Mack Brown's Alabama stupor started '10 fall

July, 25, 2011
7/25/11
4:05
PM CT
DALLAS -- The first losing season in his 13 years at Texas led to a coaching overhaul, new philosophies on offense and defense, uncertainty at quarterback and a rare No. 5 ranking in the Big 12 preseason media poll.

Mack Brown traces it all back to the lost, but clearly not forgotten, 2009 national title game. Colt McCoy was injured early on as Texas looked to strike quickly, and freshman backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert came close to pulling off a miraculous comeback.

Brown candidly discussed the lingering aftertaste of that game almost 18 months ago when on Monday he was asked if this offseason he needed to recharge following the disappointing 5-7 record.

"I did, there is no question," Brown said. "I did not come out of Alabama well. I don't know if it was a pattern of 13 years at Texas, I don't know. Sally (Brown's wife) says it's 13 years of anything -- Friday the 13ths bad, your 13th year of football is bad. So I told her I'm never going through another 13th year in football, I can tell you that. But, I do think after Alabama, for whatever reason, I spent more time pouting over being 13-1 because I really thought we had a chance to win that game -- and I wanted to. I didn't realize I was doing it, but I stayed down longer than I should, and I don't know that I came out of it and I think it carried over to the staff and to the team. So I think it all goes on me."

Now Brown is set to enter fall camp with a full-blown quarterback competition that offers no guarantees for the tall, potential-laden Gilbert who, at the time, seemed to be next in line at Texas to excel under center. With a new staff, new schemes and plenty of questions to be answered heading into the Sept. 3 opener against Rice, Brown said he's ready to tackle it all.

"You know, I think I'm having more fun right now because I haven't been this challenged since '98 probably, maybe '08," Brown said. "And in some ways a coach likes to try to prove things a lot more than you just have it when it's going right. And when you get kicked in the face you get challenged, and I'm challenged to go back and work."

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