Tag Archives: Major Applewhite

When the Horns lose

It was sad to watch the Longhorns break their six game winning streak Saturday night with a 38-13 drubbing, especially fueled as it was by three Case McCoy interceptions, two of which Oklahoma State turned into touchdowns.

And you had to wonder why the Texas defense didn’t play near as well as they had in the previous six games, particularly when they had dominated Oklahoma back in October. But then there was the fact that OK State was just about the best team the Horns have played this season. Much better than Oklahoma. Undoubtedly why the Cowboys were ranked 12th, a long twelve spots above Texas at No. 24.

All the recriminations of September, when Texas got whooped by BYU and Ole Miss, are likely to return now. Sure I liked it much better when the Horns were winning consistently, as they did from about 1999 right up through 2009, but other teams that were good then ain’t so much now either.

It is ironic that the Aggies, who once were an easy enough Texas win most Thanksgivings now figure they’re too good to play Texas again. “Not relevant,” as their president put it back in the spring. I suppose not, not with QB Johnny Football running their new SEC show. He wanted to play for Texas, but Texas wasn’t interested. More irony.

Maybe it is time for coach Mack Brown to go. But I still can’t see him being fired. They’ll have to convince him to retire. Might should also find Major Applewhite a job other than offensive coordinator. But he was a star Texas QB for years. He’s not any more likely to be fired than Brown, who brought UT one national championship and at least getting to play for a second one, though they lost it. The Ags are still trying to get “relevant” enough to play for one. Heh.

It’s a hard game, tackle football, fun to watch when your team is wining. Hard to take when they aren’t. But it’s like anything else. Like they say: you ought to dance with who brung ya’. The Horns of old, back in the days of QB Peter Gardere, brung me, so to speak, when I started paying attention to Texas football. And he could be as erratic as Case McCoy. When his teams weren’t.

Can they beat Texas Tech, which got its own whipping from Baylor? Maybe. Can they beat Baylor, their last game of the regular season? Probably not. It’s hard to see anyone beating Baylor this season. And Baylor used to be the Big 12 doormat where every team wiped their feet. Irony makes the world go round.

UPDATE:  Then OK State validated its crushing of Texas by throttling Baylor 49-17, whose last seven points came in garbage time. Might even make Baylor a trifle more vulnerable to Texas on Dec. 7. But only a  trifle.

Those golden Longhorns

Well, as some sportswriter has said, this is the first time since 2000 that the Horns haven’t been ranked. And Nebraska is waiting to make their record 3-3.

Nevertheless, it was  a good ten years. Lots of fun watching the good Horns play solid football, even winning the Champeenship in ’05. That was when Mr. B. was five years old, his having been born back at the start of that fateful 2000.

Which was also the third year of Major Applewhite, and watching him, whatever the team’s ranking or lack thereof, was worth it all. His long, accurate passes were so timely and so beautiful, you could forgive his undersized and delicate physique that found him purposely collapsing on the turf long before a sack-minded defender could reach him.

Among Major’s still-standing school records (via Wikipedia): “the longest pass play (97 yards), consecutive passes without an interception (156) and most yards passing in a game (473).”

Not even Vince or Colt could better those. Certainly not Major’s replacement Chris Simms. So if we’re due for a losing season this year, and a mediocre, Simms-like QB (and it seems we are), at least there’s the golden past to recall fondly. Thanks, guys.

“Marry me, Major”

That was just one of the prominent signs of similar sentiments directed at Longhorns QB Major Applewhite that often appeared in the stands at Texas home games from 1998 to 2001. Now Major’s coming back as a running backs (huh?) coach. He did so well as offensive coordinator at Rice that I’d have supposed he’d want to try another year of his luck with the Crimson Tide’s offense before coming home to Austin. But the daily’s Kirk Bohls says (sort of) that the skinny guy with the funny name–whose popularity with alumni is second only to Vince–was just ready to return.

MORE:  Burnt Orange Nation brings some conventional reporting to the news and concludes Major was hamstrung and unhappy in Al’abam, and will be a lot more than the RB coach at Texas. Sounds logical. Good to have you back, Major, and good luck!

Rice gets a bowl

Nice to see Rice University going to a bowl game this year, for the first time since 1961–the New Orleans Bowl on Friday night, Dec. 22. Especially after their disastrous 1-10 season last year. Though they are often no more than a doormat to the Longhorns in the regular season, the Owls nevertheless are a pretty fair team, usually, and one suspects their 7-5 season this year has a lot to do with their new offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, still the favorite quarterback of many Longhorns fans (including me), or at least a close second to Vince.