Coaching Changes Daily: Texas search to heat up; FSU in clear?

With Mack Brown leaving, the Texas search is going to really get going. (USATSI)
With Mack Brown leaving, the Texas search is going to really get going. (USATSI)

1. With Mack Brown’s farewell in the books, now the Texas search can really get started

After asking around while in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl, I get the sense Texas was waiting until after this game – in part out of respect for Brown – before converting preliminary research to a full-blown search. The leaks have been minimal up to now, in part because Texas hasn’t been overly aggressive yet. Plenty of time here.

Texas AD Steve Patterson told reporters before the game he wants a coach in place by the time recruiting reopens Jan. 15.

Patterson says the job has garnered plenty of interest, which is no surprise.

2. Is FSU in the clear with Jimbo Fisher and Texas?

Fisher has signed his contract extension worth $4.1 million per year in base salary, and says the contract is incentive-heavy, which makes sense for a coach who has averaged 11 wins per year since taking over in 2010.

On one side, this is an encouraging development because it shows Fisher is standing by his commitment. It shows publicly that Fisher is happy where he is.

On the other, contracts have loopholes and if Fisher really wants to talk with Texas, he can still do so assuming his buyout isn’t restrictive.

There have been rumblings that Texas is intrigued by Fisher and that Fisher would at least listen if approached. But FSU still seems like the best place for him. The offer would have to be crazy for him to jump.

As told by an FSU source, the Seminoles want to be proactive in keeping Fisher. That might bean reopening the wallets before this search is done.

3. Patterson mentioned the deciphering process between sincere interest and interest that's, 'Help me get a better contract’” – that’s no coincidence Patterson dropped that quote.

He’s sending a message because he knows the season-long threat of Mack Brown leaving has been good to high-profile coaches.

Fisher, Baylor’s Art Briles and Alabama’s Nick Saban all have new deals in the last seven weeks. No doubt Texas was mentioned in the Briles negotiations despite the job not being open when the deal was executed in mid November.

Michigan State was going to bump Mark Dantonio’s pay regardless, but the fact Texas has Dantonio on its radar helps the coach’s cause this time of year.

Patterson needs to narrow his list, and the best way to do that is to find out who’s serious about the job.

4. Hearing from sources that changes are likely coming to Tulsa’s offensive coaching staff in the nest few weeks. 

Coach Bill Blankenship will continue to call plays, but the Golden Hurricanes need a spark after finishing 97th nationally in passing yards (191.4) and 104th points (21.1).

The changes probably won’t come before the American Football Coaches Association convention late next week, I’m told.

5. The potential departure of Mike Bobo to Georgia Southern (Colleague @BFeldmanCBS reports Bobo is interviewing for the job) gives Mark Richt the chance to inject something new into the program, which all long-standing coaches must do.

Bobo has been a solid OC at Georgia for a long time. But you know how it is. For coaches with tenures of a decade or more, fans can get bored. They like to see change. Richt isn’t the type to make change for fruitless reasons, but if forced, he can re-establish an identity at Georgia with a new playcaller.

Perhaps Georgia could find a way to go more uptempo while maintaining an offense that accentuates the power-run strengths of Todd Gurley.

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