I enjoy history as much as the next guy but it is not nearly as relevant in college football as many like to think. If it was, SC (and Kentucky, for that matter) would still be losing to UT, few would care or even know that Boise State has a blue field, and Oregon would still be a track school whose football teams had ugly old-fashioned uniforms instead of ugly new neon uniforms. Many programs that were highly competitive in the 80s and 90s (think Miami, FSU, Nebraska, ND, etc.) have gone through or are continuing to go through bouts of struggle.
It is unrealistic for any fan base to think they're going to win ten games every season. Even Texas, with all the resources one could want including a comparatively easier conference schedule, only experiences flashes of greatness. However, it is not unrealistic for any proud program to expect to finish in the top half of its conference every year.
If you want to be great today, you have to hire great coaches and recruit great players who are more concerned about creating their own legacy today than admiring any legacy from the past. Frankly, I think UT has some great players and some good coaches. Unfortunately, being good or even great isn't always good enough. They have to be greater than those of the teams they're competing against.