published Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

5-at-10: Texas candidates other than Saban, Vitale's anniversary, Winston's weekend

Hope this finds you well and well-prepped for the upcoming holidays. We love Christmas

Brown out

As we discussed at length on Press Row on ESPN 105.1 yesterday — give us a listen from 3-6 p.m. — Mack Brown's days appear numbered at Texas.

Chip Brown, the lead writer at Orangebloods.com and the guy that has owned that beat on conference expansion and the Longhorn Network, reported Tuesday afternoon that Mack Brown was going to resign. ESPN's Joe Schad refuted the report, as did the 247Horns guy, Bobby Burton, initially, by quoting Mack Brown himself.

Then Bruce Feldman, the CBSsports.com college football ace, reported that sources said Chip Brown's story would be true and 247 bigwig Shannon Terry pointed out that Burton was not refuting, per se, as much as just getting Mack Brown's position out there.

Mack Brown's text to Burton was sent while the coach was recruiting in Florida and said he has "not decided to resign" which is open to interpretation.

Our view? He will be out by the end of the week. So, what does that mean: Well, let's review:

Mack Brown is 158-47 with a national title in 16 years but has floundered at 18-17 in recent years and has been passed by A&M and possibly Baylor in-state. This where we should point out that Mr. Phil Fulmer was 152-52-1 with a national title in 16 years at the other UT. So to say this hire is big for the Longhorns is an hefty understatement.

So who are the front-runners? Well, Nick Saban's name has been linked to the Texas job for a good chunk of the year, and the Brown story re-energized those rumors, even to the point that now Alabama officials leaked a story that Saban was offered a raise and an extension last Friday.

And if you don't think Texas is a top-three job, well, look at the guys that have gotten hefty raises even before the news that Brown's demise now appears to be in motion. Guys who would have been Texas candidates such as Saban, Baylor's Art Briles, A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Auburn's Gus Malzahn.

  • photo
    Alabama head coach Nick Saban leads his team on to the field in this Oct. 26, 2013, file photo.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Still it's Texas and when Texas calls, people listen.

Here's a proposed wish list for the well-heeled Horns:

1) Saban: You have to make him say no. At least three times.

2) Jon Gruden: Dude is the biggest free agent star on the market.

3) Jim Harbaugh, 49ers: Again, make him say no. At least three times.

4) Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Could be a great fit and could be ready for a new view.

5) James Franklin, Vandy: Dude is on the verge of back-to-back nine-win seasons at Vandy for crying out loud.

6) Malzahn: His miracle act at Auburn will make him a hot name for a long time.

7) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles: Offensive genius; could he be lured back to college?

8) Briles: Guy has worked miracles there, and buyout, smyout when you're talking Texas money.

9) Todd Graham, Arizona State: We know he'll move at a moments notice.

And hey, if all that fails, Lane Kiffin's looking for work, and he could put together a boss staff with Coach O and get the whole band back together.

————

Happy anniversary, BAY-BEE

Dick Vitale is celebrating his 35th year in announcing. That means the 5-at-10's Pop is celebrating his 35th year cursing at Vitale's announcing.

Vitale has been a game-changer in a lot of ways, whether you love him or loathe him. He has brought an energy and passion to the game that can not be denied. And his love affair for his job and college hoops is commendable and comes across as much today as it did 35 years ago.

That energy — although frequently misguided and way too often with the volume jacked to the rafters — has become his trademark, and all things considered, that's a great legacy to have. Think about that, if when you hit 35 years at anything, and the first thought everyone has about you was how much you loved your job or what have you. That's good stuff.

Sure the PTPers and the General and on and on gets tiring, but Vitale's passion will never wane. Congrats Dickie V. (Even Pop sends his regards.)

Side note: Dickie V is one of the nicest ESPN celebs working. Dude is a legit and kind man, and that is worthy of mentioning and deserves a tip of the 5-at-10 fedora.

————

Wild weekend

  • photo
    Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (5) will not face charges over rape allegations.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jameis Winston is in for a weekend filled with swings.

He's the far-and-away favorite to win the Heisman on Saturday night. (Although the people poll on SI.com has Auburn running back Tre Mason as the leader. Of course, as Press Row cohost David Paschall relayed Tuesday, in 1999 when Time magazine had a public poll of the most influential person of the 20th century, Jesus Christ finished No. 1, Hitler finished No. 2 and Ric Flair finished third. You want to be the most influential man, you gotta beat the man, after all.)

There also are reports from Yahoo.com and USA Today that the family or the attorney of the woman who accused Winston of raping her last year will have a news conference on Friday.

As we all know, the authorities decided there was not enough evidence to press charges against Winston, and this will be the first time we have heard from anyone in accuser's camp.

