Just a long conversational post about the latest and greatest in UT football. I'd love to hear your take. I can understand the glee permeating BON - I personally think Muschamp's been the X factor in 2008 simply because of the new 'play for blood' mentality he's injected into the program. But I do think once the euphoria dims and the typically business oriented aspects of NCAAFB play out, we might just find ourselves feeling the same kind of vitriol and disappointment towards Muschamp that LSU and Cardinals/Falcons feel towards Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino respectively.
In today's world of coaches opting out of verbal agreements all the time, should this really be considered such a slam-dunk deal for the Longhorns retaining Will Muschamp's services for the foreseeable future? Perhaps. Probably in fact. And the main reason I think that is because on the college landscape, there's not many jobs better than Texas, if any at all. In terms of money, sure, a number of schools can match what Texas can pay. But the combination of money, fertile recruiting grounds nearby, facilities, etc etc etc all make it hard to think Muschamp would get impatient and not wait for the guaranteed gig just a few years down the line.
We're talking about the hottest commodity on the market right now in coaching in college football. Every last major opening is clamoring for Muschamp. It's debatable just how desirable jobs like Clemson and Tennessee are. Same with any openings that may take place at schools like Auburn in the immediate future. Most of these jobs have intriguing upside (mostly $, but also fan fervor and overhyped prestige/tradition), but they also have legitimate cons compared to Texas.
But what if the Penn State job opened up after 2009? Or the Florida State job? Or if Urban Meyer wanted to try his hand in the pros after possibly winning another National Championship (or two) after 2009? Would Muschamp really refuse those jobs if Mack had not yet made a formal announcement that 2009 would be his last?
Couple more (stream of thought largely) final points that I hope some of y'all will weigh in on.
* Calming the Storm: Most likely, this move was made because of all the buzz about Muschamp being the top candidate for a number of fairly high profile jobs at season's end. If you have another explanation or if I failed to read one, let me know. But I think most agree there.
* This is not binding. All this is for now, at least in the worst case scenario for us, is extra leverage for Muschamp to up the stakes at the negotiating table if some serpentile school approached him regardless of this arrangement. We can all agree that Texas is a better job than the Miami Dolphins or the LSU Tigers were in the case of Nick Saban, or similarly with basketball coach Billy Donovan, and on and on. But the bottom line is there are huge egos involved in this game and in the coaching profession. Schools come a knocking with offers of $3+ mil..? $900k is nice, but it's still chump change even compared to what guys like Mike Leach make at fairly average reveue generating schools like Texas Tech.
* How Long Is Too Long To Have To Wait? Sure, it's a dream come true to have your first head coaching job be at the University of Texas. A fairy tale. But a couple of things. First, and let me emphasize that there's no way at all this would cross Muschamp's mind until the mega dollar signs were dangled in front on his face...but Mack Browns first head coaching job at App State came at age 32. His first 'major' job was at UNC at age 37 after being hired at Tulane at age 35. If Mack were to walk away at the end of next year and made his intentions known perhaps during the two-three weeks leading up to Bowl season, then I could see it all falling into place nicely. Particularly if Brown's '09 Horns were undefeated and going to play in a Title game. That'd be a nice Mack'esque story to go out in the sunset to and Muschamp would obviously be right there ready to take over.
But what if no announcement was made near or at the end of 2009? Might Muschamp get antsy then? Would he wait until he's almost 40 years old to try his hand as a head coach? Again, if nothing else, I hope that we all can agree (in addition to this being one the top three or four jobs out there at worst) that schools will continue to keep knocking on his door in the future. If it's just one year to wait, or if Brown might say 2010 would be his last not far removed from the end of the 2009 season, then I think all will be well. But if not. I dunno. Just to show how money could become a factor if we're talking about having to wait past 2010, here's a list of the Big 12 coaches salaries, likely not accurate down to the last dollar when factoring in all the peripheral revenue streams these guys get through various media and appearance fees:
1. Mack Brown (Texas) $2.8 million
2. Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) $2.65 million
3. Mangino (KU) $2.3 million
4. Pinkel (MU) $1.85 million
5. Mike Sherman (Texas A&M) $1.8 million
6. Mike Leach (Texas Tech) $1.65 million
7. Bo Pelini (Nebraska) $1.6 million
8. Art Briles (Baylor) $1.4 million
9. Dan Hawkins (Colorado) $1.1 million
10. Gene Chizik (Iowa State) $1 million
11. Mike Gundy (Okla. State) $953,000
12. Ron Prince (Kansas State) $754,140
Ok, so Mike freakin Sherman will be making considerably more money - ahem 2x as much - as William Muschamp next year. Mangino? 3x as much? Hmm. Maybe for one more year Muschamp could tolerate that. But more than that? You think Boom MotherFuc&*r will stand for that? I dunno. I don't care how great the job is in the future. Money talks, bullshit walks. And it talks NOW. Not later. When we're talking millions of dollars, I can easily envision a scenario where he could talk himself into taking an inferior job to Texas that paid just as well. Like a Tennessee, Clemson, etc.
