After a lackluster performance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Central Florida, a game they were supposed to win with ease, the Baylor Bears have to look back at a season that ended with a resounding thud and have to wonder about not only what might have been, but also about what’s to come.
One of the biggest concerns not only for the program but also for the university is the future of their head coach, Art Briles.
Rumors have started to circulate that Briles is “intrigued” about the head coaching vacancy at the University of Texas and it makes sense that the Longhorns would be interested in him especially with his numerous ties to the state as well as to the high schools that could bring this program some big time recruits.
Sources also say Briles not only would be willing to visit with UT after the Fiesta Bowl concluded but would he would apparently accept the job if it’s offered to him. This comes less than two months after the Baylor head coach signed a 10-year contract extension back in November.
The questions that need to be asked is, does Briles really make sense for the Texas Longhorns and their program long term and is he really ready to leave a program that he’s built into a top of the conference contender year in and year out?
Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com was on with Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy of CBS Radio Dallas this morning and was asked about the possibility of Briles coming to Texas. According to Brown, Briles talked to Baylor boosters after their Fiesta Bowl loss and allegedly told them, “you have nothing to worry about.”
Another name Brown brought up during the interview was Baltimore Ravens’ head coach, John Harbaugh. Brown told Shariff and Choppy, “this is a situation I’m watching carefully.” Maybe we were talking about the wrong Harbaugh leaving his NFL coaching job to return to the college ranks?
As for Jon Gruden, a name who came up a few weeks ago when the current ESPN analyst said he would be interested in the Texas job if they came calling, Brown said there is support for Gruden from inside the program but Patterson is not one of those people.
It was assumed Gruden was a long shot anyway and with Patterson not really interested in the former NFL head coach, we can possibly put this rumor away for good.
The three candidates most were talking about after Mack Brown stepped down after 16 seasons, and after Nick Saban came out of the picture, were Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, and the aforementioned Art Briles. However, all three coaches have star players returning for the 2014 season.
Florida State has Heisman winner, and quarterback, Jameis Winston, Auburn has running back Tre Mason and Baylor has quarterback Bryce Petty. Why would any of these coaches leave a situation which has them in a better position for this coming season than where Texas, and their roster, is right now?
Briles has turned Baylor from the laughing stock of the Big 12, the automatic win for everyone else on their schedule, to one of the top teams in the conference and a possible national championship contender for the next few years.
Taking the job at Texas means rebuilding the program that may take anywhere from three to five years to turn it into what Baylor is right now. Is Briles really ready to go through another rebuild?
What is known at this point is Patterson will announce his new head coach by the end of the recruiting dead period (Jan. 15th) but that doesn’t leave the new hire with a lot of time to contact commits to make sure they are going to sign on the dotted line on Signing Day (Feb. 1st).
Who do you want to be the next head coach of the Texas Longhorns? Who makes the most sense to you and why?
We want to hear from you. You’ve heard our opinions. What’s yours?