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  1. Well 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.
  2. @TheFbBrainiacs: BREAKING: Have heard from two good sources that Nick Saban to Texas is a done deal. Will be making big bucks! The website is a page devoted to ou recruiting. It also has Ryan Broyles on its staff. http://thefootballbrainiacs.com/nick-saban-to-texas-appears-to-be-a-done-deal Take it as you will.
  3. Well everyone, it’s Thanksgiving Week and the game with Tech upon us on Thursday, an “old school” guy like me misses the good, old days of the pageantry and rivalry between ourselves and the Aggies on Turkey Day. There are just so many memories I have with my family surrounding that game that it just isn’t the same without it. Well just like Mack Brown and Deloss Dodds, good, ole Darrell has got to learn to move on as well! Anyway, this week the Wall Street Journal published an article with Terry Saban in which she stated that “We’re staying. We’re not going anywhere.” We’ll discuss that. We’ll also talk about what no one is really discussing as it pertains to Saban and his current boss and how that might impact things. Is Mack Brown going to be involved with naming his successor? We’ll address that as well. And finally, I decided this week that we would incorporate a “Q & A” Session into this Thanksgiving Week’s “Crossfire.” And away we go.. WSJ- TERRY SABAN ARTICLE Let’s address the “elephant in the room” from the outset. This week the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Terry Saban. In the article the author Sharon Terlep states: “The first couple of Alabama football may be standing on top of the world, but it isn't necessarily thrilled by the view. ‘You come to a crossroads and the expectations get so great, people get spoiled by success and there gets to be a lack of appreciation,’ Terry Saban said in an interview last week. ‘We're kind of there now.’" The WSJ article continued, “Recent media reports have suggested Saban may be interested in coaching at Texas if that job comes available. Some reports said Terry Saban had been house hunting in Austin. Asked if these reports were accurate, Terry Saban called them ‘rumors with absolutely no foundation.’ She continued with "We're staying," she said. "We're not going anywhere." Consequently, we have many of my orange-clad brethren heading to the gates on Saban coming to Austin. Many fellow Bevo backers are saying, “See, I told you so! It was really STUPID to think that we could land a coach like Nick Saban!” To which I say, “R-E-L-A-X.” Terry Saban’s comments in this article and articles prior/yet to come are all part of business. Maybe Nick Saban doesn’t come to Texas but this article doesn’t reveal anything more than what you would expect someone in her position to share with the media- ESPECIALLY a media outlet like the Wall Street Journal! In my opinion, what is revealed in this article would be MUCH more concerning to me as an Alabama fan than what Miss Terry says about rumors to Texas as “having absolutely no foundation” or “we want to retire here.” This woman is a shrewd business woman and she KNOWS what she is doing and that is providing cover to her husband over these next couple of months while he is trying to win yet another National Championship. For reference purposes, does anyone remember what Mack Brown was telling the North Carolina faithful just 3 days prior to departing for greener pastures in Austin? I do. This from the Terlep’s WSJ article, “According to interviews with colleagues, players and university administrators who have known the Sabans, they are a formidable team that makes decisions in tandem. Terry, who goes by ‘Miss Terry’ (she uses "Ms." in correspondence) is a behind-the-scenes negotiator for her husband's coaching contracts. Nick's assistant copies her on nearly all of Nick's email traffic. She makes clear she is part of the operation, not solely a homemaker. "The only thing we use the dining room table for is recruiting," she said. And you thought Mack & Sally were a power couple?! AGAIN, this is a SHREWD business woman that knows EXACTLY what she’s doing! When you have Alabama players saying that Saban himself often jokes that Miss Terry makes all of the important decisions and “wears the pants in the family,” well that just about tells you all you need to know about the stroke Miss Terry has in the Saban household. Ms Terry is a shrewd businesswoman and she knows EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS DOING! These next words are from the Wall Street Journal, and are not mine: “Still, for a college coach who has won four national championships, Nick Saban has proved to be unusually restless. Rather than staying at one school, he has changed jobs three times: Bolting his first high-profile job at Michigan State in 1999 for Louisiana State, then leaving LSU for the Miami Dolphins in 2005, then decamping to Alabama in 2007. In each case, they have made improvements without sinking deep roots. They have pledged their allegiance to the community but fought hard for resources. And if they don't feel appreciated, they make their