Social media and traditional media have been ablaze this afternoon with the “revelation” that an agent representing Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban, Jimmy Sexton, once had a conversation with powerful University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall regarding the possibility of Saban replacing Mack Brown should he decide to retire prior to the 2013 season.
Former Regent Tom Hicks, better known as the former owner of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the MLB’s Texas Rangers was also on the call between Sexton and Hall as well, and approached Brown a few days afterwards to inquire about his future plans. According to the AP article, and Sexton, Brown noted at the time he was not prepared to quit coaching football and planned to continue at Texas. With that, reportedly, any potential notion of Saban’s pursuit was dropped.
Several Texas-focused sources– in particular the well-respected Inside Texas – speculated on the possibility of this meeting taking place between Saban and Texas long before it ever happened, so to frame this as breaking news isn’t as earth-shattering as it may appear on the surface. Naturally, with Brown’s struggles leading the Longhorns to a 1-2 start to the 2013 season, it’s no surprise Saban’s name is being batted about as a potential replacement prior to the 2014 season. If Brown can’t lead the Longhorns to two wins in the next three weeks — notably, against the Kansas State Wildcats , who have virtually owned the Longhorns since 2003 and against the Oklahoma Sooners in Dallas in early October (for obvious reasons) — potential replacements will be talked about more as a matter of needed formality rather than speculation.
To suggest Nick Saban would be willing to leave the Kingdom of Alabama to try and replicate his success in a more highly-scrutinized, pressurized and less-forgiving environment than he currently enjoys — at a rate of $5.3 in earnings per year, at that — is bizarre at best and non-sensical at worst, however.
In simplest terms, put yourself in Saban’s shoes.
Why abandon God-like status in a state where you are the sole entertainment option in your sport? An entertainment option that does it’s own fund-raising and is self-sustainable by existence alone. An entertainment option that has no equal, and of which, you are in complete control and enjoy total autonomy.
What would be the draw for Saban to leave Alabama for Texas apart from an ego that could be further stroked should he be able to bring the program back to former glory? I mean, that’s it as far as I can tell, and would that ego-stroke be worth all he would have to give up to try and earn it?
Feel free to speculate on this possibility, but if you want to have a better idea of who will be walking the sidelines on the Forty Acres next fall, look in Waco or Fort Worth instead.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports and contributor to Lindy’s In the Huddle- Texas Edition, now in stores.