Outside of a certain Kent State alum in Tuscaloosa, there might not be a more deeply entrenched coach in all of college football than Texas' Mack Brown. After all, how many coaches have their name embedded into the URL for the program's official website?
But no matter how respected Brown might be in Austin, 63-21 losses in the biggest game of the Longhorns' season still have a way of forcing people to question how long he'll be able to remain in charge. (People like, say, CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd, who wrote Monday that Saturday's Red River Shooutout could be Brown's last.) At his Monday press conference, though, Brown met the growing rumors about his job security head-on.
"There will be some people who say, ‘He thought about retiring before, and he'll quit now,' " Brown said he told his team, per The Dallas Morning News. "I have my energy, we're moving forward and we're darn sure going to get this fixed."
But will the powers-that-be on the Forty Acres give Brown the chance? According to the San Antonio Express-News, Brown's not worried about that in the least:
Mack, on if people close to him have been critical: "None whatsoever. I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I know I have time to fix it."— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) October 15, 2012
That's spoken like someone who would know, and Brown added that he's received message of support from several of the Longhorns' biggest boosters. Those boosters could prove critical to any effort to oust Brown, as his $5 million-a-season contract -- recently extended through the 2020 season -- ranks among the sport's richest.
Of course, this is Texas, one of if not the most profitable athletic departments in the country; if the school elects to move on from Brown, it will move on from Brown, however prohibitive his buyout might be. Arguably the more pressing question is whether the 61-year-old Brown actually has the time that he believes he does; he did add that he still believes his team can win 10 games, a feat that would no doubt buy him at least one more season. (Whether his 'Horns can actually manage to finish their 2012 campaign with six straight wins is, to put it kindly, a matter of debate; road trips to Texas Tech and Kansas State are still to come, not to mention home dates with dangerous Baylor, Iowa State, and TCU.)
The bottom line is that Brown's probably not just blowing smoke when he expresses the kind of confidence found in a quote like "I know I have time to fix it." But those are the circumstances today; check back at the end of a season that includes another handful of losses, and it will be interesting to see if Brown maintains that much certainty about his job prospects.