Texas Coaching Rumors: Monday Hot Board


This was a fairly quiet weekend for the Texas coaching search, but the silence out of Austin speaks volumes. The Longhorns are clearly taking their time to survey the field and identify the top candidates for their head coaching job, and that means the candidates who aren't immediately available (active NFL guys, coaches with teams in BCS games) are more likely to get a serious look. As of Monday, here are the five most likely candidates to take over for Mack Brown in Austin:


5. Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

The Mad Hatter has won a national championship and built a perennially dangerous team in college football's toughest conference. His daughter also happens to be on the UT swim team. While there have been no negotiations yet, keep a close eye on Miles as things progress.

4. Jon Gruden, ESPN Analyst

With NFL experience and massive name recognition, Gruden is the best-positioned candidate who isn't actively coaching in college or the NFL. He's been out of the game for a while, but he's been generating a lot of buzz in Austin since throwing his hat into the ring early last week.

3. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Head Coach

Fisher's Seminoles are getting ready for the last BCS Title game, and while some have questioned the logic of a move from the #1 team in the land to a rebuilding project, Fisher is believed to have privately expressed interest in the Texas job. Nothing can happen until after January 6th, but Fisher's name will continue to come up as things develop.

2. Gus Malzahn, Auburn Head Coach

The 2013 AP coach of the year is a hot commodity at the moment, and he's raking in the cash for taking Auburn from 3-9 last year to this year's national title game. Another non-factor until after the national championship game on January 6th, Malzahn has labeled Texas as his "dream job", putting the UT administration on high alert.

1. Art Briles, Baylor Head Coach

By far the most Texan of the established candidates, Briles is also an offensive wizard who can recruit and evaluate talent with the best of them. His contract (which runs through 2023) is a stumbling block, but that's a problem Texas can solve with money, and is therefore not a problem. Briles is the logical choice, and as of today, he's the most likely heir to Mack Brown at Texas

Wild Card: Nick Saban: Alabama Head Coach

Saban could sign a 250-year, legally binding contract with Alabama that only lets him out in the event of his own death, and he'd still be a wild card for the Texas job. Sorry, Alabama fans, but thanks to his past indiscretions, Saban will be a player in this race until about halfway through next season.


Additional Reading:

Exclusive: Why Texas Was So Sure They'd Get Nick Saban

How Awful QB Recruiting Led to Mack Brown's Downfall At Texas

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