Hope this finds you well and well-prepped for the upcoming holidays. We love Christmas
As we discussed at length on Press Row on ESPN 105.1 yesterday - give us a listen from 3-6 p.m. - Mack Brown's days appear numbered at Texas.
Chip Brown, the lead writer at Orangebloods.com and the guy that has owned that beat on conference expansion and the Longhorn Network, reported Tuesday afternoon that Mack Brown was going to resign. ESPN's Joe Schad refuted the report, as did the 247Horns guy, Bobby Burton, initially, by quoting Mack Brown himself.
Then Bruce Feldman, the CBSsports.com college football ace, reported that sources said Chip Brown's story would be true and 247 bigwig Shannon Terry pointed out that Burton was not refuting, per se, as much as just getting Mack Brown's position out there.
Mack Brown's text to Burton was sent while the coach was recruiting in Florida and said he has "not decided to resign" which is open to interpretation.
Our view? He will be out by the end of the week. So, what does that mean: Well, let's review:
Mack Brown is 158-47 with a national title in 16 years but has floundered at 18-17 in recent years and has been passed by A&M and possibly Baylor in-state. This where we should point out that Mr. Phil Fulmer was 152-52-1 with a national title in 16 years at the other UT. So to say this hire is big for the Longhorns is an hefty understatement.
So who are the front-runners? Well, Nick Saban's name has been linked to the Texas job for a good chunk of the year, and the Brown story re-energized those rumors, even to the point that now Alabama officials leaked a story that Saban was offered a raise and an extension last Friday.
And if you don't think Texas is a top-three job, well, look at the guys that have gotten hefty raises even before the news that Brown's demise now appears to be in motion. Guys who would have been Texas candidates such as Saban, Baylor's Art Briles, A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Auburn's Gus Malzahn.
Still it's Texas and when Texas calls, people listen.
Here's a proposed wish list for the well-heeled Horns:
1) Saban: You have to make him say no. At least three times.
2) Jon Gruden: Dude is the biggest free agent star on the market.
3) Jim Harbaugh, 49ers: Again, make him say no. At least three times.
4) Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Could be a great fit and could be ready for a new view.
5) James Franklin, Vandy: Dude is on the verge of back-to-back nine-win seasons at Vandy for crying out loud.
6) Malzahn: His miracle act at Auburn will make him a hot name for a long time.
7) Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles: Offensive genius; could he be lured back to college?
8) Briles: Guy has worked miracles there, and buyout, smyout when you're talking Texas money.
9) Todd Graham, Arizona State: We know he'll move at a moments notice.
And hey, if all that fails, Lane Kiffin's looking for work, and he could put together a boss staff with Coach O and get the whole band back together.
Dick Vitale is celebrating his 35th year in announcing. That means the 5-at-10's Pop is celebrating his 35th year cursing at Vitale's announcing.
Vitale has been a game-changer in a lot of ways, whether you love him or loathe him. He has brought an energy and passion to the game that can not be denied. And his love affair for his job and college hoops is commendable and comes across as much today as it did 35 years ago.
That energy - although frequently misguided and way too often with the volume jacked to the rafters - has become his trademark, and all things considered, that's a great legacy to have. Think about that, if when you hit 35 years at anything, and the first thought everyone has about you was how much you loved your job or what have you. That's good stuff.
Sure the PTPers and the General and on and on gets tiring, but Vitale's passion will never wane. Congrats Dickie V. (Even Pop sends his regards.)
Side note: Dickie V is one of the nicest ESPN celebs working. Dude is a legit and kind man, and that is worthy of mentioning and deserves a tip of the 5-at-10 fedora.
Jameis Winston is in for a weekend filled with swings.
He's the far-and-away favorite to win the Heisman on Saturday night. (Although the people poll on SI.com has Auburn running back Tre Mason as the leader. Of course, as Press Row cohost David Paschall relayed Tuesday, in 1999 when Time magazine had a public poll of the most influential person of the 20th century, Jesus Christ finished No. 1, Hitler finished No. 2 and Ric Flair finished third. You want to be the most influential man, you gotta beat the man, after all.)
There also are reports from Yahoo.com and USA Today that the family or the attorney of the woman who accused Winston of raping her last year will have a news conference on Friday.
As we all know, the authorities decided there was not enough evidence to press charges against Winston, and this will be the first time we have heard from anyone in accuser's camp.
- Interesting story here from SEC ace David Paschall, catching up with former SEC chief and BCS architect Roy Kramer. Something tells us in three years we're going to look back on the BCS with much kinder eyes than we viewed it with when it was here. Call it a hunch.
- Big news for your UTC Mocs football program, as Derrick Lott was given a sixth year of eligibility, as UTC beat ace John Frierson tells us here. Lott is a big-time force in the middle of the Mocs defensive line.
- More Mocs news: You go Z Mason. As UTC hoops ace David Uchiyama shares here, Mason scored 41 as the Mocs beat Hiwassee 86-68. Good thing Mason showed out, a loss to Hiwassee would have meant Bye-wassee to any pre-conference positive vibes for first-year coach Will Wade.
- Ian Ziering, aka Steve Sanders from "Beverly Hills, 90210," told ABC News why he took the lead role in "Sharknado," the SyFy summer hit about a tornado that hits the ocean and picks up a school of sharks and drops them on an unsuspecting town. (And yes, it's a premise that is so bad it's delicious.) Ziering said he had his doubts - sharks living on land can do that - but needed to work to keep his insurance through the Screen Actors Guild and since he and his wife were about to have a child, he had to go to work. Yep, actors are people too. Even those in 90210.
- AJ McCarron told the Birmingham News he talked with Alex Rodriguez before the Iron Bowl. Wow. And let the jokes commence. (And thanks A-Rod. The check's in the mail.)
Gang, we're back in the fold today, so do your do. Do that voo-doo that you do so well.
And there are a slew of questions to cover. Two quick orders of BID-ness: 1) Any one have any ideas/suggestions about the bowl contest; 2) Remember the mailbag.
OK, to the questions:
What are the three best college football head coaching jobs in the country?
Do you see Saban ever leaving Alabama, and if Brown is out and Saban does not take the Texas job, he's at Bama for the rest of his career, right?
Who's on your Rushmore of most influential TV sports announcers of all-time? Vitale is got be in consideration for sure. Dude changed the role - for better or worse is in the ear of the viewer - and it's hard to see it going back. (Some to consider: Cosell, who was a complete game changer; Dandy Don Meredith, who was the first high-profile ex-athlete on TV, although Dizzy Dean deserves consideration for that too; Vitale for obvious and loud reasons; Madden; Kiper, who made his own cottage industry. Who are we forgetting?)