It's also worth mentioning that snakes like Bobby Petrino still get paid huge bucks, even after showing their utter disloyalty and total lack of accountability. Petrino makes about $2.85 million at Arkansas this year after being dogged by EVERYBODY he came in contact with in 2007. Just saying. It's not career or character threatening to renig on your word in today's game.
* A History Already of Transition - Muschamp's already bounced around plenty. He was with Saban of course at LSU, then joined him in the professional ranks at Miami when Saban bounced. Obviously Saban asked him to come and said he was his guy - he was afterall named the 'Asst Head Coach'. Yet, after the 2005 year, a year in which the Dolphins defense fared quite well, tallying 49 sacks and finishing above average defensively in spite of their collective struggles, Muschamp bailed town to take the Auburn job.
So in other words, in my estimation, he snaked The Snake. Saban hitched his wagon to him, telling him all sorts of things about how it was 'you go, we go' for the two of them. But Muschamp knew better. He picked up on Saban's tendencies to renig on his word and be self-serving. Nothing wrong with that really when it comes to career advancement and self-fulfillment in a brutally cut throat profession. Muschamp sacked Saban and the Dolphins, supposedly for some 'impossible to pass up on job at Auburn'? Only to skip town from Auburn a few short years later?
We're not talking Major Applewhite returning to be a RB Coach when he could have been an OC or head coach somewhere. We're talking about a coach in Muschamp with a history of transitory proclivities as long as his resume of success coaching up defenses. Again, matters not if he doesn't have to wait long. But if he does, all signs, to me at least, point to impatience.
* Finally, I'd like to close with this. Why in the f&^'s sake is Mack Brown retiring??? He was born in 1951. That makes him 57 years old to us non math majors like myself. Me and PB's father is well into his 60s. The last ten years have been the most productive and fulfilling for him professionally. I'm sure it's similar for many in today's society where people rarely retire at 55. JoePas a legend for all he's done for Penn State as an instituion, not just on the field, but he's kind of become a joke to many of us. But still, the fact is, in 2005 when we won it all, he was a last second TD pass by UM from an undefeated season. And this year's team has been nationally relevant as well. Bottom line is it's not impossible to maintain success at a much much older age. Paterno's the extreme outlier, but we're talking about nearly 30 years Mack's elder!!!
Furthermore, is Mack Brown really going to retire with one or two conference championships under his belt?? At age 58 with plenty of physical vigor left in him? Helloooo? As I mentioned, Joe Paterno is like 115 and B. Bowdens on his tail. Cripes. Mike Sherman...MIKE SHERMAN is just a few years younger at 53 years old. God knows he'll be in the game for 10 years after the Farmer Failure to try to restore some sense of closure and meaning to his professional life before calling it quits. Jim Tressel is one year younger than Mack at 56 and I don't see him calling it quits anytime soon. Tressel's had a similar trajectory to Brown. Peaking in his late 40s and 50s. Why stop now when the going's just starting to get reat good? Even though we all know the truth of the matter when it comes to which is the better job - Texas or Ohio State - they both carry the same CEO type responsibilities that can be physically taxing, but certainly navigable with all the financial resources available to delegate.
And Pete Carrol? The same age! Carrol's waiving his pom poms and....I won't continue. I don't know Mack Brown personally and I don't know what his ambitions in life are. But if they are most heavily centered around coaching and being remembered as one of the greats, it's insane to think he's ready to pack it in, even if he does win another Big 12 and perhaps MNC in '08 or '09.
My point is: WHY? Why is Mack hanging up?? I think he's really just now hitting his stride as a coach. He was a bit defensive and insecure at first under the microscope here. But a boatload of wins, a MNC, and the flagship program in America whe it comes to resources all help relax a tremendous football coach so he can go about focusing on making necessary adjustments and winning football games. Mack has done that and what we're seeing now in 2008 is his ability to field a title contending team with young players, something Mack wouldn't have been able to do earlier in his career. So basically, every year now has the potetial to be unbelievably gratifying and fruitful for Mack if he learns from all the things he's done right in recent years, particularly since last year's Holiday Bowl preparation.
I don't get it. And 500k of commemorative money be damned. I think we've learned this about Mack Brown this past year: He's a competitive SOB. Sorry, unless the Horns catch snake eyes and win the Big 12 this year and/or are in position for a conf title and MNC next year, I just for the moment have a hard time seeing Mack walk away at the end of 2009 with what we know about his competitive spirit and his easy to misinterpret resume. And next year's no slam dunk. We all know better than to put our faith in the athletes, so if McCoy were to leave after this year....
Lots still in play here. Far more than just the guaranteed possibility of Will Boom-Father Muschamp remaining in Austin for years to come. Just one Horns' fan opinions, but I'll get my concerns on the record first I suppose.
P.S. It's not like Deloss Dodds, Coach Royal and Mack Brown are going all-in with this move. There's this guy named Major ready to step in the case of an emergency. Texans love their own and many fans like to hate on Texas around the country. Muschamp leaves, particularly to SEC country, people rationalize, or at least forgive and forget. For us Horns fans? We get our guy in Major. Kumbaya.
Lots still in play though in my humble opinion.