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SI: The Decline Of Texas

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports


How has the nation's wealthiest athletic department taken such a precipitous dive from the national elite?

Bellmont gets the Pete Thamel Sports Illustrated treatment.

AUSTIN -- In January 2010, the Texas football team played Alabama in the BCS title game. The Longhorns' men's basketball team began the '09-10 season 17-0 and spent two weeks ranked No. 1. In the spring of '10, the baseball program earned a No. 2 national seed in the NCAA tournament.

Less than four years later, all of those programs have taken precipitous dives from their perches among the national elite. Earlier this fall, BYU and Ole Miss embarrassed Mack Brown's football team, showcasing the failures of the embattled coach's recent program overhauls. The men's basketball team missed the NCAA tournament last March for the first time in 14 seasons, and a flurry of defections have left it staring at the possibility of another lost season. The baseball team didn't reach the NCAA tournament two years ago and failed to qualify for the Big 12 tournament last year.

The recent announcement that longtime athletic director DeLoss Dodds would retire makes it clear that Texas' athletic department is changing. University president William Powers Jr. said in a phone interview on Monday that he expects a new AD will be in place before the end of the football season. That person will soon face decisions regarding the three most prominent remaining members of the athletic department: Brown, basketball coach Rick Barnes and baseball coach Augie Garrido.

Also, handicapping ADs, football coaches and basketball coaches.

Be excellent to each other.

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