dissatisfaction known.” Which brings us to our next subject, Paul Bryant, Jr. SABAN AND PAUL BRYANT, JR Now on to yet another topic that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention and that pertains to Saban and his relationship with Paul Bryant, Jr. Well, I spoke to one of my contacts recently regarding Saban to Texas and he responded, “McPhaul, another significant reason that Saban has for leaving Alabama is Paul Bryant Jr. (son of Bear Bryant and President of the Alabama Board of Trustees). He went on to say, “There is significant tension between Saban and Bryant, and Bryant goes out of his way to make life difficult for Saban behind the scenes. The reason for this is that Bryant is very concerned about preserving his father's legacy at all costs. He does not want Saban to win more national championships at Alabama than his father. I have heard that this is a bigger player behind the scenes for Saban's desire to move on that most have led on- just some more food for thought.” WILL MACK HAVE INPUT ON HIS REPLACEMENT? I was speaking to another one of my contacts and he shared some interesting insight on Mack and potentially being locked-out of providing input on his replacement. “One thing that's been bothering me is how no one seems to want Mack involved at all in finding his replacement. In fact, the venom directed at him is a little off-putting in my opinion.” My friend went on to say, “As I have said, Mack is a good person. As a matter of fact, Mack has been a really good person that has always tried to do the righting for his players and balance that with what's right for the school as well. It’s tougher today due to the way we coddle athletes and then the money that’s involved at the next level. We've been fortunate to have him as he brought us a ‘Natty’ without the kind of scandal so many other programs at the top have experienced. However the game has past him by and he needs to retire to the ESPN Gameday Desk.” At that point my buddy began making comparisons with how DKR was treated with his lack of input in the selection of his replacement and supposed lessons learned from that by saying, “By the way you do know this whole ‘let's ignore Brown in the hiring process’ is a little personal to me! Mike Campbell and my Dad were VERY close and I saw, first-hand what it did to Coach Royal to be shut out of the process that brought Akers in. We all know that story.” My buddy continued, “The thing that keeps coming back to me is how several people, and you know who they are, have said many times that Texas would not make the same mistake with Brown that they made with Darrell. They absolutely would seek the input of a Coach that reached the level of a Coach Royal, if that ever happened again.” He continued with, “So the real question is has Coach Brown reached the level of Coach Royal? Well, it's debatable. I think you can say he came close from a product on the field standpoint. He certainly didn't surpass Coach Royal. What I think you CAN argue is that Mack IS a man of high character like Coach Royal.” My confidante went on to say, “So, given that, I think Coach Brown will absolutely be a part of the selection process. I doubt he will be on the committee but those on the committee will seek his input and if he has strong reservations about a particular candidate then I think they will take that into consideration. I know this will infuriate many Longhorn Fans but it is best for the program in the long run.” So what does this ultimately mean? Well when I asked my friend he replied, “I think it means several Coaches many would like to be seen as Coach Brown’s successor won't get past an early look. If a Coach has openly embraced street agents and willingly lined the pockets of family members and friends of recruits, I think Coach Brown will warn those on the committee in a loud voice. Again, I think this is a good thing in the long run!” My friend went on to say, “McPhaul, I think you and I both know who that may well eliminate. That starts with a Coach a short drive from the North of Austin and includes another Coach seen as the hottest Coach in the SEC today!” He concluded our conversation by saying, “It may not be publicized that Coach Brown is involved, but he will be involved at some level- either that or The Lawyer in Houston will impose his will and that won't be a good thing!” MCPHAUL’S THOUGHTS I realize there is some information that was shared in that conversation that many of you may not like hearing as it pertains to Brown and any input he may have on whom his successor is. I can understand that. So where do I stand? I've come around to believing it sits in Saban's (or I should say in the Sabans’) hands right now. Mainly because we can let him/them play with the big boys- and I ain't talking about on the Big Boys on the Gridiron either! After learning everything I have learned about Jimmy Sexton, Nick Saban, and Terry Saban, they will be just fine! On the flipside, if Saban decides to stay then I wouldn’t be completely surprised if it is a NFL guy. I’m not saying that will be the case but here me out: the game and the pay has changed dramatically and a program like UT more resembles a NFL franchise than Arkansas State. I also think that being the Head Coach of the University of Texas has MORE prestige associated with it than any other program in all of Football today- that includes the NFL as well as the NCAA!).. I mean, if your job is considered the “Top Job in ALL of Football” (Pro or College), and the pay is ridiculously lucrative then what’s the issue? Honestly, prestige-wise would you rather be the Head Coach at the University of Texas or the Head Coach for the Tennessee Titans? The Carolina Panthers? