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Crossfire with McPhaul - 12/10/2013
HornSports Staff posted a topic in The Burnt Orange BoardWell I know this past week has been a bumpy one for everyone. Everything was clicking along nicely and then Colin Cowherd got involved and decided to “dip his toe into the water” as it pertains to Nick Saban at Texas. Cowherd lobs a few calls into Tuscaloosa to find out “what’s really going on” and is told “nothing to see here, move along.” And what does Cowherd do? Announce to the World that Nick Saban isn’t leaving Tuscaloosa combined with another site saying that a new contract extension has been presented to Saban and we’re hearing it will be signed any day now. Next thing you know all Hell breaks loose in Longhorn Land! We came on to tell you that NOTHING had changed with any of our contacts and that everything was moving ahead according to plan. The issues that were facing Saban last week are the same issues facing Saban this week except he now has a new contract extension from Bama in front of him since last week that he hasn’t signed. The problem with Bama’s offer is Paul Bryant is still around. Saban’s financial issues are still there. And Terry Saban still wanted out of Tuscaloosa. In contrast, there is 1 place that can make all of those issues go away in the simple stroke of a pen. Understandably so, my confidence in Nick still coming to Texas as our next HC was met with a great deal of skepticism however I have faith in what my contacts have been telling me for years. For the record, my guys haven’t let me down before. Consequently, I stuck to my guns as it pertains to Saban coming to UT as our next Head Coach which I have caught flak for in recent weeks. Well, those of you that are Saban fans will be happy to note that I am staying with Saban being the next Head Coach at UT next season- I have NEVER WAIVERED. Furthermore, I’ve had no reason to waiver. As I mentioned earlier in this post, NONE of the reasons Saban would leave Bama for UT have changed. Anyway, we’ll discuss the latest on Bill Powers, Finalized Contracts, Next Steps, Timelines, Mack’s future, and something else other sites aren’t discussing in this week’s “Crossfire.” And away we go.. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO McPhaul: Thanks for taking time-out to meet with me. I appreciate it as always- you know that! Friend of Bevo: Yes I do Darrell- and that’s why I like to help you out when I can. I like your love of the University of Texas- it is infectious. McPhaul: Where are we right now as it pertains to Saban coming to Texas? Friend of Bevo: We have a finalized contract to Sexton for his review and Saban’s signature. The next step is Nick signs it or he doesn’t. Obviously we feel real good about the situation or it would have never gotten to this point in the first place. POWERS VS POWER BROKERS McPhaul: What about Powers? From what I’ve been told by you and others is Saban obviously isn’t an ideal candidate for his liking. Friend of Bevo: That’s correct. I’ve been telling you since January that Mack has been “poisoning the well” as it pertains to Saban with Powers and even Dodds for quite some time. Remember the “Winning with Integrity” Campaign where banners were made up and put in the locker room and such? That was all orchestrated by Mack Brown to help keep his gig where perception is more important than the reality surrounding the program. The problem is kids want to play where the program is winning. The kids that you REALLY want in your program can see thru the BS. They want to win and be prepared in the process to get into the League and get paid. The types of kids that this type of BS really resonates with are the kids that probably don’t belong at a program like UT’s in the first place. Nice kids. Good kids. Kind of kids you want dating your daughter. But not hungry kids with a chip on their shoulder that is necessary to get to that next level. I cannot stress the fact enough Powers disdain for the Saban selection. It has whole lot do to with Wallace Hall & Hicks meeting with Jimmy Sexton behind his back. In Powers’ opinion, having this meeting was highly unethical, if not against some of the University’s by-laws. In the last few weeks, Powers has been pushing the agenda to work the HC hiring thru a selection committee just like they did with the AD position. Powers’ argument is they all had a change of heart in the eleventh hour on the selection of Patterson over Luck. That being said, Powers feels if a selection committee were to be involved then another candidate could possibly through the process be selected over Saban. That would be his hope. McPhaul: We have all had it drilled into us that Texas does not do backroom deals. It sure appears to me that if Saban is hired that we cut a backroom deal. Am I seeing this incorrectly? Friend of Bevo: No Darrell you are not. Therein lies the rub with Bill Powers, Mack Brown and Deloss Dodds. You got to get it thru your head that these three men, along with their wealthy adversaries have been in control for the last sixteen years and they are not accustomed to taking a back seat to anyone. The new shot callers are working overtime with the old regime by trying to paint the perception that this is all Browns’ call- which we all know is not his call. You have some of your competitors in this Internet message board business crap playing the role of the shill mouthpiece for all of the above simply because they have been asked