Texas Coaching Rumors: Tuesday Evening Hot Board

Well, it's finally happening: Mack Brown will be stepping down as Texas coach at the end of the season. We can say with full confidence that Brown won't be back next year, so it's time to start surveying his possible replacements.

5. Pat Fitzgerald

The Northwestern HC has been linked to a number of top coaching positions over the past few seasons. He's seemingly outgrown his current employer, and while he's unlikely to be the #1 name on the Texas wishlist, he's a proven commodity who commands a great deal of respect in coaching circles.

4. Charlie Strong

The Louisville HC is a proven winner who's found success at every level so far. With Teddy Bridgewater likely heading for the NFL, now's the time for Strong to take a step up from the American conference. Texas may be too much too soon, but keep an eye on Strong if a few bigger-name candidates drop out of the race.

3. Art Briles

Baylor's offensive wizard can recruit (see Griffin, Robert III) and turn unheralded QBs into Heisman contenders (Bryce Petty was a three-star recruit with just a handful of offers coming out of high school). Briles is on a roll at Baylor, but if Texas came calling, he might not be able to say no.

2. Gus Malzahn

In his first year at Auburn, Malzahn beat Alabama, won the SEC, and is headed for a national championship game. Oh, and he was quoted earlier this year as saying Texas was his dream job. Who could possibly beat that resume?

1. You guessed it...Nick Saban

Here we go again. No matter how many times Saban, his agent, or his wife denies links to Texas, they just won't go away. The guys over at The Big Lead are pretty confident that Saban to Texas is going down. There's no denying that Saban's resume is as good as it gets, and if Texas thinks they can get Saban, they'll move heaven and earth to make it happen.

Wild Card:

John Harbaugh

Harbaugh is a fascinating wild card in all this - he's the only potential candidate with a resume that trumps Saban's (Super Bowl > BCS title, y'all). He was reportedly interested about a month ago, and that still hasn't changed despite Baltimore's playoff push. The only major barrier would be the NFL schedule, and we aren't sure Texas would be willing to wait until January (or later...) to make an announcement this important. If Saban signs a contract extension at 'Bama and things at Texas start to drag on...keep an eye on the Ravens coach.

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