Mack Brown builds a quiet, consistent contender at Texas

AUSTIN — Four years ago today, as Texas football coach Mack Brown left a news conference, he was stopped by a fan wearing burnt orange. It was the day after the Longhorns won the school’s first national title in 35 years.
“You have a free pass for the rest of your life at Texas,” the fan told him. As Brown and his mentor, fabled coach Darrell Royal, walked away, Royal said, “Hell, that ain’t true. You got six months before you better start winning again.”

Soon, a sign went up in the Longhorns staff meeting room: “Complacency kills,” it read.

Four years later and a few near misses along the way, Brown is back in the Bowl Championship Series title game as the No. 2 Longhorns face No. 1 Alabama on Thursday in Pasadena, Calif. (8 p.m. ET, ABC)