Pete Carroll and Mack Brown are two fantastic head coaches who run their programs fair and square. Pete Carroll is California cool and wins games by emphasizing execution and smart play. Mack Brown wins games with speed and cunning. If these two coaches went head-to-head, it’d be a great game to watch that would be fun and full of drama in the end. It would be a close game and I think because Pete Carroll is just a tiny bit better at executing fundamentals and keeping his opponents away from big plays, he would win a head-to-head matchup with Mack Brown.
The reason why I say that is because in almost every other coaching aspect, the two men are very similar. For example, when it comes to designing plays to fit their talent base, Pete Carroll and Mack Brown are great at designing plays to fit their players’ strengths. To show you what I mean, look at how well Colt McCoy is playing under Mack Brown at Texas. I don’t think McCoy would even come close to matching his 85 career touchdowns or 9,732 career passing yards if he didn’t have Mack Brown’s simple but effective spread option to look for receivers. If that doesn’t convince you, look at former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. I don’t think he would have been a first round pick if it weren’t for Pete Carroll’s 4-option spread that gives a quarterback at least 4 options to throw to and a way out if there’s nobody open.
Another example is their ability to motivate players. Pete Carroll and Mack Brown motivate their players with a “You Can Do Better Than That” attitude that other coaches like Lane Kiffin could learn much from. Carroll and Brown understand that the best way to motivate a young player is to cajole them into doing their best each time they practice or play. It gets results, too. Mack Brown won a Big 12 title and a national title in 2005 with Texas. He’s also coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Colt McCoy). Furthermore, Pete Carroll has won two national titles and seven PAC-10 titles while at USC.
Both coaches are also awesome recruiters. They are very good at finding talent that matches their offensive and defensive schemes. They also have a firm understanding that it’s also not always necessary to land top recruits to succeed. For example, Mack Brown recruited Sporting News All-American wide receiver Jordan Shipley who wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school. Pete Carroll found a great offensive lineman named Ryan Kaili who by sheer will and determination won a spot on the USC offensive line for three seasons. Maybe it’s just luck, or perhaps these two coaches instinctively know how to find good talent hiding out?
With so many simulates, how could we predict a head-to-head match-up between Pete Carroll and Mack Davis? I mentioned earlier that it would have to come down to which team ends up being better at executing fundamentals. I think Pete Carroll is a better teacher of fundamentals because his offensive and defensive schemes require his players to protect the ball, run for first downs and control the line of scrimmage. On the other hand, I think Mack Brown’s offense is so explosive that they end up beating themselves with silly turnovers or missed assignments that cost the Longhorns points or the football.
For this reason, I think the next time Pete Caroll and Mack Brown coach a game against each other that Pete Carroll will end up winning the game.
(All stats used in this article were retrieved online from ESPN’s college football page at http://sports.espn.go.com/.