With last week’s win over Kansas State, head coach Mack Brown still has hope the Longhorns can run the table and win the Big 12. That pipe dream will be shattered by early November and it seems likely that Brown will either resign or be fired at the season’s end. Let the rampant speculation as to who will patrol the sidelines for UT next season begin:
Candidate: Mack Brown
Currently: University of Texas head coach
Pluses: A UT legend. Longevity here means he knows almost all the three-letter building codes.
Minuses: Just a 23-19 record since Colt McCoy hurt his shoulder; would make a great Coach Emeritus.
Chances: Slim, fat and probably not. Texas had to improve on last year’s 9-4 mark for Brown to keep boosters’ support. The win over Kansas State was impressive, but the meat of the schedule is still to come — 5 percent
Candidate: Nick Saban
Currently: University of Alabama head coach
Pluses: Four national championships, including three since Colt McCoy hurt his shoulder. He brought Alabama’s program back to legendary status.
Minuses: He may not stay very long, and we don’t know how he looks in burnt orange.
Chances: Although Texas is one of the handful of programs that arguably occupy a higher position on the college football ladder than Alabama, Saban seems to have found his forever home in Tuscaloosa. But if he wins again this year, maybe he reaches for a higher rung — 12 percent
Candidate: Will Muschamp
Currently: University of Florida head coach
Pluses: The former UT “coach-in-waiting” is performing well in his internship at Florida, with a 19-9 record to date.
Minuses: He left us once before — can we trust him to stay this time?
Chances: This makes the most karmic sense, and it’s not a bad football move either — 27 percent
Candidate: Greg Schiano
Currently: Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach
Pluses: Proven success at Rutgers, defensive-minded and an excellent recruiter.
Minuses: May have culture shock after living his whole life in New Jersey, Chicago and Florida.
Chances: The 0-3 record and locker room grumblings means he won’t survive the season with Tampa Bay, and it seems the college game is a better fit for him — 17 percent
Candidate: Bill O’Brien
Currently: Penn State University head coach
Pluses: Took on an impossible task at Penn State and succeeded.
Minuses: May be uncomfortable working in an environment not rife with institutional failures.
Chances: He’ll be hard to pry away, but his sterling reputation means he’ll at least get a phone call — 11 percent
Candidate: Kevin Sumlin
Currently: Texas A&M head coach
Pluses: Stellar record, impeccable resume and reputation.
Minuses: He’s an Aggie.
Chances: He’s deserving and would be a fine choice, but he already makes $3.1 million and might not be ready to leave College Station — 18 percent
Candidate: The field
It’s doubtful that the search pool will include any unknowns or first-time head coaches. The agents for Brett Bielema, Mark Richt, Jim Mora and Art Briles will probably all get phone calls.
Chances: 10 percent