Buckle up.

————

This and that

Interesting story here from SEC ace David Paschall, catching up with former SEC chief and BCS architect Roy Kramer. Something tells us in three years we're going to look back on the BCS with much kinder eyes than we viewed it with when it was here. Call it a hunch.

  • photo
    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs defensive lineman Derrick Lott, 91, helps get his teammates pumped up before taking on the Samford Bulldogs at Seibert Stadium in Homewood, Ala. Lott was out with an injury.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
    enlarge photo

— Big news for your UTC Mocs football program, as Derrick Lott was given a sixth year of eligibility, as UTC beat ace John Frierson tells us here. Lott is a big-time force in the middle of the Mocs defensive line.

— More Mocs news: You go Z Mason. As UTC hoops ace David Uchiyama shares here, Mason scored 41 as the Mocs beat Hiwassee 86-68. Good thing Mason showed out, a loss to Hiwassee would have meant Bye-wassee to any pre-conference positive vibes for first-year coach Will Wade.

— Ian Ziering, aka Steve Sanders from "Beverly Hills, 90210," told ABC News why he took the lead role in "Sharknado," the SyFy summer hit about a tornado that hits the ocean and picks up a school of sharks and drops them on an unsuspecting town. (And yes, it's a premise that is so bad it's delicious.) Ziering said he had his doubts — sharks living on land can do that — but needed to work to keep his insurance through the Screen Actors Guild and since he and his wife were about to have a child, he had to go to work. Yep, actors are people too. Even those in 90210.

— AJ McCarron told the Birmingham News he talked with Alex Rodriguez before the Iron Bowl. Wow. And let the jokes commence. (And thanks A-Rod. The check's in the mail.)

————

Today's question(s)

Gang, we're back in the fold today, so do your do. Do that voo-doo that you do so well.

And there are a slew of questions to cover. Two quick orders of BID-ness: 1) Any one have any ideas/suggestions about the bowl contest; 2) Remember the mailbag.

OK, to the questions:

What are the three best college football head coaching jobs in the country?

Do you see Saban ever leaving Alabama, and if Brown is out and Saban does not take the Texas job, he's at Bama for the rest of his career, right?

Who's on your Rushmore of most influential TV sports announcers of all-time? Vitale is got be in consideration for sure. Dude changed the role — for better or worse is in the ear of the viewer — and it's hard to see it going back. (Some to consider: Cosell, who was a complete game changer; Dandy Don Meredith, who was the first high-profile ex-athlete on TV, although Dizzy Dean deserves consideration for that too; Vitale for obvious and loud reasons; Madden; Kiper, who made his own cottage industry. Who are we forgetting?)

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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jomo11 said...

IF Saban leaves to go to Texas, who will the Bama fans blame :

  1. Field goal kicker Cade Foster

  2. Clay Travis

  3. Pual Finebaum

  4. ESPN

  5. Harvey Updike

  6. Fulmer, Hamilton, Kiffen, Dooley

  7. Cam Newton

  8. Bevo

  9. Obamacare

  10. Saban

AND will the Bammers go Saddam on that statue of Saban ?

December 11, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Should never build statues to living people...or at least people who haven't even retired....

December 11, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
Stewwie said...

[What are the three best college football head coaching jobs in the country?]

Notre Dame is probably #1. After that, I'd go Ohio St. and Bama. Maybe argue that USC and Oklahoma are bigger jobs than Texas. FSU and Oregon (nowadays anyway) are right there too.

At what point (if any) do the Longhorns give Will Muschamp (former head-coach-in-waiting at Texas) a call? If James Franklin gets the call, I don't see how he could turn that down.

Can't believe the b-ball Mocs only won by 18 over a bad non D-1 team. We demolished that team by about 50 just a couple of years ago. How come Lance Stokes never got into the game last night? And Pryor and McGhee had low minutes and were scoreless. Is the doghouse filling up quick, or is it something else?

December 11, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.
MocTastic said...

The basketball Mocs seemed to be already heading home mentally for the holidays last night, they will have to return mentally to Chattanooga and get ready for two real games before actually going home for Christmas. I think it was a combination of finals hangover and holiday season approaching. Suspect they will get a rude awakening in practice today.

Lance Stokes hurt his foot in the last game, had a MRI, was negative, but supposedly still hurting. He was in uniform and available, but was held out just to let it continue to improve. No doghouse. Pryor and McGhee had minutes, the flow of points just didn't come their way IMO. Pryor had some foul issues also.

