Texas Coaching Rumors: Thursday Evening Hot Board


Texas has formed an 8-member committee to help with the ongoing coaching search, which makes sense given the 4,762 people who've already been linked to the job. New AD Steve Patterson would have a tough time personally going through the constantly-growing list of candidates, but the rumors don't change the fact that there are still just a handful of people out there with a realistic shot at the job. As things stand, here are the top five candidates for the position at UT:


5. Jimbo Fisher, FSU Head Coach

Fisher has guided the Seminoles to an appearance in the national title game, and at 48 he has plenty of time to improve as a coach. The Longhorns won't be able to communicate with Fisher at all until after the title game on January 6, which puts him at a slight disadvantage.

4. Gus Malzahn, Auburn Head Coach

Like Fisher, Malzahn is giving everyone else a head start. The Tigers will be playing for the national title in Pasadena, something that seemed impossible after Auburn's 3-9 year in 2012. Malzahn is the exact same age as Fisher, and is also seen as a high-potential candidate who could build a new dynasty in Austin.

3. Les Miles, LSU Head Coach

Miles has built a consistently excellent team in the toughest conference in college football, and he's a definite frontrunner for the Texas job. Several members of the Texas search committee are reportedly big Les Miles fans, and he'll be available to interview almost immediately after the Tigers play Iowa on New Years Day.

2. Jon Gruden, ESPN Analyst

Gruden is interested in Texas, and Texas is interested in Gruden. No new details have emerged since the ESPN analyst and former Super Bowl winner threw his hat into the ring on Tuesday, but multiple insiders believe Gruden is now one of the top names on the Texas wishlist.

1. Art Briles, Baylor Head Coach

Briles has a lot of advocates in Austin, and he's won a lot of respect for the things he's done at Baylor. The only real strikes against Briles are his contract (which runs until 2023) and his lack of name recognition. Texas wants a winner, but they also want to make a splash, and Briles is much too sensible a candidate for his hiring to result in fireworks. Still, as things currently stand, he's the most realistic candidate with the best shot at the job.


Wild Card: Nick Saban, Alabama Head Coach

The Dark Lord Saban is still in the running, whether Alabama fans want to believe it or not. We'd be skeptical too, guys, but if he wanted the speculation to stop, he shouldn't have told his agent that Texas is the only job he'd leave 'Bama for. Until Texas hires someone who isn't him, he'll stay on the hot board.


Additional Reading:

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

Coaching search puts Texas in the 'Danger Zone'

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