Texas Coaching Rumors: The Hot Board as of Monday 12/30


The Texas coaching search narrowed slightly over the weekend, and several candidates were ruled out as Steve Patterson's search committee continues to look for the best possible replacement for Mack Brown. Let's go over the latest developments in the search, then count down the top five candidates for the job, as of Monday afternoon.

- Texas hasn't given up on landing a current NFL head coach, and they're currently targeting two NFL guys. One is Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who we'd consider a huge longshot. Kelly has been extremely successful in his first year in the NFL, and unless Texas offers him a ridiculous, unprecedented contract, it'll be hard to tempt him into leaving. The other candidate is the #2 guy on our list, and while he's far from a sure thing, he's much more realistic than Kelly at this point in time.

- Art Briles is getting serious interest from the Washington Redskins. It's believed that he'd favor a reunion with RGIII in Washington over taking the Texas job, although neither job has been formally offered to him yet.


5. James Franklin, Vanderbilt Head Coach

Franklin is a hot commodity right now, and Texas is just one of almost a dozen teams currently interested in the Vanderbilt HC. Turning Vandy from SEC cannon fodder into a respectable program turned plenty of heads, and while Franklin would definitely listen if Texas came calling, it may not be his top choice (Franklin, a PA native, has reportedly reached out to Penn State about their potential vacancy if Bill O’Brien leaves for the NFL).


4. Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

Miles can recruit, scheme, and evaluate talent with the best of them. His track record at LSU is consistently impressive, and he has several admirers on the search committee. While he isn't a top target for Texas at the moment, he's near the top of the second tier. Miles would have definite interest in the job.


3. Art Briles, Baylor Head Coach

Related: Texas Target Profile - Art Briles

Briles is still a top candidate for the Texas job, but reported interest from the Washington Redskins hurts his chances of ending up in Austin. Briles is the #2 college candidate after Jimbo Fisher, and there are some members of the search committee who think he's the best guy available. Keep an eye on the Redskins - if they make a play for Briles before Texas, the Longhorns could miss out on one of their best options.


2. John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach

The Ravens were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, setting off alarm bells in Austin and all across the college landscape. Insiders strongly believe that Harbaugh's move to a NCAA program is all but inevitable, and with the Ravens at a crossroads, now could be the time. Texas will reportedly offer Harbaugh a massive salary (we've heard his yearly total would be in the $10M region, with incentives), and they're prepared to move heaven and earth to bring their dream candidate to Texas. They still have some selling to do, but Harbaugh is the undisputed #1 choice in Austin.


1. Jimbo Fisher, FSU Head Coach

Related: Texas Target Profile – Jimbo Fisher

Texas is enamored with Fisher, who they see as one of the few can't-miss candidates out there. His coaching pedigree is spotless (he was an assistant under Nick Saban, then Les Miles, then Bobby Bowden), and his results as a head coach are excellent (he’s 44-10 since taking over in Tallahassee, with three straight bowl wins). If Texas determines that none of their NFL reach candidates are coming to town, Fisher is the first college coach on their list.



Additional Reading:

Texas Fans Bought Mack Brown a Billboard on Highway 183

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

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