Found December 24, 2013 on
In The Neutral Zone:
One of the biggest stories in the college football world most recently concerned the departure of longtime head coach Mack Brown from the University of Texas after sixteen seasons as the Longhorns’ head man. How exactly the move transpired came to become a source of incessant debate and discussion concerning the treatment of Brown as well as the school’s apparent whiff in its attempt to lure Alabama coach Nick Saban as the program’s successor. Perhaps lost amidst all the endless scrutiny and debate surrounding the head coaching vacancy at UT is the fact that the Longhorns still have one more game remaining to play this season, a Monday meeting with the Oregon Ducks for the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. And that game undeniably promises to serve as one of the most intriguing matchups which the bowl season has to offer, considering that it effectively signifies the end of Mack Brown’s lengthy career and involves two of the marquee programs across the national landscape. Amplifying the intrigue and anticipation surrounding this game will be the great unknown factor surrounding the Horns, concerning the motivation level for the UT players to play in this game. Such a factor will undoubtedly promise to hold a tremendous weight in determining the game’s outcome. It remains a mystery for fans and observers to ascertain just how the Longhorns will respond to play against Oregon in the game which serves to essentially punctuate the storied coaching career of Mack Brown at UT. When considered in its entirety, this season would certainly be deemed a disappointing one for a Texas team which harbored aspirations of a conference championship as well as potentially a national championship. The Horns finished the season with four losses, all of which occurred in blowout fashion and shoddy performance. Such a consideration undisputedly serves to swirl a cloud of uncertainty concerning UT’s motivation level to perform well in this game. Responding to coach Brown’s departure with an enhanced desire to send him out a winner in his final game will bode well for the Longhorns. Conversely a UT team still dwelling on the disappointment of falling shy of expectations will be susceptible to a thrashing at the hands of the versatile QB Marcus Mariota and the explosive Ducks’ offense. Motivation typically comes in to play as a factor in determining the outcome of bowl games. In no other bowl game this season does it take on more paramount importance than in the Alamo Bowl between Texas and Oregon. How the Longhorns respond to this season’s disappointment or to the looming departure of coach Brown will prove to play a critical role in deciding the game’s outcome. This will be one of the most intriguing and anticipated matchups of the postseason. No views yet
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A look at Mack Brown's future? (Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports)
Oregon Ducks (10-2) vs. Texas Longhorns (8-4)
Mon., Dec. 30 @ 6:45 PM (ESPN)
Line: Oregon by 13.5
How Oregon got here: Early in the year, the Ducks looked like they wouldn’t miss a beat without coaching savant Chip Kelly. The season took a u-turn in November, however, as star quarterback Marcus...
He's the same guy who reported a three-year bowl ban for Oregon the night before the NCAA decision was announced, based on his "sources," but Stewart Mandel forecasts doom for the Ducks at the Alamodome in his annual bowl forecast:
"On paper, there's no reason to pick against the heavily favored Ducks, especially with quarterback Marcus Mariota expected to...
Texas must defend a prolific up-tempo offense when the Longhorns face No. 10 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl in coach Mack Brown's farewell.
They have experience after playing Baylor in their last game.
The Ducks (10-2) average 46.8 points and 573 yards, which both rank in the top three in the country. Texas (8-4) held the Bears, the nation's highest-scoring team, to three first...
Alabama had a tense few weeks of waiting before finding out that Nick Saban wasn't leaving for Texas. Now the Crimson Tide can turn its attention back to a post-New Year's date with another of college football's blue bloods.
It's hard to say just how focused Alabama will be after its BCS championship hopes slipped away in agonizing fashion.
The third-ranked Crimson...