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The Arizona Cardinals? The Cleveland Browns? The Detroit Lions? From a prestige standpoint, it’s not much of a contest is it? Q&A WITH MCPHAUL Topstar: With Saban as Head Coach...who would be Great OC and DC for Saban & Texas. MCPHAUL: Here is a name mentioned for the DC position: Patrick Narduzzi (Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State University) is currently everybody’s darling however if it’s my call then give me Derek Mason at Stanford. Mason is a former player who is the associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator, and defensive backs coach for Stanford. As it pertains to OC for Saban at UT, I have not heard any names discussed however I have been told he would be open to looking at incorporating the Spread. I don’t know if I believe that. ---------- MBHornsFan: We are lucky we lost to Oklahoma State because if not and if we beat Tech but lose to Baylor Mack would have been back. True or false? MCPHAUL: False. Mack’s deal was to beat OU, win the conference, & go to a BCS Bowl game. He did not accomplish that. I don’t doubt that even if Mack DID win all the above that the Powerbrokers would have talked Mack into retiring. ---------- UTK66: If/when A deal with Saban falls through, who, in your opinion is the #2 option?? MCPHAUL: IMG has approached Shaw twice. Three times might be a charm? --------- SFlonghorngirl: Is Ash's career over due to concussions? MCPHAUL: That has yet to be seen. Keep the kid in your prayers. ---------- djbfootball: If Saban is named, which team & recruit will he be able to flip?? MCPHAUL: I think Saban can do some damage to A&M. I believe DT’s Dylan Mack, DeShawn Washington, DE Myles Garrett and DB Nick Harvey. ---------- Turby35: When/if Saban in the next coach at Texas, does he try to bring Smart with him by selling him he could be head coach here when Saban retires in 3-5 years, or does Smart take over at Alabama? MCPHAUL: No. Smart will be the front runner for the Alabama job. ---------- Manzana Blanca: Perhaps you have been asked this before? What is your opinion of David Shaw? Do you think he could do well here? IF Saban alls thru... Do you think he would rethink his coaching at Texas once there is an actual vacancy? This is assuming Texas would go to him first after Saban fail? Many thanks! MCPHAUL: As I said, Shaw has told the vetters no, twice. However, three times could be a charm? ---------- The Waterboy: How big of an impact do you think Patterson/Saban will have on changing the Game Day environment and fan experience at DKR? MCPHAUL: Saban will by fielding a competitive team. I think Patterson is going to make his presence felt more so in the basketball environment. ---------- ATX89: Where does Joe Jamail fit in the new HC search? Is he part of the anti-Saban crew? MCPHAUL: No, Joe Jamail is not a part of the anti Saban deal. As a matter of fact, Joe Jamail is expected to assist with the new coaching staffs’ payroll. ---------- Coach840: Name your new coaching staff. If you are Bowlsby and have to make two calls to add teams, who are they? Thanks. MCPHAUL: Geez Coach, as it pertains to Coaching Staff that is a lot of work and I believe this question deserves its own thread. Our best shot would be Cincinnati and UCF. Not too exciting is it? ---------- Setxhorn: Who do you think will be on the committee to select the new coach? MCPHAUL: I really don't know however I can speculate. Hicks will be but not Hall. There will be at least (2) from the academic side, another Board of Regent, and possibly even Powers. The reason I say two reps from the faculty is because back when Mack was vetted the Academic Faculty felt left-out of the Hiring Process altogether. Not that they would have objected to Brown, but they sure pouted during the selection process. Also, there is a rising resentment within the Academic ranks at UT towards many athletes and it's not limited to football players nor is it limited to male athletes. That said, to be a UT athlete and a serious student in a difficult major at UT! With all of the time commitments as it pertains to sports I don’t know how any of them do it! I sure couldn’t have! ---------- Slamsox: Who are the coaches for football, basketball and baseball? MCPHAUL: *Football- Saban *Basketball- Buzz Williams, Shaka Smart, Billy Donavan or Bill Self *Baseball- Skip Johnston ---------- Nico: There has been some talk about Saban getting unlimited resources regarding money to pay his staff, if he ends up at Texas. Do you think Texas will go out and pay head