Mack Brown not about to let facts, reality stand in Texas' way 

Mack Brown knows no shame.

Just ask the Texas coach who won the Big 12 Conference title this past football season. He won't even have to vocalize his answer " he can simply point to one of the walls adorning the Longhorns' training facility. There in big, bold letters it lists the Longhorns as 2008 Big 12 champs.


Not Big 12 South champs, mind you " but actual Big 12 football champions.

But, wait " there's reportedly an asterisk next to the claim. The asterisk, evidently, is there to remind UT players about how they got "screwed" out of a chance to play in the Big 12 championship game and, thus, missed out on actually winning the conference title and a possible national championship.

Everyone remembers that stupid tie-breaker rule the Big 12 implemented prior to last season: the one that in the event of a three-way tie " in this case, OU, Texas and Texas Tech " the highest-ranked team in the BCS poll would be considered the champ. Everyone played by that same rule, which eventually helped make Oklahoma the Big 12 South representative in the conference title game.

The Sooners went on to blast Missouri to win the conference title and earn a shot at Florida on the BCS national title game.

Of course, once Brown saw that the rule was probably going to work against his squad back in December, he began campaigning, much like he did in 2004 when he somehow managed talk his Longhorns past a deserving Cal team for the final spot in a BCS game.

Worked once, why not try it again. Right?

Forget about how embarrassing it looks to go on national TV and basically beg for votes. It certainly doesn't seem to bother Brown, who justifies it as a (not-so-subtle) way of defending his program.

Just a few weeks after Barack Obama won the presidency on the heels of a well-run campaign, Brown's blatant politicking reminded anyone and everyone within earshot about the Longhorns' October victory over Oklahoma. And while Brown's relentless crusade came up short in December, Texas officials are not going to let that stop them from applying their twisted logic to the equation.

Members of the media attending Texas' annual Orange-White Game this past weekend first reported on the news about how Brown and company have decided to ignore the fact that Oklahoma actually won the conference title.

This wall thing goes well beyond the embarrassment of his overdone TV appearances and endless diatribes about how deserving his team was this past bowl season. It goes beyond being passionate about your program and defending your players.

This speaks to Brown's sportsmanship, and more importantly, his sanity.

Back in early March, Brown announced he was inviting a handful of BCS experts down to Austin, Texas, to look deeper into the "facts" and help further explain how his team ended up behind OU in the BCS poll. The '08 season has been over for several months, but Brown is not going to let that stop him from squeezing every last drop of absurdity out of the situation.

Instead of figuring out what went wrong in their loss to Texas Tech " the real reason the Longhorns did not play for the Big 12 and national titles " Brown is worried about potentially tweaking the BCS.

Or maybe he can get Big 12 Conference officials to change the three-way tie-breaker rule retroactive to this past season. Then Texas can claim victory over Missouri in the title game based on its win over the Tigers and the Sooners during the regular season.

And why stop there?

Florida would be next on the Longhorns' to-do list. Why not challenge the Gators to some sort of offseason, winner-take-all debate to decide the "real" national champion from this past season?

At this point, reality is so blurred for Mack Brown and Texas " why not just secede from the NCAA and BCS, start your own one-team league and crown yourself champions every season?

That would be about as legitimate as claiming any share of the 2008 Big 12 title. "Jay C. Upchurch

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Jay C. Upchurch

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