves head coaches with a grey area to settle in.
That’s for you to decide. I don’t think in those terms. I think of how well we can prepare and what’s next.
It’s weird to see Texas walking off disappointed after losing to a team that’s clearly better than them in pretty much every aspect. The Texas defense ultimately did a good job, but the teams Mack Brown assembled over the last few years have never been good enough to handle the talent level of BCS-caliber programs like Oregon. Texas might be bigger by name, past titles and fanbase, but the erosion of quality in the program has been felt each time they’ve played a big game in the last few years.
Maybe Mack Brown deserved to go out with a win, maybe that’s some wishful, over-optimistic thinking. The bottom line was that he failed over the last few years, and the team that wanted so badly to win for him in what might be his final game as a head coach just wasn’t good enough to get the job done.
I think it’s best for Texas. It’s best for me, it’s best for the players. We need to win more than eight games. Last year was nine. I really thought we had a chance to win all the games this year. It didn’t work. It’s my job to make that work. I told them tonight, the only regret I had is we didn’t win enough games this year.