‘Dookie’ likes Mack

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I’m quite possibly the only Duke University fan on earth that is also a Mack Brown fan.

For the record, I wasn’t a big fan when he was at Carolina, but I’ve developed a healthy respect for Brown in large part because I’m kind of a closet fan of the Longhorns.

While most of the Tarheel fans were crying and moaning about Brown taking the job at the University of Texas, I was rejoicing.

While it’s true Carolina was ranked in the top 10 in the nation and had made significant strides, the school is still a basketball school. How folks in Chapel Hill and around the state could be mad at Brown for leaving a hoops-first institution for one that puts football first was beyond me.

I wasn’t convinced Texas was getting all they bargained for. After all, Brown was still not a proven commodity and his success at Carolina was fairly new. He also was going there without Carl Torbush, his defensive coordinator at UNC-CH.

My personal belief is that most people at Carolina fans weren’t really mad when Brown left for Texas, but have gotten madder as the Tarheels have gotten worse and worse during the years since his departure.

As I’ve supported Brown over the past several years, I’ve listen over and over to those who say he can’t win a big game. Their idea of a big game has always been the Red River Shootout.

It’s true that Brown hasn’t had much success in beating Bob Stoops and Oklahoma. Okay, he’s had no success. But then again, who has? Pete Carroll and the University of Southern California. That’s it.

Last week, I listened to our resident Carolina fan – Sports Writer David Friedman – tell me the Longhorns wouldn’t be able to beat Ohio State Saturday. I argued mightily, but still couldn’t get him to leave the &uot;big game&uot; argument.

Never mind the fact the Longhorns beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl last year. A BCS bowl no less.

Thanks to Vince Young and Limas Sweed, I now have another. The Longhorns stopped number four-ranked Ohio State at Columbus Saturday by a final of 25-22.

Is this the season Texas and Brown get by Oklahoma and get the most unenviable &uot;reward&uot; any team can get in a trip to face USC? I don’t know. I think it is, but I’ve thought that for the past three years so who am I to say?

Speaking of college football, it is dramatically apparent that Duke is one of the worst teams in college football. I wasn’t happy two years ago when Ted Roof was promoted without a real search for a new coach.

While Roof was a solid interim coach, I didn’t believe anyone already there had the ability to get people to buy into the system and come to Duke. If he could have, wouldn’t he have had a better defensive unit when he was the Defensive Coordinator?

Likely, Roof will still be at Duke after this year, but I still believe we have to look for a guy like Mark Richt at Georgia or Chuck Amato at North Carolina State. Both schools went for a veteran assistant coach at a proven winner and it made a difference.

Would I love to have Butch Davis? Sure. It won’t happen. The Blue Devils have to go get someone that isn’t going to be sought by everyone.

On the subject of coaches I don’t like there’s Mike Shula at Alabama. I’m a huge Crimson Tide fan and have been all my life.

I didn’t want Mike Price fired, but when he was, I, like many Alabama fans, wanted Sylvester Croom. Instead, we got Shula, an unproven guy who hasn’t been very good at his job.

Sure the Tide is 2-0, but they’ve slipped by Middle Tennessee and beaten a Southern Mississippi team that doesn’t have a home and started play a week late.

Hopefully, the team will improve and so will Shula because he must if the Tide is to get where they need to be.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome. You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.