Texas Football: Where Mack Brown Will Rank on Coaches Hot Seat by Season's End
Mack Brown is one of the most beloved and successful coaches in Texas Longhorns history. However, after back-to-back subpar seasons, could he be on the hot seat?
In 2009 Texas was in the BCS National Championship Game. In 2010, Texas didn't even make a bowl and in 2011, the Horns rebounded slightly to win eight games.
2012 could be a legacy defining season for Brown.
If he can bring the Longhorns all the way back from rock bottom he would cement himself as a college football coaching legend. If they struggle though, the questions about Brown's ability to coach would continue to mount.
To take a look at Brown's performance I will present a hot seat coaching scale, ranked from one to five.
Each slide will have a breakdown of what encompasses the level and what Brown would have to do in 2012 to be there.
So, let's take a look at how hot Brown's seat will be by the end of the season.
This level isn't on the original one through five scale, but that's because it's reserved for only a few coaches in history.
These are the people that are at the peak of their sport. Coaches who have had unparalleled success and would never be fired.
The Phil Jacksons and the Bill Belichicks of the world. They have won to the point that they have ultimate job security and can choose when they want to walk away from the game.
Currently, Nick Saben, Frank Beamer and maybe Bob Stoops are the only coaches in the country that have that level of safety.
All three are legends in their program and have kept their teams nationally relevant for an extended period of time.
After Texas’ national title in 2005, he was on this level. However, the last two seasons have put a damper on those memories.
Les Miles defines this hot seat level perfectly.
He has had enormous success at LSU, winning one national championship while consistently fielding a team that is in the SEC hunt.
However, despite all of his success, he still has his critics.
Brown knows quite a bit about this, as he is often described as an amazing recruiter, but only an average football coach.
At the end of the 2012 season, Brown will be on this level if the team makes it to a BCS bowl or at least stays in the top 15 for most of the season.
If he doesn't do that, Brown's seat could start to get a little warm.
Michigan’s Brady Hoke defines level two.
He had an amazing start to his career with the Big Blue. Still, all it would take is a 7-5 season, and his seat would start smoking in Ann Arbor.
For Brown to be on this level it would require Texas to have a third consecutive mediocre season.
With the talent that is on the roster, anything less than nine wins would be considered a disappointment.
The new look Big 12 is tough, but Texas has its best running back stable in years and a defense that should suffocate opposing offenses.
If Texas finds itself in a second straight mid-level bowl, expect the "Brown is too old to coach" rumors to start swirling.
Mark Rickt is the longest tenured coach in the SEC and one of the most successful. He has two conference titles on his resume and has posted seven 10-win seasons for the 'Dawgs.
Despite that history, rumors still swirled early on last season that Rickt could lose his job after four straight poor seasons. There was even a website dedicated to firing him.
However, the Bulldogs turned it around. Now, they enter 2012 as the favorites in the SEC East.
Heading into this season, Brown could be in a very similar situation to Rickt's last year.
If the Longhorns pile up the victories all of the whispers about Brown being overrated will stop.
By the same token, if the team struggles, all of the talk about how Brown should retire will only gain steam in the Austin community.
The side in which Brown falls this season will depend on how many wins over .500 Texas finishes.
It may be going outside the realm of college football, but Stan Van Gundy is the best example of a coach on level four.
These are the guys who are excellent leaders but were pushed out because management wanted a change.
In Van Gundy's case it was all to please the human magic eight ball that is Dwight Howard's emotions.
If Brown were to reach this level in 2012, it would be the Texas administrators caving to fans clamoring for a change.
The only way that would happen is if the Longhorns finish the season at, or below the .500 mark.
This would mean almost everything went wrong on the 40 Acres. The quarterbacks would have had to play even worse than last year, injuries would be running ramped and the defense would just be average.
If this happens, despite his history, Brown could become a sacrificial lamb.
This is the level where coaches go to die, and do so quickly.
These are the guys who have almost no positives happen during their tenure and pay the price.
Or in some cases, they have one or two outrageously bad seasons that outshine all of the good they have done in their tenure.
The recent firing of Greg Davis at Texas would be a prime example of this.
Davis was the mastermind behind the Texas offense since Brown arrived in Austin in 1998. This includes the 2005 national championship season.
However, the Longhorns had an atrocious offensive season in 2010, and Davis took the fall.
This same thing could happen to Brown this year if Texas struggles like that again.
Davis was there to absorb the blame last time, but if the Longhorns finish with a losing record for the second time in three years, Brown's seat could very well be flaming.
So Where Will Brown End Up by the End of the Season?
Where will Brown end up on this list? It certainly won't be any of the last three levels.
Texas’ roster is too talented for the Longhorns to finish with anything less than nine wins.
However, this will be the year the Longhorns fully rebound. They will finish with 10 or 11 wins and compete for a Big 12 title.
After a season like that Brown would fall squarely into level No. 1. Honestly, with another solid season, he could easily slip into level zero.
He is the face of the University of Texas. He’s more well-known than university president Bill Powers and is one of the most recognizable people in the state.
He even got a contract extension last year from the board of regents.
Brown is a legend in Austin, and will most likely coach on the 40 Acres for as long as he wishes.
His seat might be a little warmer than normal right now, but by the end of the season he will have a dial on the chair for climate optimization.