Ash’s vi­a­bil­ity as starter at stake

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - Golden ALAMO BOWL Texas vs. Ore­gon State, C

Mack

Brown’s great­est tri­umphs have come with great quar­ter­backs.

That’s why it’s per­fectly rea­son­able to say Texas will never re­turn to real na­tional promi­nence un­til he finds an­other guy he can ac­com­pany to the Big Ap­ple for that spe­cial De­cem­ber an­nounce­ment.

Quite sim­ply, Mack’s great­est teams (2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009) had a sin­gu­lar tal­ent be­hind cen­ter. With Heis­man Tro­phy fi­nal­ists Vince Young and Colt McCoy, the Horns were rarely out of a foot­ball game. With Young’s and McCoy’s com­bined record of 75-10 as starters, in­clud­ing a 3-1 record in BCS games, Texas en­joyed sus­tained bril­liance at the po­si­tion for the bet­ter part of five sea­sons.

Those were the good old days in Austin. Th­ese are ... well, th­ese are just days.

The 42-24 loss in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Kansas State un­der­scored the pro­gram’s des­per­ate need for a dif­fer­ence maker at col­lege foot­ball’s most im­por­tant po­si­tion.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t win with a reg­u­lar Joe be­hind cen­ter — Alabama and LSU have cap­tured na­tional ti­tles with game man­agers — but Mack’s top teams haven’t done that. He had su­per­stars at quar­ter­back in the salad days. He needs one now.

When the Horns have strug-

Dec. 29, 5:45 p.m., ESPN, 1300, 98.1

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