Mack Brown has been the head coach of the Texas Longhorns for nearly 16 years, but it appears that he's wearing out his welcome. Complacency has set in, and fundamentals have become more myth than reality.
Sooner rather than later, Texas will be in the market for a new head football coach. Considering the money and the prestige of the program in the current era, a Longhorns coaching search would be wildly fascinating if and when the job opens up.
Just how fascinating?
According to the Associated Press, University of Texas regent Wallace Hall and former regent Tom Hicks spoke to Alabama head coach Nick Saban's agent about the job in January, shortly after Alabama's 42-14 win over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.
That's a full nine months before Texas—which is still coached by Brown—got off to a sluggish 1-2 start and apparently forgot how to tackle.
So what would it take for the Longhorns to pull Saban away from the Crimson Tide?
It's not money. If Texas backed up a Brinks truck to Saban's house, Alabama would drive one through the front door.
Saban is 61 years old. That's not necessarily ancient by college football standards, but it's close enough to retirement to make a jump unrealistic. Does Saban really want to leave to help rebuild Texas when he has things cooking at Alabama at such a high level that he can win a few more rings and then retire to Lake Burton?
Of course not.
Saban is a control freak, but he's already got his team at Alabama buying into his process. Why start from scratch now?
The only thing that will drive Saban away from Tuscaloosa and to Austin is if Alabama doesn't want him anymore. With three titles in four seasons, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which that's possible, aside from some sort of major scandal.
Despite the eligibility issue that has popped up with former offensive lineman D.J. Fluker, there's nothing to suggest something major is around the corner.
There's already an indication the likelihood of Saban to Texas is more fantasy than reality. If he wanted the job, he would have told his agent, Jimmy Sexton, and Brown wouldn't even have had the opportunity to retire, as was reported by the AP. He would have been fired on the spot.
Will Nick Saban be the 2014 Texas football coach?
Saban is an upgrade over Brown. That's been the case ever since Saban won his first BCS National Championship with LSU following the 2003 season. If he was a viable option, it would have gone way farther up the flagpole in January.
It didn't, and that speaks volumes.
Whenever Brown is let go and/or retires, the Texas coaching search is going to be a lot of fun. The Longhorns have the money to lure virtually anybody in the industry to Austin, and almost any coach in the country would jump at the opportunity.
Just not Saban.