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Is Will Muschamp Leaving Texas Mack Brown's Fault?

One of the early memes emerging from Saturday night's announcement that Will Muschamp is now Florida's head coach and the former defensive coordinator and HCIW at Texas is casting blame on the decision to name Muschamp as the next Longhorn head coach.

The argument here is that the arrangement served its purpose by keeping Coach Boom in Austin for two years longer than expected and the work of his defense was a major reason why Texas played in the Rose Bowl for the national championship, an evening that seems light years away from the current reality. It was meant to retain Muschamp as defensive coordinator and it served that purpose well.

When re-evaluating the decision of the Texas administration to attempt to keep Muschamp a Longhorn, it seems to make more sense to say that there was an unintended consequence at the end of it. There wasn't a fall-back plan to prepare for the possibility of Muschamp leaving.

Sure, there were scares, but Texas fans seemed to let down their guard during the season when the only two seemingly likely destinations for Muschamp -- Georgia and LSU -- had strong enough seasons to keep their respective coaches off the hot seat. Clearly, Mack Brown and the administration felt the same way. The danger of Muschamp leaving was an obscure threat off in the distance that never even materialized.

Instead of blaming Brown for the original decision, a comment from Kirk Bohls revealed that things weren't entirely rosy between the Texas head coach and Muschamp:

At least one source told me Brown had decided in the offseason to step down at the end of the 2010 season, but he changed his mind after his first losing season at Texas, worried that his legacy had been tarnished.

Muschamp was annoyed by the decision, sources close to the football program have said, and chose to leave what he thought was promised him...

Over at Barking Carnival, Eyes has already weighed in with his opinion of where the blame should fall -- squarely on the shoulders of Mack Brown, blaming his ego for not letting him retire after the national championship game, for meddling with the offense and wasting the entire off-season, for not retiring after this season, and for not believing that a school could come and steal Muschamp. If you want to read an evisceration of Mack Brown, that's certainly the place to go.

And it's a bevy of accusations to be sure. The comment from Bohls, though, is the major revelation -- despite some discussion about friction on Recruitocosm, that speculation centered on whether or not Muschamp was being allowed some input on the new coaching hires, not whether he was having arguments with Brown about a succession timetable. If true, the problems were deeper than originally thought by even the great skeptics, as it now sounds like Brown's ego may have truly gotten in the way after this season and kept Muschamp from being the next Texas head coach.

In that light, who can blame Muschamp for taking one of the best jobs in the country?

But while Texas fans mourn the loss of Coach Boom and seek top play the blame game, they also have to ask themselves if Mack Brown is to blame for Muschamp leaving.