Why Texas Isn't the Best Job in the Country
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For years, we've heard from college football experts how the University of Texas is the best job in college football.
Bbut if that's true, then why are so many coaches turning them down?
You'd think most coaches would jump at the chance to move to Austin and lead the Longhorns.
Yes, the Texas athletic budget is probably larger than the GNP of some third-world countries. It's definitely the largest in college sports. But if that's the main reason why the Longhorns get all the acclaim, why is it there's so much turmoil there, and not only in their football operations?
So perhaps being the football coach at Texas is not as all as it's cracked up to be. I'm here to give you a few reasons why.
The Alpha Dogs ... Who are these people? Notice I said people, not person. Normally every school has that one guy who runs everything. In Tuscaloosa, it's Paul Bryant Jr, at Oregon, it's Phil Knight. In Auburn, it was Bobby Lowder. These are the money dudes who raise the money and buy the head coaches. Problem here is, there are too many cooks in the Texan kitchen. Notice how they handled the Nick Saban situation. If Saban was interested in the job, their bragging about his interest probably turned him off. It was Mack Brown's booster circle that got his fate delayed; it was the other big bucksters who went to university president Bob Powers the next day and told him to choose between Brown and their checkbooks right then and there. At Texas, it's one thing to have one alpha dog with money and a huge ego, but as many as 5-10? What coach wants to deal with that?
Recruiting ... Outside of Florida, Texas is supposed to have the best high school players in the country. Back in the day, the 'Horns could have their pick of any player in the state. Not the case any more. With the emergence of Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech on the national stage, players are no longer running to Austin to play ball. All three teams listed here are hot. Texas looks stale in comparison. The Aggies, Bears, and Red Raiders also have vibrant, up-and-coming coaches, something Texas needs to see in its next head coach if it plans to stay in the game.
Facilities ... No one seems to mention the facilities down in Austin. It seems like every few months, we hear about schools upgrading their facilities. Hell, even Vanderbilt has upgraded. When is the last time we heard that about Texas? Facilities are a huge recruiting tool. Just ask Grambling, whose players missed a game this year partly because its facilities weren't up to par. If Texas hasn't upgraded its facilities recently, it's time.
The media ... If you don't think the media isn't huge down there, you weren't paying attention to the Nick Saban saga. Texas is a headline grabber, and the state's media is influential, whether the reporters are in Austin, Brownsville, Abilene or the big cities. They're the ones who brought up the Nick Saban-to-Texas rumors despite the fact he denied interest several times. Who knows? Maybe Saban did keep key Longhorns boosters guessing behind the scenes, but it was the media constantly sensationalizing the rumors up until Saban signed his contract at Alabama. All this has done is raise the expectations on the next coach Texas hires. His every move will be followed even more intensely, if that's possible. The fishbowl will be even more transparent.
The fans ... Every school has a crazy fan base. Multiple that by a factor of 10 with Texas. Imagine Alabama with tens of thousands more fans. Longhorn Nation is of the most intense ever, and it wants -- no, expects -- to win now, not two years from now, and it expects to be in the national championship mix next year. Just ask Mack Brown. When it was announced by the Texas media that Brown may be retained as head coach for 2014, fans were outraged. Many openly wished he was dead, and they even blamed him for why they didn't land Nick Saban. Rabid is too mild a term to describe these fans.
Now, before Longhorn fans have a fit, Texas is still one of the best jobs in the country, and it will no doubt get its man, but my guess is the next big man on campus will be thinking about more than a huge paycheck before he makes any decisions.