coach money to get the best coordinators in college football? People like Chad Morris and Pat Narduzzi won't be cheap and their buyouts are enormous, if I'm not mistaken. I believe Morris has a 10+ million buyout if he leaves for another coordinator job. Also, do you think the searching committee put a lot of thoughts into the Longhorn Network? Is it "important" that the new coaches in football, basketball and baseball have a good TV-personality? MCPHAUL: Since IMG is most likely vetting candidates for us, I’m certain that is an important trait that would rather the new coach has than not have. Now of course if it is Saban, it does matter. Saban’s dry abrasive manner also been seen as entertaining. ---------- Etex Eagle: Will Overstreet ever get a chance at UT or does he transfer? MCPHAUL: It is too early to know anything pertaining to transfers. ---------- RC2P: What changes will Patterson implement first? Which of the current AD staff are likely to stay/go? MCPHAUL: Nothing has been decided at this time. Patterson is still getting a feel for the lay of the land. However, you can rest assure, the fat will be trimmed. ---------- Dragworm: How ugly will the Bev Kearney situation get? MCPHAUL: I don’t know if ugly is the right word to describe the situation. I would lean more towards embarrassing. A lot of names are going to be dragged thru the mud. ---------- Sonny: Art Briles. I'm guessing that since he signed his big contract that he really likes it at Baylor, and doesn't have an interest in UT, Redskins, Etc. Right? MCPHAUL: If you coach in Texas and UT calls, you listen. I’m not sure if Briles has ever had in NFL aspirations? ---------- Jmachorns: What time do I need to be at the tailgate party Thursday? MCPHAUL: Mike says he will start setting up around 0800-0900. ---------- Utparothed: If it is Saban...Will the university get any kind of ironclad commitment from him prior to the national championship game/bowl game or will he have the option to back out at any time? If he accepts the job, when would a public announcement be made? MCPHAUL: I’m not sure about any of that. ---------- In closing, I will leave you more from the nice write-up Sharon Terlep did with the Wall Street Journal, “Terry said that years ago, rebuilding a football program used to be "even more fun than winning" but that it has lost its appeal as the couple has aged (Nick is 62 and Terry is 61). Now that there's less to prove, she said, "I say to Nick, 'Why are we doing this? It's not to win. You tell your players all the time, it's not about winning it's about the process. This is about shaping the lives of young men.” As Miss Terry stated earlier, "We are trying to educate ourselves, to change ourselves; we can't change expectations or change lack of appreciation. We have to change our mind-set. We have decided: this is where we are going to end our career." First, I am not so sure people like the Sabans can change their stripes- it’s just not in their DNA. Both of these folks are in the continual, ever-constant pursuit of “the process” and perfection which is its ultimate objective. I don’t know that they CAN change their “thought process” as Terry Saban they are trying to educate themselves to do. Why would they want to? And if there is less to prove today than before, and winning is not as important as before (which I personally don’t believe), and you DON’T feel like you’re fully appreciated, then why not do what you love somewhere that you (or your wife), AND you have a track-record that shows when you are not happy with how issues are addressed then you move-on, then WHY would the Saban’s not bring their process to a place where they WOULD be fully appreciated. Furthermore, knowing how strong a woman Terry Saban is and how she feels about Tuscaloosa, why would the Sabans NOT bring “the Process” to Austin, TX? Do the math: + Terry Saban’s dislike of Tuscaloosa and Austin house hunting + lost MAJOR money on land deal investments + Nick butting heads with Paul Bryant, Jr. + Sabans not feeling fully appreciated and have a track record that shows aren’t afraid to move When you eliminate all of the clutter, all of the interviews, all of the denials, what you realize is this is just business. The facts haven’t changed. They are what they are. Consequently, I am still 100% all-in on Nick Saban coming to Austin as our next Head Coach. Nevertheless, I am not a stubborn man and if I hear anything differently then I will surely pass it on. Enough Football/Sports Talk, this is the time of the year to give thanks and share your love with the ones you love. Let those you love KNOW how much you love them this Holiday Season. Also, be sure to thank the Big Man above for all that you have and that it is not taken for granted. On a personal note, I would like to share with everyone on this board that has helped make it the fastest growing UT site on the Internet today is that I am TRULY thankful this Thanksgiving Season for all of my friends that have followed me over to Hornsports.com. It means SO much to me- MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! That being said, Change is coming and that in itself is something to be thankful for! Have a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving! And by the way, beat the Hell outta Tech while we’re at it! --McPhaul
