Urban Meyer, Mike Tomlin The Fallback Plan for Texas After Nick Saban

By Patrick Schmidt
Urban Meyer
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The search for the next head coach of Texas is beginning to take on a life of its own now that Mack Brown is expected to resign by the end of the week. Nick Saban is the big fish the Longhorns are hoping to reel in, but if they’re unable to get him from Alabama, the alternative plan is pursuing Urban Meyer and then Mike Tomlin, according to Chip Brown from Orangebloods.com.

These two names contradict the report from Horns247 on Texas’ wish list a day earlier that had a different name from the NFL ranks and another elite college coach as the fallback plan should Saban turn down the Longhorns’ lucrative offer.

It was reported by Gil Brandt and Paul Finebaum on Tuesday that Saban and Alabama are hammering out details on a new deal that has been sitting in Saban’s desk since Friday which will pay him $7 million annually. Finebaum said on SportsCenter Tuesday night that Alabama officials are getting “uncomfortable with the lack of a response” from Saban.

I have voiced my opinion on the rumors tying Saban to Texas, and I understand any nerves from Alabama brass and fans until something concrete happens, but let’s examine the two newest names to enter the Texas coaching carousel.

Meyer just lost for the first time in his two years at Ohio State, the school that gave him first collegiate coaching job in 1986, and is coaching in his home state of Ohio where he was born in Toledo in 1964. Meyer had a bit of a reputation for jumping from job to job a decade ago, but that was early in his career when he was climbing the ladder as all coaches do in any sport.

I don’t think Meyer would leave Ohio State for Texas. The only job I could potentially see Meyer leaving Ohio State for would be Notre Dame, and that’s not happening any time soon. Texas would be wise to call and gauge his interest because he may be the best coach in the game after Saban, but I can’t fathom Meyer picking up and leaving for Texas after two years when he’s been wildly successful at Ohio State.

Tomlin is one of the best coaches in the NFL, winning one Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers and playing in another while winning 63 percent of his games going into his eighth season in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight season in what could be Tomlin’s first losing season, but he hasn’t coached in college since he was the defensive backs coach at Cincinnati from 1999-2000.

Could Tomlin be a successful coach and also be a hit on the recruiting trail? He most likely would be, but he is an “NFL guy” and I don’t think he’d leave one of the best organizations in the NFL, where he has the backing of the owner and front office. The Steelers have an aging roster, but if they go to the NFL ranks, I think Jim Harbaugh makes more sense.

One thing I am certain of regarding the Texas coaching search is that this is going to be a fun ride. Hopefully Longhorns fans realize how great of a coach Brown was during his tenure in Austin, because he’ll be hard to replace.

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