SAN ANTONIO – Mack Brown didn’t want to go out like this, and 10th-ranked Oregon didn’t want its season to end here.
That makes the Alamo Bowl on Monday a finale for two programs making the best of disappointment.
Texas (8-4) wants a fond farewell for coach Brown after the tension surrounding his resignation. The Ducks (10-2) were denied an appearance in a lucrative Bowl Championship Series game for the first time in five years.
“The expectation for both of these programs is to be playing in the last game at the end of the year, and neither one of us are doing that,” Brown said Sunday.
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Speaking publicly for the second time since announcing this month he would leave Texas after 16 seasons, Brown sidestepped questions about the circumstances surrounding his exit and whether he will coach again. He said the only thing he would have done differently this season was win all the games and enjoy the “happy moms and dads and happy media and happy fans” that come with it.
“We’ve done that, and it’s a lot more fun,” Brown said.
Meanwhile, Oregon’s hopes of playing for a national title after four consecutive BCS bowl appearances were dashed in November after a loss to Stanford — which is headed to the Rose Bowl. Two weeks after the Stanford setback, the Ducks were pummeled by Arizona.
First-year Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said the disappointment of the Stanford loss created some “stragglers.” He said he could have done a better job of managing the situation.
“There was absolutely some disappointment, kind of punched-in-the-gut type of feeling for a few guys that just needed to grow up and realize that there was a lot of ball left to be played,” Helfrich said. “And as it played out, we could have played ourselves into a better situation — quote, unquote — but we didn’t earn that.”
• No. 16 Arizona State and Texas Tech meet Monday night in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Pac-12 South champion Arizona State (10-3) lost at home 38-14 to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. The Raiders (7-5) enter with a five-game losing streak.
The Sun Devils average 41 points, having scored 53 or more points six times, including breaking 60 once. Texas Tech’s fast-paced offense averages 88 plays and 513 yards a game.
Arizona State’s Todd Graham, who was voted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, uses the word “explosive” a lot, so it was not surprising to hear him predict it will be “an explosive game and a game that will be fun for fans to watch.”