Sports Economics: Texas Longhorns Need a New CEO

EconMatters's picture

By EconMatters 


Since the Vince Young and Colt McCoy era the Texas Longhorns Football program has been in steep decline with a 21 win and 16 loss record over the last 3 years despite having financial resources, high end facilities, and top-five recruiting classes that most University programs only dream about.  Mack Brown makes over 5 million dollars a year, at the most valuable football program in the country estimated in the range of $800 million. 




Texas has recruiting advantages over their rivals for instance, Johnathan Gray a freshman running back at Texas who was highly coveted, well his father played football at Texas Tech, and poor Texas Tech couldn`t even get a visit from the player. Texas often says, “they don`t recruit, they select” so for the last three years the Football program is just above 500 while selecting the best players in the state of Texas which is ground zero for division I players. Football is religion in the state of Texas and produces the most college football players along with Florida and California. So Texas is getting beat by all the players who weren`t good enough to play at the University of Texas, i.e., Texas didn`t ‘select’ them.


Mack Brown has a lot of great qualities; he represents the University well off the field, great at Banquets, dealing with boosters, visiting hospitals and the soft coaching duties necessary at a high profile program like the University of Texas. But make no mistake, college football is big business these days, the longhorns are even trying to get their Longhorn Network off the ground to increase Texas prominence even more. The problem is this is all contingent on having an elite program, and Mack Brown is paid to win games, he is one of the highest paid coaches in college football due to the elevated expectations regarding having an elite winning program defined as top 5 in the polls each year with a major BCS bowl appearance annually.


So Texas has the most financial resources at their disposal, high end facilities, the best recruits, great fan sponsorship, their pick of assistant coaches, and yet they are just a middle of the road average at best performer over the last three years. Mack Brown dealt with the poor performance by bringing in new assistant coaches hoping to deflect some of the pressure and criticism for the poor performance on the field, but the quality of performance remains average at best. It isn`t just the record, it is the level of play that concerns critics the most, routinely getting blown out by interstate rivals, and putting on lackluster performances that have fans scratching their heads year after year.


Last night Kansas State University fans chanted as the game was winding down “We own Texas” after beating them for five straight years, a KSU program that lacks all the advantages that Texas enjoys, all except one; a Great Head Coach. So Mack Brown is the only constant, he is really good at everything expected of a high profile coach except for the most fundamental aspect of his job coaching and leadership in setting the tone for exceptional performance on the field.  The glad handing and relationship management is the icing on the cake; first and foremost you are paid to win games in the modern era of big time college football.


The University of Texas Football Program is not getting a positive return on their investment in the head coach at this point. Mack Brown often positions himself as more of a CEO than a head coach, well the Texas program is starting to look like RIMM to Alabama`s AAPL, and RIMM`s sharp decline led to an executive change at the top. It is time for Texas to have a leadership change at the CEO level, before it becomes too late and their program has declined to the point where they are no longer “selecting” the best athletes in the state, but rather taking Texas A&M`s leftovers. Think in terms of HP, when a company declines too far, all the CEO changes in the world cannot turn a losing organization around. 

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Ted K's picture

It could be worse. Just imagine if the Texas Longhorn Coach was a former assistant of Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer, the SAME man who kicked the Longhorns ass from here to hell's creation over 2 decades.

Oh wait......

Market Analyst's picture

So the Texas Program has just been Downgraded?

Ignatius's picture

Go Beavers!

Jan. 3rd, Alamo Bowl

FrankDrakman's picture

I don't mind reading about sports, but I prefer to read well written pieces. This one was sloppy, full of grammar mistakes, and is probably close to what I would write if I'd just lost a bundle on the Longhorns, and downed a bottle of bourbon in frustration.

e_goldstein's picture

Fuck that state school and the waste of money known as the football program.

ebworthen's picture


Nothing but a drag on academics (what remains of them).

Pre-Gladiatorial games training for the Imperial Republic's Bread and Circuses show.

