howard blackeThe 2015 Oklahoma-Texas game brings back memories from the nineties. You remember the decade when people were dancing the Macarena, playing games on the Nintendo 64 and logging onto America Online, right?

That’s also the time Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake were roaming the Sooner sidelines and OU football plunged straight into the depths of mediocrity. Not a place where Sooner fans enjoyed being.

Is the same thing happening now at Texas?

Charlie Strong’s program is in complete disarray. Besides the Longhorns’ disappointing 1-4 record, players are tweeting at halftime, upperclassmen are feuding with freshman, and UT’s special teams are anything but special.

Kind of reminds me of the Schnelly-Blake days when Sooner football was in crisis mode for 4 crazy years.

Howard’s only season at Oklahoma resulted in a 24-24 tie. Texas jumped to a quick 21-0 lead, but OU “fought the battle,” as General Schnelly would say, and outscored UT 24-3 the rest of the way to earn the tie.

Schnellenberger compared the OU-Texas rivalry to Harvard and Yale, also saying he couldn’t wait to “walk down that rampart (?) and take the field.”

At least Howard doesn’t have a loss to Texas on his resume.

Blake suffered two losses to the Longhorns, but did have one huge victory over Texas.

Blake’s 1996 squad was a 22 point underdog to UT, but ended up winning in a shocker 30-27.

In Blake’s last two years, the Sooners lost 27-24 and 34-3. And Blake was gone after three years.

Bob Stoops has been at Oklahoma ever since.

This Saturday’s game does bring back thoughts from that four year stretch of Sooner swooning.

Like Texas, OU (with Howard) had a coach with a good reputation who seemed like a bad fit. There were special team’s blunders (mainly blocked punts), coordinator changes, player infighting and even a lawsuit.

It was complete chaos. Much like the current state of football in Austin.

OU, thanks to David Boren, was smart and cut its losses with Howard after a year. Blake was given three before he was deemed unworthy of leading a program with the tradition of Oklahoma.

Texas is too good of a program to put up with this kind of football for very long. The Horns have money, a great city, facilities and players.

UT should always be winning big.

Strong was 6-7 a year ago and is looking at 3-9/4-8 this season unless things turnaround quickly. Seems very unlikely.

That’s enough to get a coach fired in Austin, even after two years. The money people just won’t put up with two years of below five hundred football at Texas.

I’m not sure Charlie can raise the Texas Titanic. It appears the band is playing and people are jumping into lifeboats already.

The question is when and if the Longhorns will “let go.”

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