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Austin Murphy wrote a piece this year following the Rose Bowl illustrating in crystalline detail just how loose Mack Brown was prior to the Rose Bowl versus the GREATEST TEAM EVAH. Though the exact details remain hidden to us behind the veil of SI subscription, we seem to remember Mack Brown allegedly bopping around to the tune of "Rock Your Body" by Justin Timberlake, a guilty pleasure on your I-Pod, for sure, but Mack Brown's? Overbite, shoulder shimmy, Thriller toe-point and spin with the hand on the imaginary black fedora on his head...yeah, savor the hypothetical imagery.

The Return Of the Mack may not feature such a touchy-feely relationship with his qb.

Most attributed this to the ebullience of Vince Young, who Mack Brown very intelligently let loose in the formerly choke-tight Texas offense, running lunatic rings around teams out of a pretty standard zone-read spread formation. This came after a few years of more conventional attacks that scored plenty but didn't force defenses to defend the most dangerous element of Texas' offense: VY's ability to crash systematic defensive programming at will with scrambling, turning Cover 2s and spy schemes into splinters with a single broken tackle.

Whether the good-vibes infection of Vince Young was a bacterial one (temporary, like a staph infection) or permanent (life-altering and persistent, like herpes) represents one of the more intriguing "identity questions" of the 2006 season. Texas remains a stockyard of supreme talent thanks to Brown's endless rubber chicken and gladhanding dinners across the state and the relative lack of competition for in-state recruits. (His most charismatic and skilled rival in recruiting may not be Mad Genius Mike Leach or Coach Hedley, but Gary Patterson, the coach of upstart TCU, who according to guys like John Lopez of the Houston Chronicle is beginning to put the burners on Horned Frog recruiting.) The question about Brown never centered around the nuts and bolts of program admin and maintenance; in that sense he's still unparalleled as evidenced by the Texas renaissance and his prior superb record at North Carolina.

Whether he'll stay as breezy as he seemed last year at the helm..that's the question, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Jevan Snead and Colt McCoy could both develop into starting qbs (though the likelihood of them doing it at Texas is tres mince,) yet will surely have the reins pulled tight as Texas leans on a more conventional run game than they did last year. Even if either one demonstrates real game-time speed, they won't be VY, and certainly won't have the carte blanche Young enjoyed last year in terms of option runs. The unenviable task of replacing Young--and the natural slackness following a championship run--could shock Brown back into his old ways, the "Dame Mack" stereotype dogging him prior to 2005 of conservative play into the hands of less risk-averse foes (Bob Stoops, just to name one for no reason whatsoever.)

Or he could come out five wide and blazing. In the end, maybe it depends on what's playing on his I-Pod. For Texas fans let's hope that's something closer to J-Tim than Bread.

If Mack Brown's rocking to "Baby I'm-a-Want You," run for the hills, Longhorns fans.