Brown went on the Tim Brando Show Friday and shot down the Saban-to-Texas rumors, saying his friend Saban isn't after his job and that, if he does his job, there won't be any opening for Saban to take, per Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com:
Nick is a friend and he's done a tremendous job at Alabama. Nick's not trying to get my job. I mean, I know Nick. So I don't have to worry about that. And if I do my job, there won't be any job to be open to get, so I think that's the other thing.
When the Longhorns fell to 1-2 to start this season with a pair of blowout losses to BYU and Ole Miss, Brown was immediately tabbed as a lame duck, and the rumors began swirling about his potential replacement.
One of the most prominent names in the phantom search has been Saban's. And the Saban talk has been so loud that Brown hasn't been able to ignore it. He even told Brando that he has had friends call and ask him if he is OK with everything that is going on in Austin.
But through it all, Brown has kept his focus on the field, leading Texas to post six straight wins. Now, the 'Horns are at the top of the Big 12 Conference standings and could take the league title with wins over Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Brown told Brando that the everyday grind of coaching through a tough Big 12 slate has kept his mind off the Saban saga, specifically pointing to his team's 47-40 comeback win in overtime on the road against West Virginia last week:
The thing you love about coaching is you love your players, you love the challenge with your staff of trying get the game plan each week to compete against the other team. I thought that game last weekend, the second half against West Virginia, even though we messed up a lot of things, it was as much fun as I've had in years—just a great college football game—and (WVU coach Dana Holgorsen) had his guys ready.
But even while he has tried to keep his focus on the field, he admitted to Brando that he has literally had to tune out the noise and turn off the radio and television whenever the topic was his Texas team:
I don’t spend time, like I did in the early years, worried about what somebody said or reading or listening. In fact, I purposely turn it off if they’re gonna talk about Texas because I've learned that I don’t need to hear the really good stuff, and I don't need to hear the really bad stuff—because neither one of them help me coach. So I flip it when it gets to that.
This is a solid strategy for the UT boss because his job will likely remain in the news, at least until his team is hoisting the Big 12 championship trophy.
Additionally, Brown has plenty of work left to do to make it to that point. While the Horns control their own destiny in the league, they still face three of their toughest games to close the season.
UT will host No. 12 Oklahoma State this week in a must-win game for the Cowboys. The Horns will then host Texas Tech on Thanksgiving night.
If all goes well through those two tilts, Texas will take on No. 5 Baylor on Dec. 7 in Waco in what might serve as the de facto Big 12 title game. The Bears and the Longhorns are the only two squads still undefeated in league play.