After the Texas Longhorns 2-2 start to the season, which includes back-to-back losses to BYU and Ole Miss in Weeks 2 and 3, head coach Mack Brown is squarely on the hot seat.
A report by Joe Capraro of The Daily Texan, Texas' student newspaper, puts Brown's chances at returning next season at just 5 percent.
However, Brown's departure could come even sooner than that. His 31-21 win over Kansas State in Week 4 bought him some time, but if things don't permanently turnaround this season, his ouster could come prior to the season's end.
But what's even more intriguing is the possibility that Brown could step down on his own accord midseason.
Here are the pros and cons on Brown choosing to resign prior to this season's end.
Brown's Reputation Would Be Salvageable
Texas regents contacted Nick Saban's agent to talk about replacing Mack Brown…..in January - http://t.co/GuIU07LGsa— Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) September 19, 2013
And with athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Brown's biggest supporter, possibly stepping down from his role at the end of the year, that could spell the end for Brown's tenure in Austin.
However, if Brown were to resign by choice, not only would it appear that he was unjustly forced out by an unstable athletic department, he could interview for head coaching vacancies next offseason and won't have to mention how he was fired.
It Could Light a Fire Underneath the Players
When there is a regime change midseason, oftentimes it sparks the players to finish the season strong. One recent example can be found in the city of brotherly love, where Ryne Sandberg had his interim tag removed and was named the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, per ESPN.
Maybe the same could happen in Austin if Brown were to step down. Clearly things aren't right with the Longhorns. The team that had four first-place votes in the Big 12 preseason poll already has two losses on the season, including an embarrassing 40-21 loss in Provo, Utah to the BYU Cougars in Week 2.
Recently, the Longhorns have been a team that haven't been able to live up to expectations set after the team appeared in the 2010 BCS National Championship.
If Brown steps down, it may jolt the team to perform well for their new coach, whoever that might be.
It Would Allow Texas to Start Looking For Brown's Replacement Earlier
If Brown voluntarily stepped down midseason rather than waiting to resign or be fired at the end of the year, it would do both himself and the school a favor.
Brown can start sending out resumes and fielding responses from vacancies and Texas can begin its search for new head coach much earlier.
It won't be hard for Texas to find a quality candidate for their vacancy. But the earlier the program can get started in finding one, the better.
It Could Disrupt The Progress Currently Being Made in Austin
Although the season got off to an atrocious start for the Longhorns, Texas' 31-21 win over Kansas State was a signal that progress was in fact being made.
Going into the game against the Wildcats, a team that Mack Brown had previously lost to five times in a row dating back to 2006, the Longhorns had the third-worst rush defense in the nation. But under new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, Texas held Kansas State to just 115 yards on the ground.
If Brown were to step down midseason, it could disrupt the progress of the internal changes already made.
Mack Brown ripped his team and coaches during his 5-7 year. It didn't work. Now, he's trying a new approach. http://t.co/s5TvRvqxqn— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 17, 2013
It Could Spoil the 2013 Season
The Longhorns are already proving that they have a hard time dealing with drastic changes.
The team has been inconsistent with the new no-huddle offense installed during the offseason. The Longhorns set a school record with 715 yards of total offense in Week 1 but were held to just 320 yards in Week 3 against Ole Miss.
If Brown stepped down midseason, Texas would again have to adjust to major changes and likely wouldn't respond well.
It Would Prove that Brown Is Giving Up
Should Mack Brown resign before the 2013 season ends?
There's no worse thing in sports than when someone throws up the white flag and surrenders. Whether it's a team not trying to comeback after falling behind late or just overall dejection on the sideline, surrender is always indicative of larger, internal issues.
So if Brown resigned in the middle of the year, it would prove that he not only doesn't have the wherewithal to try and fix the problems, but that he had given up long ago.
Brown appeared energetic during his team's win over Kansas State. So for the time being, he doesn't appear to be giving up. But a resignation would certainly indicate otherwise.