Mack Brown is quickly running out of supporters at the University of Texas. The Longhorns coach has recorded a record of 24-18 since losing to Alabama in the 2009 national championship game.
Much of the popular support among the fans has eroded to the point where Brown can walk into a room and the majority of people in it will want him fired.
On Monday, we learned that legendary former Texas running back Earl Campbell is among those who would like to see the 62-year old Brown canned.
“Nobody likes to get fired or leave a job, but things happen,” Campbell said on KRIV-TV in Houston, according to the Fox affiliate [via ESPN]. “I’d go on record and say yes, I think it’s time.”
After leading Texas to a respectable nine wins in 2012, Brown was expected to lead his program back to the top of the Big 12 and into a BCS bowl game this season. However, a 2-2 start, including ugly losses to BYU and Ole Miss, already has fans clamoring to see Brown go the way of Lane Kiffin at USC.
Again, count Campbell among those who would like to see the same – Brown kicked out on his rear midseason.
“I’d just say this, I take my hat off for USC for what they’ve done,” Campbell said of one of the other top jobs, left temporarily vacant Sunday after the Trojans fired Lane Kiffin. “They didn’t mess around with it. They just said, ‘Let’s do it now.’ I think at some point our university’s people are going to have make a decision.”
Brown is under contract through the 2020 season and is the highest paid coach in the nation at $5.4 million annually. He rode quarterback Vince Young to the national title in 2005, but that was a long time ago now.
In Campbell’s eyes, too long.
“Some people get too old,” said Campbell, the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner with the Longhorns and NFL Hall of Famer after an eight-year career with the Houston Oilers and, briefly, the New Orleans Saints. “If players get too old to play a game, why can’t a coach get too old to coach it?”
For the record, Nick Saban turns 62 on Halloween, Les Miles turns 60 on Nov. 10 and Steve Spurrier is already 68. Then there’s Bill Snyder. At 73 years young, he lead his Kansas State Wildcats past Texas to a Big 12 title and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl last season.
Brown, 62, is in his 16th season at the helm of the Longhorns. It may feel like he’s ancient because he has been there for nearly as long as his freshmen have been alive, but there are equally successful older coaches whose jobs are safe.
Obviously, the coach himself, when asked, was disappointed with Campbell’s statements.
“Earl has done so much for Texas,” Brown said Monday at his regularly scheduled news conference in Austin. “He will always be welcomed at our school. I’m disappointed in his comments, but he’s entitled to his opinion.”
At least Brown didn’t go all Bo Pelini and start trash-talking campus legends.
At this point, it looks like it is going to take a string of big wins – this season – to keep Brown from being run out of Austin.