to do so by their sources. Perception is and has been the most important issue with all involved. By the way, I did not mean to call your board or work crap, I just find all this message board interaction humorous. You guys sound like a bunch of cackling hens for the most part (chuckling as he speaks). McPhaul: That’s funny stuff. Friend of Bevo: I’m sorry (Still chuckling). Again, I think you do a good job getting the correct story out there and I commend you for not filtering it and/or trying to control the message & perception. McPhaul: Thanks. That’s what I’m trying to do here. Bellmont’s & Mack’s controlling of the message, perpetuating an image over substance program- that brings me to the whole change in culture mindset that you and I have discussed in the past over and over and over again. Friend of Bevo: You’re damned right we need a change in culture (scowling and a bit agitated)! And the boys driving this change in philosophy KNOW that Saban can bring that change in attitude and culture from Day 1. Saban is being shoved down Powers’ throat but it’s for good reason. These BMD’s are tired of donating tons of money and then seeing their investment into the Athletic Program pissed away- especially in football! Like I’ve told you on numerous occasions, the young bucks have had enough! JOE & RED McPhaul: What about Joe & Red standing in the way of things with Mack being pushed out? Friend of Bevo: First of all that is BS. Those guys are posturing so that their friend can save face. Let me tell you something right now, Red McCombs is not a soft man. Joe Jamail is not a soft man. These guys have had to work for everything they have and the word “soft” irritates and infuriates them as much as it does any of us- probably more! They have had to work their asses off to get to where they are today. They have NEVER had ANYTHING given to them- THEY’VE HAD TO EARN EVERY DAMNED THING THEY HAVE! As much as these guys catch flak from people on these websites and blogs and whatever the Hell else you call those things, Red & Joe want Mack to go out with dignity as we all should want for a guy that gave us our first National Championship in 35 years and then got us back to the National Championship Game just 3 years later! FINALIZED CONTRACT FORWARDED TO JIMMY SEXTON FOR SIGNATURE McPhaul: Well, you’ve told me about the finalized contract. How does a finalized contract go out to Jimmy Sexton without Bill Powers’ approval- especially if he isn’t completely on board with the hiring? Can’t he kill the deal even if it is signed prior to his approval? Friend of Bevo: First of all, let’s be very clear here: I NEVER said Powers DIDN’T approve it! Furthermore, Powers can do whatever he wants- he’s President of the University of Texas. That being said, he isn’t stupid. He is expected to be around anywhere from the next 6 to 18 months and then he is off to retirement. Do you REALLY think he wants to piss-off the people that can impact on how nice of a retirement package he has on his way out the door? Probably not. Powers knows what’s going on. He knows the terms of the package. Saban will need to meet with Powers prior to everything being finalized but that is pretty much a rubber-stamp formality. After Mack is gone, the Power Brokers will come in and set Powers straight on the reality of things as it pertains to Saban, future donations, financial impact to the University, impact on stadium attendance, etc. Powers is no dummy. He understands that what is going on at the University of Texas is not acceptable. Powers knows the impact our lack of success on the football field, basketball court, and baseball diamond are having on ESPN, IMG, and the LHN. He understands the LHN wasn’t created to televise a “sub-par” product on the field. Furthermore, understand this: ESPN & LHN are concerned about advertisement dollars they were expecting to be recouping by now. When you have the LHN being the primary advertiser on the Longhorn Network then you have problems. When you have “Jerry World” being one of the primary advertisers on the LHN then you have a problem. As much as I love Matt’s, if you have Matt’s El Rancho as a primary advertiser on the LHN then you have problems. Powers knows this. He knows something has to be done and soon. McPhaul: What about Mack as it pertains to Powers longevity? Friend of Bevo:Mack has already lost a buddy and confidante in Dodds. Mack knows he’s done and doesn’t want to negatively impact his friend Bill Powers long after he’s gone. Mack is flawed but he is a good friend to Bill. He will do the right thing in the end for Powers’ sake. He knows his situation is impacting the friends he has remaining and that is not his intention. The truth is Mack has had enough. He’s tired. He’s knows it’s not working. He’s lost control of his ship and crew at this point. When you have disgruntled players that can be overcome over time. When you have disgruntled, respected coaches turning on you and you are in the position that Mack is in today then you are pretty much done. McPhaul: Can you tell my readers why? Friend of Bevo: Sure! When Mack went to “re-invent” the program, he hired a “can’t miss, young coaching staff which included a new, innovative offensive philosophy incorporated at Boise State. It included a young, good-looking up and comer in Manny Diaz as Defensive Coordinator. It incorporated an SEC offensive line coach and an SEC defensive line coach. It incorporated a new, no-nonsense S&C Coach in Bennie Wylie. And