Seasmoke's picture

pay the fucking kids some money

hoos bin pharteen's picture

They already do.  Lots of it...

apberusdisvet's picture

I'd go "in depth" on the Kadashians

Savyindallas's picture

If UT fires Mack, I think the markets will react favorably. He reminds me of Mr. Haney on Green Acres. I'm not a big Longhorn fan, but I do like to see them win a championship every once in a while.

ebworthen's picture

Get rid of college sports.

Orwell was right's picture

WTF!!     I rarely resort to profanity, but seeing this sort of article on ZH, on an already bad Monday morning is more than my restraint can bear.     What's next for depth articles on the Kardashians.     I have nothing against football, but surely ZH has better things to spend time on than writing articles about NFL farm-club teams.   

Cow's picture

You didn't get your moneys worth out of ZH today?

Uncle Remus's picture

"[I]n depth articles on the Kardashians" he said, tongue-in-cheek.

DeadFred's picture

I've got my fingers crossed for updates on fashion trends!

AurorusBorealus's picture

Good grief. It's just a cost-benefit analysis of a high-profile individual's job performance.  I know many folk on ZH are grumpy, but no need to be this grumpy.  It is a diversion.

HardAssets's picture

We Americans seem to mostly be 'diversion-heads' - - - that's why most noggins have so little room for thinking about something of significance.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

New ZH type of Monday humour I guess ...

Writing on American so-called 'football'

Used to kill some players in the early days a century ago

And now, as Bruce Krasting wrote on ZeroHedge, even American high schoolers are getting lifelong brain damage from this 'football' despite (and partly because of) the helmets

Millions in costs to sponsor organised un-necessary brain damage ... well I guess that is modern America

Uncle Remus's picture

'[...] American high schoolers are getting lifelong brain damage [...]'

Well, if you can't reach'em in the classroom...

ItsDanger's picture

Related to student debt?

covert's picture

why not cover the betting odds of the football games?


HardAssets's picture

Now if you taught the kids betting odds . . . at least theyd learn some useful applied mathematics.

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

$5 million to coach non-pros? Ridiculous.

logically possible's picture

Please don't contaminate this site with totally worthless information.

Cow's picture

What a loser.  ZH is free, you numbnuts.  Relax!

You jerks that are complaining need to just appreciate the constant stream of great articles.  You know, the ones you DON'T pay for?

gmrpeabody's picture

One would think that such a deep thinker as yourself wouldn't even click on the subject...

EcoJoker's picture


Uncle Remus's picture

It's an ROI doily over a sports post.

AnAnonymous's picture

All part of the economic collapse.

'American' economics is all about consumption.

Consume, consume, consume...

Whoa Dammit's picture

I bet on Corzine to win by a 2 point safety in last saturday's SEC championship game. Still trying to collect my winnings.....

Robot Traders Mom's picture

Mack hasn't done shit at UT. He fucked up the Major Applewhite/Chris Simms carousel, not to mention Vince Young won the nat'l championship, not Mack. 


Hook 'em

formadesika3's picture

I like to watch football occasionally, pro and college. But,


Only school gets any of my financial support is Hillsdale College, the ONLY institution of higher ed in the entire country that takes no fed money.

ndetmer's picture

Never seen a coach do less with more than Mack Brown.  I love watching the horns suck so I truly do hope they keep him around.

duo's picture

what about Barry Swiitzer with the Cowboys?

A Nanny Moose's picture

You mean Jerry Jones. Cowboys have had no other coach since "Al Davis II" fired the guy that made them a dynasty.

1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Football , bread & circus. I don,t have 3 hrs to sit around watching grown men chase a ball. There is alaways something productive that needs to be done. I used to watch it, but can no longer in good concince participate.

Robot Traders Mom's picture

Everyone needs a release...A little mindless entertainment keeps me fresh :)

HardAssets's picture

that's why they invented strip bars

ihedgemyhedges's picture

"Everyone needs a release..."

You're preaching to the choir here. I've been married 18 years.......

otto skorzeny's picture

who cares? is ZH now part of Yahoo!Sports?

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Yeah exactly.  You'll know Jim Rome reads ZH if you see a post like this: "Time to hack down Mack Brown."

NotApplicable's picture

Whar's my post on the impending birth of the Anti-Christ?