At UT, even the rich can be stupid

Posted Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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galloway Don’t try to tell me there’s a head football coach anywhere in the college world that is not interested — either highly interested or ready immediately to take the job — in being the next guy up at the University of Texas.

By the way, that includes Nick Saban. Present tense, you noticed. Never say never with Saban, but at this point, I’m not betting that way.

Was Saban, however, ready to hook ’em out of Alabama and become the King of Austin?

Yes, without question, he considered it. Stack the money high enough and he was coming. The surprise is the money wasn’t or hasn’t been stacked high enough. Yet.

But back to my original proclamation that any college head football coach in America wants this Austin job.

Gawd knows, I’ve never been accused of being one of those arrogant advocates of UT superiority. Personally, I like the Aggies a lot better, plus TCU and Baylor. With no ties to any of them, I can freelance when it comes to my favorites.

But I laugh as I currently read comments from numerous high-profile college coaches who are either dodging “the Texas question,” or flat lying when they say they have no interest.

For football, that place in Austin has the most money and the best facilities, and with the name “Texas,” that relates extremely well to recruiting our most fertile in the nation high school campuses.

So if not Saban, then what about David Shaw at Stanford? Again, what about any name you can name?

Well, there’s also a glitch. That glitch is and will be the X-factor in this search.

That glitch, by the way, emerged front and center last week.

UT announced its “search committee” to find Mack Brown’s replacement. Eight names are on that list. Ian Fitzsimmons, doing talk radio on local ESPN, said the list read like the cast from Gilligan’s Island. Heavy hitters, big-money alums and/or regents are involved.

Who are these people and what the hell do any of them have to do with hiring the next football coach?

Beyond this search committee, UT also hired a head-hunter outfit to dig up names undercover.

Hold it right there, Bevo.

Didn’t a guy named Steve Patterson recently land the job as Texas’ new athletic director?

If Patterson was such a great choice for AD, and if, as we were told, Patterson convinced the AD search committee (basically the same names) he was right for the job “because he could make the tough decisions,” what is a search committee doing in this picture?

Who exactly is the engineer on this Austin railroad?

That’s why any coach, including Saban, would be worried about coming to what should be football paradise.

Is Patterson, as AD, going to be your boss, or will you be answering directly to the money boys (and one woman) on the search committee?

Say this for DeLoss Dodds, the longtime former AD: Until the last couple of years, when the entire athletic program at UT went sour, at least you knew Dodds was the man. He kept the wealthy under control.

As the Mack football regime went into a fade, admittedly, Dodd and Brown lost their control over the wealthy.

Those close to Saban say he was turned off by the “arrogance” of some Texas boosters, and the perceived attitude of “what Texas wants, Texas gets.”

Of course, when a Nick Saban is labeling someone else as “arrogant,” we’ve got an instant head-on collision between pot and kettle.

But again, why did UT think it was important to name a “search committee?” Did the wealthy egos need stroking? Why was a search committee even necessary if you trusted the AD you just hired?

I’ve also been told the search committee is only a smokescreen, and that Patterson and school president Bill Powers will actually be making the hire.

But do head coaches out there across the land, guys who would definitely want this job, believe that?

There’s your glitch. There’s your X-factor in Austin.

Texas is its own worst enemy when it comes to the perception of meddling by the wealthy. And that downgrades the job.

My advice for Patterson (I’m above dealing with a bleeping search committee) is to stick close to state of Texas roots. Be looking for the next head coach in your own back yard, because coaches with state roots are able to dig through the ongoing BS that piles up at UT.

Ninety miles north is Art Briles.

That’s your man, UT. Sorry, Baylor. I’m just being honest.

A friend keeps telling me it would be beneath Texas to hire a coach at Baylor. I laugh. Right now, it would be beneath Art to take the Texas job, plus, he’s got that new contract in Waco.

That contract, however, has a low buyout, and at $4 million a year, a comfortable number to surpass for the UT massive hip pocket.

Briles has kind of a detached personality, meaning it would be easier to keep the UT wealthy out of his living room. But mainly, it’s the football “thing” that Briles brings.

He’s got the offensive brains, and for the most part, the offensive smarts to know a quarterback when he sees one. I’m still shocked Art declared Johnny Manziel as a no-go for a college quarterback (he liked him as a safety in recruiting), but that’s just one demerit on his résumé.

In this day and age, you can find a defensive mastermind. But the key to winning is moving the football frequently into the end zone. Briles, combined with the Texas football resources, would be a killer combo.

UT is a very rich school with many built-in advantages, financially and otherwise. But even the rich can be stupid.

That’s why I’m here to help. Stupid happens in Austin. See the naming of a “search committee.”

Randy Galloway, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @sportsdfw

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