what did it get us? Arguably consistently worse performance on the field as it pertains to Wins & Losses than the previous regime. Remember the old guys were the problem? McWhorther, Davis, Tolley, etc.? Well Hell, take a look at their last 3 seasons (‘08-‘10) and tell me how it compares to the past 3 seasons with the young bucks (’11-’13)- not so good! Granted Will was around from a defensive standpoint, but still! McPhaul: Powers doesn’t like Saban. Who would he like? Friend of Bevo: Of course Shaw because of Stanford. Harbaugh for the same reason. Perhaps John Harbaugh as well? Mark D’Antonio at Michigan State is a guy that is just now getting some attention but a few of us have been following this guy for some time now and I’m sure Powers would like him as a candidate. Big 10 Program. It’s a clean program with good academics. Troy Calhoun (HC at Air Force Academy) was being touted early-on for his Football IQ and the way he deals with the unique situation with their officer/student/athlete in Colorado Springs. Ideally, good academics along with strong athletics when you are looking for whom Powers would perceive as an ideal candidate to replace Mack. Perhaps not a National Contender year-In, year-out but like Mack, Powers believes that integrity intertwined with successful academic achievement is the most important qualities a program can possess. The rest of us may want a football factory but Powers aint that kind of guy. My problem with that philosophy is if that is indeed the case then why pay a Head Football Coach at Texas $5.4M/yr? Are we paying for wins and Championships or are we paying for academic achievement and graduation rates here? Keep in mind; most of what Powers knows about football is what Mack Brown has taught him. And Mack knows the resources that are available to whoever is the next Head Coach at the University of Texas. There’s a reason you hear names come from the Brown camp like Fedora, Fitzgerald, Calhoun, etc. Arguably yes, potentially ANY of these guys COULD be a good or perhaps even a great HC at the University of Texas, but NONE of these guys would be a splash hire from Day 1. The truth about Mack wanting to protect his legacy is absolutely true. MACK AND HIS FUTURE McPhaul: Do you think Mack will ever coach again? Friend of Bevo: Mack has aged a TON in recent years. The reality is the game has passed Mack by. McPhaul: What about Joe coming out and saying that Nebraska is interested in him? Is Mack actually looking at the Nebraska job? Friend of Bevo: Darrell, like I said earlier, that is just Joe trying to help Mack save face. Same thing happened earlier before the season began where Bellmont and Mack’s supporters came out and announced, “We better be nice to Mack! We’re lucky to have him and there are a lot of programs that would LOVE to have him- we better be nice or he may leave us!” Remember that? The answer to your question about Mack looking at the Nebraska or any other coaching job is “no.” Mack has a $1M/yr contract on the table with ESPN awaiting his signature. I’m not sure in what capacity ESPN will be utilizing him, but he is very amiable and has a charm that is natural for TV. It suits him perfectly- especially at this stage in his life. McPhaul: Interesting! Man, you’re just FILLED with information today! Friend of Bevo: I’m not done yet son. You got me on a good day. McPhaul: You’ve got that right! So when do the fireworks begin? Friend of Bevo: Darrell, have you not been paying attention? The fireworks have been going on around us for quite some time now. Do you think for a minute that a network like ESPN waits until the Baylor game to come up with a $1M/yr contract for Mack Brown to work for ESPN damned near over-night? It doesn’t happen that way! These things take time. These agreements, discussions, & contracts don’t just happen overnight. Things have BEEN happening for some time now and they continue to happen as we speak! McPhaul: I’m sorry, what I meant to say is “what is the timeline for events to unfold as it pertains to Mack stepping down and Saban being announced as HC at Texas?” Friend of Bevo: I’m being told Mack will announce Wednesday that he is stepping down. If Saban is acceptable to the terms of the contract, I think we should hear something Friday or possibly after the Football Banquet that will be honoring the 2013 Longhorn Football along with Mack Brown and his accomplishments at UT. Hell, I’ve heard it may be a great environment to introduce Saban as the new Head Coach at Texas to the kids on the squad and the recruits in attendance. McPhaul: That’s great insight! Are you for certain that it’s going to happen? Friend of Bevo: Put it out there. IS CONDOLEEZA RICE THE NEXT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS’ PRESIDENT? McPhaul: Is there anything else I should know or my readers should know before we wrap up? Friend of Bevo: Like who will be replacing Bill Powers when he hangs it up?(with a wry expression) McPhaul: Do you have any idea who that might be? Friend of Bevo: I am NOT saying that Powers is hanging them up today. I am saying that when he DOES decide to retire that one of the candidates we will be targeting will be Condoleeza Rice. McPhaul: That is as big as Saban to Texas! Friend of Bevo: Arguably it could be bigger. McPhaul: Yes it could, but maybe not to my readers. Is there anything else I need to be asking you? Friend of Bevo: Son, I think that is enough for now don’t you? McPhaul: Yes sir. Friend of Bevo: Me too.