Time off may be beneficial for Horns

Jordan Godwin

Has the University ever seen a quieter Saturday in the fall?

With half of campus wearing their Austin City Limits Music Festival hipster costumes and the other half actually using the weekend to study, what a wonderful Saturday it was.

Fingernails got some relief from the relentless biting of the past two weeks and not one squirrel on campus had his home crushed by a drunken tailgater.

The best news — for the first time in three weekends, the mighty Texas Longhorns did not lose a football game.

The bye week provided a great opportunity for the Longhorns to regroup and take a break from the rocky season they’ve had. Some of them relaxed, some of them went home to see their families and some just laid low in Austin. Hopefully on this past Thursday night, some of them witnessed the red machine that is fifth-ranked Nebraska.

If the Cornhuskers are half as dominant as they were in the 48-13 blowout of Kansas State, the Longhorns are in trouble. Although some Texas students were betting on Kansas State to expose a hint of weakness, there were no surprises.

This is what Texas has to look forward to in next weekend’s game. Anyone who has ever been on vacation can understand what the Longhorns might be feeling — it’s nice to be away from work, but you dread going back. Do the Longhorns drea playing Nebraska? No.

The players and coaches believe they are much better than what the polls say the unranked team is. Fans and students seem to be under the same trance. It has simply been too long since head coach Mack Brown was outside of the top 25 looking in.

If Brown and the rest of the 2010 Longhorns believe they deserve any respect for the rest of the season, let them prove it. They take pride in having some of the toughest game-week preparations in the country, so let them prove it. They’re confident they have the best group of talent in the Big 12 Conference, so let them prove it.

Forget the Oklahoma rivalry game. Forget the UCLA debacle. If the Longhorns can prepare themselves this week to take down Nebraska, they can at least reestablish their own confidence. Heck, maybe they can even squeak back into those silly polls that everyone gets so excited about. What is it, CBS? BCS? Something like that.

But in truth, the Longhorns aren’t just playing against Nebraska this weekend. They’re also playing for Brown’s legacy. The coach who once brought greatness back to Texas is fighting against his own demise with this game. He hasn’t lost three straight games since 1999, his second season in Austin, and you better believe his streak of nine straight 10-win seasons is in jeopardy. If he falls too hard this year, his recruiting and the talent pool at Texas will be affected for seasons to come.

For nearly a decade, winning has been contagious for Brown and Texas, but his sickly Longhorns might be destined to learn that losing can spread just as fast.