  4. Well, it's that time of the week. This week the “buzz” has been around the rumors about Mack Brown announcing his retirement. As you are aware as of the last couple of weeks there have been discussions that the Longhorn Network is working on a Mack Brown Tribute. There have been proclamations on sites from supposed Regents. “He said, she said”- what gives McPhaul? Also in this week of “Crossfire” there were heated conversations on the sidelines with Major Applewhite and a DIFFERENT Coach this past weekend. We’ll also discuss observations of the Oklahoma State game from the viewpoint of a former UT layer. Finally, we’ll touch on Steve Patterson- was he even AT the game Saturday? Finally, I have been asked frequently about contingency plans if Saban DOESN’T replace Mack Brown as Head Coach; whom will it be? We will discuss all of that and more in this week’s “Crossfire.” *RETIREMENT REQUEST & IMPACT ON CURRENT UT COMMITS, STAFF, & TEAM* Here is what I’m hearing: shortly after the OSU game, Steve Hicks & Jim Bob Moffitt requested that a date be set or Mack to announce his retirement. My understanding is that two dates have been requested for Mack to announce his retirement. At this time, I have not be given confirmation on specific dates- I assure you, I will keep everyone posted as things develop. I can tell you this: there are several factors that need to go into consideration with the decision date for the retirement announcement. One obvious consideration is the negative impact that the resignation date is having on recruiting. Recruiters from rival programs are already doing their best to poach our current commits. We’ve seen as recent as today San Antonio Warren DT Commit Trey Lealaimatafao plans on taking official visits to UCLA this upcoming weekend, followed-up with Arizona State the following weekend. This was unheard of just a few seasons back (especially to a school like UCLA or Arizona State!) And Lealaimatafao isn’t alone. In the past few weeks we have had several of our commits take visits as well. In my opinion, this is only going to increase with the uncertainty surrounding the program. Another issue surrounding the announcement of the retirement date is the possibility of the current Coaching Staff & Team checking out altogether on the remainder of the season. As it pertains to the coaches, I for one do not understand this because in my opinion the present staff should be looking at this as if they are auditioning for their future jobs. After a “lack-luster” season in which the team is being perceived as underachieving, it would behoove the Coaching Staff to "put their best foot forward"- especially at this juncture of the season! As far it pertains to the Team, the players can still achieve a successful season and a decent Bowl Game if they can win out. Did the loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday take all of the wind out of our boys' sails in their last achievable goal of significance? Possibly, however it appears to be a MAJOR concern on the 40 Acres and with the powers that be. Finally, one other issue facing our program as it pertains to Mack’s retirement announcement is how long can Texas go without naming our new Head Coach? What impact will it have on our ’14 Recruiting Class if it takes longer to name Mack’s replacement such as with a Nick Saban? The time interval between Mack resigning and our top target Nick Saban becoming available may create a dilemma that our Selection Committee has been anything but sterling in handling. As I've stated before, the Saban camp has not been very impressed with the way this has been handled on the Texas side. In last week's "Crossfire" I noted that Nick Saban is EXTREMELY disappointed in our inability to keep things quiet (Hicks brothers) going so far as stating, “do those guys even KNOW how to hire a coach?” Keep in mind, just like ANY great coach Nick Saban DOES NOT LIKE CLUTTER! The stuff that went down with the Hick’s boys represents clutter. As I mentioned last week, not withstanding his dust-up with Hakeem early in his career, there is a reason agents speak “glowingly” about working with Patterson. He is a PROFESSIONAL. He learns from his mistakes and applies that to future events. Expect this negotiation to be as I stated last week: “double-secret probation.” I would not expect there will be many slip-ups going forward. Patterson is a professional and was brought on board to manage the relationship between the University of Texas and Jimmy Sexton/Nick Saban. Patterson should help alleviate a great deal of those concerns going forward. I expect that if Saban DOES indeed become our next Head Coach, then there will be little “leakage” coming out of Bellmont going forward. Things will get VERY quiet and any information on this subject will be “few & far between.” More things to consider as it pertains to Steve Patterson is that HE is key here. Why you may ask? Well, primarily due to the fact that Mack & Deloss have