Over the weekend, reports began trickling out from an unnamed Texas source that the university might encourage Mack Brown to retire, jump starting the Will Muschamp era in Austin. The legitimacy of the report has been questioned by several reliable outlets, but it has raised a discussion from the national scene that offers another explanation for forcing out Brown.
Mack Brown has done nothing to deserve a forced retirement, the frustations of 3-2 start do not erase the success of 2008 and 2009 which finished with the Longhorns hanging with Alabama sans Colt McCoy. Brown is well-liked around Texas, and it is thought that he would like to stay at Texas to see quarterback Garrett Gilbert through his senior year. The concern is not with Brown's inability to coach the team, but rather securing Muschamp, the current coach-in-waiting, as the next head man in Austin.
Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman made the point that with Georgia's current woes, it would not be unlikely if they come to call on the Bulldogs Alumnus to lead their team in event of a Mark Richt firing/resignation. Richt, who seems to be on a "lukewarm" seat annually, has largely avoided job security issues in recent years with winning seasons, BCS bowl berths, and national rankings. But with a 1-4 start, the Mark Richt Hot Seat meme is in full effect in Athens. In the event that the job opens, Tramel could see Muschamp as a great fit in Athens.
But it would make perfect sense for Muschamp to go to Georgia job, which is a great job and a great fit for Muschamp. Muschamp, 39, grew up in Rome, Ga., and was a walkon safety at Georgia before entering coaching. Muschamp was a successful defensive coordinator at LSU and Auburn, so his SEC roots run deep.
If Muschamp wants the Texas job, he still could take the Georgia job. Go to Georgia, do well and Texas will come calling when Brown decides to quit. Muschamp is incredibly popular in Texas, which is why some think he should be elevated at Brown’s expense.
Forcing Brown out now becomes less about the current state of Longhorns football, and more about preparing for the future. Texas invested heavily (literally) in Muschamp as the next coach of the Longhorns, and losing him just a few years before Brown's probable retirement would be a devastating loss for the program. Muschamp has turned down head coaching offers in years past, most notably the Tennessee opening this past offseason, but the appeal of coaching your Alma mater is a different threat to Texas.
Of course, Richt still has time to salvage what is left of the season in Athens, or he could very well be given another chance. His .746 winning percentage, two conference titles, and a 7-2 bowl record in nine seasons would be able to protect most coaches in the event of a disaster season. But the expectations are higher at Georgia, and many fans are frustrated with the Bulldogs' inability to contend for a national championship.
But for now all the major players are still employed, and unless something drastic happens in Athens, there is little reason to believe any major moves will be made in Austin.
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