Mack Brown on the Hot Seat: Who should Texas hire if they part ways?

Photo: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Every week things get a little worse for Mack Brown. It’s like a scene out of Office Space. Brown isn’t on the hot seat as much as his head is on the guillotine. With the buzzards circling, it’s time to start lining up potential candidates should he and Texas eventually part ways. Remember, this is all theoretical and could easily change should Brown and Texas get the Longhorns’ wheels back on track.

HAIL MARY

Nick Saban—Head Coach, Alabama

On the surface, this looks totally preposterous. Nobody leaves Alabama for another school. But let’s say he wins a fourth title in five years. And let’s say Texas opens the checkbook for upwards of $8 million per year. I don’t think it would happen, but I’m saying Texas would be foolish not to take a run.

NOT AS CRAZY AS IT SOUNDS

Les Miles—Head Coach, LSU

He’s as mad as a hatter, and he’s turned down big fish in the past. But things have been rough for Leslie since he was humbled in the BCS game two years ago. Texas shares the same recruiting grounds as LSU, so this would be a smooth transition. Miles could be looking for a change of pace after tales of indiscretion during his Oklahoma State tenure, as well as disciplinary questions at LSU. Texas is trading even in the championship department, and would get a coach with plenty of rivalry and big-game experience.

THIS WOULD BE FUN

Bob Stoops—Head Coach, Oklahoma

Big Game Bobby loves him some Big 12. Wouldn’t it be great if he jumped banks of the Red River? Stoops’ name always comes up in coaching hunts, so while this is a long shot, it could happen. Not sold? Check out Rick Pitino’s resume. Any sniffs at Bob Stoops would certainly show what kind of loyalty disgruntled Sooners fans have towards their coach.

THE SALESMAN

James Franklin—Head Coach, Vanderbilt

Franklin has been nothing short of stellar during his time at Vanderbilt. He can sell with the best of them, is a player’s coach, and won’t be fazed by Texas’ tighter-than-many academic standards. A young coach with a fiery personality is the perfect shakeup for the stagnant Longhorns. This move reminds me of Steve Spurrier working miracles at Duke before moving on to Florida.

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

Kevin Sumlin—Head Coach, Texas A&M

Sumlin may be the hottest coach in the country right now. He’s torn through the SEC like a supernova. In a couple of short years Sumlin has turned Texas A&M into the number-two job in the state. With Texas’ resources it will be hard to turn down a move to Austin.

Gary Patterson—Head Coach, TCU

Many people believe Patterson is the best coach in the state, as well as top-three in the country. Few coaches maximize the potential of their players better than Patterson. Whenever he matches up with the big boys, Patterson’s teams are always well-prepared. The only question remaining is whether he can perform consistently under the bright lights of the capital.

Art Briles—Head Coach, Baylor

When your past two seasons include an upset of the No. 1-team in the country and a Heisman Trophy winner, people pay notice. Between his days coaching high school and his current success at Baylor, Briles is a Texas legend. He may understand the state’s football passion more than any other candidate on this list. However, at 57 he may be older than Texas is looking to hire.

Kliff Kingsbury—Head Coach, Texas Tech

He’s a young coach whose stock, thanks to Johnny Manziel, continues to rise. Kingsbury’s head coaching resume may be short, but he could be a solid low-risk, high reward gamble for Texas. Oh and he looks like Ryan Gosling, which seems to be working for him.

HOMECOMING

Chad Morris—Offensive Coordinator, Clemson

Fun fact: Morris is the highest paid assistant in college football. Before his tenures at Tulsa and Clemson, Morris dominated high school football in Texas, compiling a 169-38 record. With his deep Texan roots, he can ramp up recruiting that’s been sorely missing in Austin. Morris will ensure the Andrew Lucks, RGIIIs, and Johnny Manziels never get past Austin City Limits.

WILDCARD

Will Muschamp—Head Coach, Florida

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Muschamp was the Longhorns’ coach in waiting. A strong 2012 season at Florida proved he can handle the bright lights of a top-tier program. Gators fans don’t want to admit it, but Texas is a better job than Florida with deeper pockets. With minimal ties to UF, it’ll be interesting to see Muschamp’s response if his former employer comes calling.

BEST BET

Kirby Smart—Defensive Coordinator, Alabama

Smart was toast of the town in last year’s hiring cycle. The fact that Smart is still at Alabama means he’s waiting to pick his spot. It’s not a matter of if he’ll leave ‘Bama, but when. Texas is one of the few programs any top assistant would take. A reference from Nick Saban doesn’t hurt Smart’s cause. Neither would another roll to the championship on the backs of his defense.