done a very good job of convincing Powers that Saban is NOT a coach with the level of integrity The University should seek in its Head Coach in ANY sport. We heard Mack Brown state last week that “Nick Saban is my friend and he is not after my job.” What Mack Brown did NOT say is the Texas power brokers have zeroed in on Nick Saban and Saban is more than interested in the Head Coaching position at Texas! It is a shame that it has come down to Mack Brown having to be “forced-out” at this point in his career- it really should have NEVER come to this in the first place and could have been avoided altogether years ago had Mack of all people had his way! Regardless of how it is spun by Bellmont, the bottom line is Mack Brown was fired as the Head Coach and will be reassigned to another position within the University. I could not help but laugh when I read the post about Mack announcing his retirement and everyone except the poster tried to talk him out of it. On the contrary, NO ONE is going to try and talk Mack Brown out of retirement this time around when the power brokers have been seeking his resignation for the past two years. How naïve does Bellmont and the Administration really believe we are? Furthermore, despite all of the negative talk about Saban by Mack Brown to Bill Powers, it would not surprise me if at the end of the day Mack Brown comes out and suggests that it was HIS idea to go out and hire the best possible coach for the program, which just so happens to be Mack’s own close, personal friend “Nick Saban.” *MAJOR NOW BUTTING HEADS WITH YET ANOTHER OFFENSIVE COACH?* Now on to the aftermath of last Saturday and the Oklahoma State game. One of my contacts shared with me, “Once Texas faced a formable foe, our weaknesses were exposed.” He went on to say, “ Is it just me or did Major have a better feel for the game when he was running the Texas offense behind center? Major does not seem to have a good feel for the flow of the game.” He continued with a not so nice comparison, “Like Greg Davis, he does not appear to be a good or a natural play caller. It appears that he struggles to find any rhythm during the game that he feels comfortable with.” He concluded with, “Once again, Major’s short-comings are grating on the other offensive coaches. Major & Porter are the latest of two coaches on this Mack Brown staff that are going at one another during a game. Porter was not very pleased that Major veered away from the running game that was working.” Let’s hope the lack of chemistry can be patched up and repaired before we go into the Texas Tech game on Thanksgiving or things could get messy. Finally, a couple things I heard about last Saturdays game: 1. This nugget comes from a Texas-Ex from the ‘63 National Championship team, “Darrell, I have NEVER seen the T Room so void of former players!” Apparently it is no longer just the students that have become disgruntled with the product Mack Brown has trotted out on to the field. * CONTINGENCY PLANS IF SABAN DOESN’T COME TO THE 40* Finally, some of you have asked me if I have heard about any contingency plans if Saban doesn’t come. Well, first of all let me reiterate from everything I continue to be told is right now I am sitting at 100% that Nick Saban will be Mack’s replacement in ’14. My contacts have rarely been wrong and I will stick with my guys until the end! They’ve EARNED that much faith & respect from me over the years! Nevertheless, if you have been associated with the University of Texas Athletics, one would have to believe that power brokers such as Hicks & Rowling have to have some contingency, fall-back plan in place for such a situation. I’m confident a third party agency (IMG) has vetted a list of potential Head Coaching candidates that can meet the stringent criteria that the Committee has put in place. However, it has been a while since I have heard any talk about who would be on that list - and if you are a fan of the Saban hire then that is probably a GOOD thing! I do know this: recently Kirk Herbstreit tweeted that he felt Jim Mora, Jr. would be a great hire for the University of Texas. Well I can add that a friend of mine that has known Steve Patterson personally for years stated the Patterson is a *big fan* of Jim Mora, Jr. Does that mean Mora Jr is on any vetted list? Currently, not that I’m aware of. That’s all I have for now. Hook ‘em! -- McPhaul
  5. Gresham, All Saints Episcopal (Fort Worth) fullback and Texas commit talked with the Alabama Rivals site about his recent scholarship offer from the Tide. The quotes are on an article by Andrew Kuhla from Bleacher Report, but nonetheless were extracted from the TideSports.com piece. Gresham on the offer: And Gresham on Mack's no visititing other schools after committing to Texas: This will be interesting to follow.... If Gresham takes a Bama visit, like he seems to really want to, does make pull the offer?
  6. Big game tonight for Saban & Kelly. Who wins this and why? Part of me wants the Irish to take revenge on Bama for what they did to us in 2009. The other part of me says "I hate Notre Dame."

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