Those expecting fireworks during the Alamo Bowl press conference for embattled Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown were surely disappointed, as a hoarse Brown offered little regarding his future, choosing instead to deflect questions in an effort to keep the discussion about the match up with the Oregon Ducks.
! RT @SBNationCFB: "Over here, Mack." RT @johnehoover: Mack: "We're not gonna discuss that any more today." #HookEm pic.twitter.com/nfW8x29R5J— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) December 12, 2013
At the above point in the press conference, Brown was literally seeming to physically deflect questions.
Brown said that there has not been a change in his situation, but notably did not say that he expects to be the head coach next season, instead noting that he wants to sit down with president Bill Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson, a meeting that will happen on Thursday evening, adding another big event to the packed timeline leading up to Friday's banquet.
"We're not here to talk about me," Brown said. "That would be wrong of me to spend a lot of time dealing with that. My situation has not changed. I've got the best president in the country in Bill Powers. He's unbelievable. He's done a tremendous job for eight years. What we did lose is an iconic athletic director in DeLoss Dodds, who has been here for 32 years and has run the best program in the country, without question. He's been my boss for 16 years. We've hired what I think is a great athletic director in Steve Patterson. I was able to visit with him in New York the other day, but I haven't had time to sit down and visit with him."
"Any time your athletic director changes, that changes the game. With all due respect to him, I want to sit down with him and Bill in the near future and talk about where we're going and where our program's going. ... Moving forward, I'm looking forward to my meeting with Bill and Steve and we'll all get on the same page and move forward. I want the focus to be on these kids and this bowl game, because that's what we're here for. I apologize to (Mark Helfrich) for having to put up with this."
According to CBS Sports, Powers will survive the Board of Regents meeting on Thursday afternoon, leaving him in position to help dictate Brown's future at a meeting that could produce more reports about Brown's future in its aftermath.
By the end of the press conference, both coaches were cracking jokes as Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich turned to Brown as his counterpart was talking up the Ducks and said, "You're really good at this."
And he was right, as Brown overcame the earlier deflections and some of his hoarseness to round into fine form, drawing some laughs later when he noted that Helfrich hasn't lost a bowl game yet, but he has. Helfrich, of course, is a first-year coach appearing in his first bowl game, allowing Brown to score some points with his humor, for whatever those are worth.
Then Brown became philosophical, quickly reaching his apparent daily quota by dropping "It is what it is" twice in quick succession. Consider the press conference a success.
Meanwhile, the Saban talk hasn't settled down much, as Orangebloods dropped some more information from a source:
An OB source has confirmed that Nick Saban has initiated the vetting process of trying to see what a staff at Texas might look like.— Geoff Ketchum (@gkketch) December 12, 2013
As for the possibility of being able to land Saban, Texas booster and benefactor Red McCombs dropped a real pearl after the coaches were done at the podium:
Red McCombs asked if Texas can get Saban if Mack leaves: "There's no question. All the money that's not under the Vatican is at UT."— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) December 12, 2013
Meanwhile, Alabama officials are sitting around thinking about the unsigned extension that still sits on Saban's desk as he continues on his recruiting tour in advance of the dead period.
And then McCombs went on to campaign for Brown's ability to decide his own future as the Board of Regents meeting looks less likely to cause any major changes, but the meeting with Brown, Powers, and Patterson has the chance to officially end Brown's tenure as the Texas Longhorns head football coach, with a much smaller likelihood that he could receive a vote of confidence from both to continue for another season, an almost unimaginable situation given the need for change.
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