If you thought Texas could get any worse on defense after being totally gashed last night by BYU — the Longhorns allowed 550 yards of rushing offense and 679 yards of total offense to the Cougars — we're about to find out if you are right. Texas has made a swift change on the coaching staff after just two weeks, removing Manny Diaz as the defensive coordinator and replacing him with… wait, this can't be right…. oh, it is?
Greg Robinson has been promoted to defensive coordinator at Texas, news that was first reported by Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com via Twitter. The news was later confirmed by Mack Brown and Texas, per College Football Talk. The news is certainly not surprising, with Brown being very non-committal after the loss to BYU Saturday night about the status of Diaz on his staff. This is how bad the Longhorns defense is. Texas has been so deplorable on the defensive side of the football they are left with no other option than to hand the defense over to Robinson.
With Robinson as defensive coordinator, Michigan ranked 76th in average points allowed in 2009 and dropped to 106th in the nation in 2010. Michigan ranked 110th in total defense in 2010, good for the fourth best defense in the state of Michigan. Indiana was the only Big Ten member with a worst total defense in 2009. While the entire Rich Rodriguez era in Ann Arbor was a disaster, Robinson's role on the staff may have been the biggest detriment. But even some were naive to think that perhaps a reduced role on a coaching staff would have made for a nice fresh start for Robinson after turning out to be a failure as a head coach at Syracuse (10-37).
But Texas is hoping that a return to the role he held in 2004 will result in similar results. Robinson was the defensive coordinator for the Longhorns in 2004, when Texas went 11-1 and won the Rose Bowl against Michigan and allowed an average of 17.9 ppg. But Texas will soon find out one thing once Robinson gets back in flow with his old position in Austin; This is not 2004.
If there was one thing that really sunk in Saturday night it was that the 2006 Rose Bowl was a long time ago. That was when Texas and USC met in a clash of the titans on the grandest stage in college football for the BCS Championship. If you were watching the games Saturday night and did not start watching college football until this year (or last year), you would probably think I was joking if I told you these two programs played for the championship not all that long ago. Or maybe it was a long time ago, by college football standards.
Who knows. Maybe Robinson does turn things around at Texas. Maybe Robinson has changed. Maybe Texas does have enough talent on their defense to figure things out. Maybe the players take a hard look in the mirror and come together to ensure nobody else loses a job based on their on-field performance.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Perhaps Brown is starting to feel the pressure to get Texas back on top of the Big 12 and back in the national conversation, where it just feels as though Texas should be more often than not. The Big 12 is still looking to be pretty wide open and the season is still young. Texas has yet to play a conference game, so the goals have not changed for the Longhorns yet. The time to make adjustments to the team is now, in September, but these drastic changes are not exactly common. And that speaks volumes about the state of the Longhorns right now.