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Pitching with Pritch PDF Print E-mail

Good leadership raises the bar

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director

The Heisman Trophy winner was announced last weekend and Florida State freshman Jameis Winston was the recipient. It wasn’t even close in the voting even when revealed that he was left off 115 ballots.
Even with that snub, he still won by 1,501 votes over A.J. McCarron of Alabama. It was the seventh largest margin of victory in Heisman history. Winston was the second freshman in a row to win the award.
Last year’s winner, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, was a distant fifth even with better stats than a year ago. Manziel, in my opinion, pretty much took himself out of the running with his off-field behavior after winning last year. There was certainly some controversy with Winston also but apparently no one took it into consideration.
I think McCarron of Alabama was probably just a missed field goal and a 108 return for a touchdown from maybe winning the Heisman and possibly leading Alabama to a third straight National Championship.
Also on Saturday, Mack Brown the Texas Longhorns head coach announced that he was stepping down from that position at the completion of the bowl game. Brown came to Texas when the program was not productive and he won a National Championship, got the ship moving in the right direction, but the last four years were not up to Texas standards and the coaching game is a “What have you done for me lately” type of situation.
Rumors had been flying the past week or so and usually when there is smoke there is the proverbial fire. That was true in Texas. Brown made the Texas program so successful that fans began to think that eight or nine wins per season were not enough, but it does sound somewhat familiar doesn’t it? He won six Big 12 South titles, but just two Big 12 Championships.
His teams won 10 games a year nine straight years. He won a National Championship with Vince Young at quarterback in 2005 with a win over USC in what some call the best championship games in the BCS era. Part of the unrest came in the fact that Brown lost out on the recruiting of three quarterbacks that played in Texas High School but didn’t come to the Longhorn program. Robert Griffin III went to Baylor, Johnny Manziel went to A&M, and Jameis Winston wound up at Florida State. All three, of course, were Heisman Trophy winners.
Nick Saban name of Alabama was being mentioned by sports people, but Alabama showed Texas that they also had deep pockets when it comes to hiring football coaches or retaining them. Saban got a contract extension and it was thought that extension would pay Saban who was the highest paid college football coach in the nation somewhere between $7 and $7.5 million a year. He was making about $5 million a year.
For you Caddyshack fans, I would bet he got a bowl of soup with that contract. It was reported that the contract would make Saban the possibly highest paid coach of any American sports team. Duke’s men’s basketball coach is in the $7 million plus area also. Can you remember when Saban was the coach of the Dolphins and kept saying he wasn’t going to take the Alabama job?! I would bet he is glad that he reconsidered.
It is not going to take too much to turn the program back in the right direction. Texas has tons of high school football players that have the ability to make that happen. They have decided that Mack Brown is no longer the guy and someone else needs to be the leader. But one of the reasons the bar is so high at Texas is that Mack Brown’s leadership raised it.