Gus Malzahn

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy talks on his headset as he watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Stillwater, Oka. on Sept. 15. Oklahoma state won, 65-24.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Mack Brown’s resignation Saturday ended his tenure at Texas after 16 seasons, but it also opened up one of the premier coaching gigs in college football. Here are five possible replacements for Brown as Texas’ next head coach:

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Gundy’s stock elevated over the past three seasons, when he led the Cowboys to a 30-8 record and a conference title in 2011. Overall, Gundy is 77-37 in nine seasons at Oklahoma State, posting a 5-2 record in bowl games. He does plenty of recruiting already in Texas, and he’s been instrumental in solidifying OSU as one of the Big 12’s most consistent programs.

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

It was reported Texas was Malzhan’s dream job earlier this month, right before he inked a six-year, $26.85 million contract to remain at Auburn. That said, if anyone possesses the money to buy out a contract — it’s Texas. Malzahn has impressed, leading Auburn to a 12-1 record and a trip to the national championship game in his first year with the Tigers. The previous season, Auburn finished 3-9 and 0-8 in SEC play. His up-tempo offense would be a solid fit with the Longhorns.

Charlie Strong, Louisville

Strong’s buyout would cost Texas $5 million, but the Longhorns' bigger challenge would be convincing him to leave Louisville. He passed on a chance to go to Tennessee last year, and the Cardinals seem intent on paying whatever it takes to keep him. Still, he is an enticing fit for Texas. Strong has gone 22-3 in the last two seasons and led Louisville to a Sugar Bowl victory last year. He also won a pair of national titles as an assistant with a big school in Florida.

James Franklin, Vanderbilt

Franklin enjoyed another strong season with Vanderbilt in 2013, leading the Commodores to their third straight bowl game. Overall, Franklin has guided an overachieving Vanderbilt team to a 23-15 record in his three seasons as head coach. The Commodores went just 4-20 in the two seasons before his arrival. It’s interesting to think about what Franklin could do with all of Texas’ talent at his disposal.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

After failing to nab Nick Saban, it would be natural for Texas to turn to the next best thing. In this case, that’s Fisher; who sports a .815 career win percentage and a trip to BCS bowls in each of the last two seasons. Like Malzahn, Fisher is fighting for a national championship this year with the Seminoles. He also recently received a raise to $4.25 million from Florida State. Texas would likely offer more money, but Fisher would be hard pressed to leave an FSU team that figures to contend for another national title next year behind freshman quarterback Jameis Winston.

Bryan Harsin's brief tenure as Texas' co-offensive coordinator appears to be over.

Harsin, who joined the Longhorns' coaching staff last January, will be named Arkansas State's head football coach Wednesday, according to multiple reports, one by's James Bryant among the first. Since he took over as Texas' co-offensive coordinator, Harsin's offense ranked in the bottom half of the Big 12 in both scoring and total offense in each of his two seasons on the job. This will be Harsin's first college head coaching job.

After Texas went 5-7 in 2010, the program's first losing season since 1997, Harsin was one of six new members to join the Longhorns' coaching staff before the beginning of the next season. Garrett Gilbert won a four-man battle for the starting quarterback spot before the 2011 campaign but underwent season-ending shoulder surgery and transferred to SMU after starting only two games. David Ash and Case McCoy have had their moments but have failed to separate themselves from one another since.

Harsin takes over for an Arkansas State team that went 9-3 and won its second Sun Belt Conference title since joining the league in 2005. After less than a year on the job, former Red Wolves head coach Gus Malzahn left to become the head coach at Auburn, where he was an offensive coordinator from 2009-11. Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin passed for 3,129 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions last year. Aplin will leave Arkansas State as the Sun Belt's all-time leading passer.

Malzahn became the second straight coach to use Arkansas State as a stepping stone to the SEC. His predecessor, Hugh Freeze, went 6-6 in his first season as the head coach at Ole Miss this year.

A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to make Harsin's hiring official.  

College football will take a bye week before it returns with the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15. The season that saw a near-non-SEC national championship game lacked no excitement, which will undoubtedly continue into bowl season. Let’s take a look at some of the notes around the nation.

• Texas A&M and Kansas State quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Collin Klein, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, have been invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday night. If Manziel were to win the award, he would become the first freshman to take home the trophy. If Te’o were to win he would become the second defensive player next to Michigan’s Charles Woodson to claim the award.

• Arkansas has hired Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema away from Madison. Bielema has turned the Badgers into a national power, leading the program to three straight Rose Bowls. The unexpected hire came as a surprise to many due to the elite program Wisconsin is.

• Auburn has tabbed its former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as its next head coach after firing Gene Chizik. Malzahn called plays for the 2010 BCS Champion Tigers before accepting the head coaching job at Arkansas State. Malzahn led ASU to a 9-3 record and the Sunbelt Conference Championship.

• Purdue has hired Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell to the same position. Hazell led Kent State to its first winning season since 2001 and an overtime touchdown away from a potential BCS berth. Hazell will receive a significant raise with his six-year, $12 million deal compared to his $300,000 salary as the Golden Flashes’ front man. 

• Louisville is doing everything in its power to keep head coach Charlie Strong in Louisville. The Cardinals are reportedly working on an extension on top of his current five year, $11.5 million contract. On Tuesday it was reported Strong is likely to stay at Louisville, who will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014. The Cardinals will play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

• Rutgers has filed a lawsuit against the Big East in regards to the $10 million, 27-month notification in order for the University to head to the Big Ten. Rutgers claims the same fines and waiting period are not the same for all Big East schools and that the conference is solely trying to punish the University for exiting.

Printed on Friday, December 7, 2012 as: Malzahn takes over at Auburn, Rutgers appeals fine