December 11, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Hey, Stewwie the best jobs in college football are Alabama, Texas, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State because those have the highest budgets. Money at the end of the day wins

Say what you want about the Longhorn TV network, but they have approx 10 million subscribers, which would value that at close to $ 1 billion, that alone could make Texas the number 1 job in all of college football.

remember that Texas has a larger population than Tenn, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina COMBINED ! More available players and more available money in the State

December 11, 2013 at 10:49 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

You could do confidence points, but that can get confusing.

There are 11 bowls between December 23 and December 27. There are 12 bowls between December 28 and December 31. There are 12 bowls from January 1 on.

So, pick ten from each of those three sections, and do confidence points 1-10 on all of them. Have a tiebreaker of a final score on each of them. Award a small prize to the individual winner of each of the three separate contests. Then compare the three winners overall score, and the person who did the best from the three overall would get the GRAND PRIZE....whatever that is. That would keep people engaged longer because they wouldn't be eliminated with a bad first week of picking the bowls. They'd still have a shot.

Did that make sense?

December 11, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Concur with Jomo. Texas is no worse than 3 in any view, and we can see them as No. 1 in a lot of areas. We think Notre Dame and Bama are right there too, but the recruiting base and the budget for Texas are on another level.

As for blame, well, it could be any of those candidates, but we would suggest you scotch guard your trees and plants if it happens because something is getting poisoned by Goodness.

And did you hear that some wise acorn paged Nick Saban in the Austin airport last night? Seriously. Can you image the buzz that created?

That would have been a really painful loss to a bad Hiwassee bunch.

Stuck — thanks for the ideas.

And Stewwie, we agree that if they get down to Franklin, he could not say yes quickly enough. Heck, the same likely could be said about Malzahn.

December 11, 2013 at 11:35 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Jomo, pard, lots of competition for that Texan Talent.

Ten Ring: Alabama, LSU, The USC

Number 1 got an offer from Georgia Tech yesterday. I looked for a write up here at TFP (hey, not that I'm lobbying for one) to see if I'm being redundant. The Army Combine is coming up January. This may do much to clarify the future.

Been on the road fishing (we hit'em hard) last weekend in Union Springs. This week, 80^ mostly in Fort Pierce to do more of same and some maintenance on the boat.

December 11, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

5, concur on Dickie V being one of the absolutely nicest guys around.

Top 3 jobs, in no particular order, are Notre Dame, Texas and USC. Because all 3 don't need a coach's personality to keep it going. Notre Dame recruits nationally and has its own network. Texas? Own network, plus the biggest hotbed of prospects. USC? LA's version of a pro team, in the middle of the other huge hotbed of recruiting. We've seen Alabama take a step or two back - and huge leaps forward - depending on its coach. Notre Dame has had it's share of lackluster coaches but the brand didn't suffer.

December 11, 2013 at 1:19 p.m.
Stewwie said...

MT,

Thanks for clearing that up. Wade isn't happy with certain players though and I can't figure out who they are.

Jomo,

Money is important, but there's more to it than just that. Not buying that the Longhorn TV Network alone pushes Texas to the top. And Texas is nice fertile ground for recruiting, but the state is centrally located and other states' schools are always in there poaching the talent too. If Texas is really the #1 job in America, then they should have no problem getting a Nick Saban or a Jimbo Fisher or a Bob Stoops or an Urban Meyer. Having to end up with a James Franklin would be telling.

Obamacare ought to be fair game for blame if Saban leaves Bama. Didn't Obama say, "If you like your football coach, you can keep him"? Or maybe he was talking about healthcare plans or something like that.

Maybe Mrs. Saban ought to be the one who gets blamed if Saban leaves. Not saying that she wears the pants in that relationship, but there's no denying that she is pulling some strings behind the scenes. Read more here:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303281504579220393805048908

December 11, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

So funny to read the Braves are trying to "fix" Dan Uggla. Maybe Bob Barker can stop by after tomorrow's "The Price Is Right" to help get Uggla "fixed."

Oh ... they don't mean that "fixed"? Well ... that probably couldn't hurt either, I suppose. Maybe he'll get fixed like the POW team's goalie in "Victory."

December 11, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.
Maximus said...

Thanks for the Mocs football info. D. Lott will be very important as we make our run for the national championship next year. By the way, TFP, what's going on with the FCS playoffs in Tejas? Guess I'll google it! Oh yea, we still need that new retractable roof stadium in Chatt. How about that bombed out looking real estate at the downtown Chatt/ATL I-24 interchange. Right now it looks like Vietnam after a U.S. B-52 carpet bombing. New name.....Times Free Press Stadium. :)

December 11, 2013 at 6:05 p.m.
Maximus said...

Funny, MTSU now has a larger total student enrollment than UT and yes Coach Stockstill has them going to a bowl game again. Meanwhile, the Vols are in the weight room......we hope.

December 11, 2013 at 6:08 p.m.
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