On Patterson and Briles and the UT head coaching position

Erich Schlegel

I originally posted most of this in one of the earlier threads about Sonny Cumbie. Although it was mentioned, I don't expect that UT is seriously considering Gary Patterson or Art Briles to replace Mack Brown. That said, the mere metaphysical possibility presents an opportunity to talk about why they, or anyone similarly situated, would consider coaching the UT football team. Here is my take:

If you are a coach who has already achieved sustained success, why would you even possibly consider going to a place like UT? Half the fans already want the new coach fired and he hasn’t even been hired yet. A single loss throws them into a fire-the-coach frenzy and to justify such irrational behavior they hide behind a we’re-Texas-so-we-never-expect-to-lose delusion. Most fans of most schools understand that despite the best players and the best coach, the sun don't shine on the same dog's ass every day. In short, UT Fan has had it so good for so long he doesn't seem to fully appreciate what he has.

Despite what our burnt orange-clad friends may think, there isn’t a single top-tier college football coach simply waiting in giddy anticipation for God Almighty the Texas AD to descend from Heaven and point His finger at him.

Why in the world would Patterson leave TCU for UT? He’s the winningest coach in TCU history, he led the team to a Rose Bowl win and #2 finish. The team has come close to winning games in the past two seasons where they never even bothered to field an offense. Think about that for a second. There is still much that can be accomplished here, including another win at UT on Thanksgiving Day. If Patterson retires here, buildings will be named after him and there will be a statue of him next to that new angry looking Horned Frog at AGC. Don’t give me a because-it’s-Texas response, or a Texas-can-pay-him-more kind of response – there’s so much more to it than that. Patterson would be trading immortality of sorts for a thankless job where it’s only a matter of time before he is run out on a rail when the team has a couple of off seasons.

As with Patterson, same thing for Briles. As much as I consider Baylor a rival, let’s be objective here. Briles has done something pretty remarkable at Baylor. They have endured a slump ridiculously similar to TCU’s run of futility in the 1970s. They have been so bad for so long that nobody really considers them to be their rival. Now that they have a rival in TCU some of their younger pups aren’t really sure what to do about it. Why would Briles walk away from what he has there? Statues and buildings are in his future if he plays his cards right.

In comparison, look at all the incredible things UT football has accomplished under Mack Brown, and then look at how classless and ungrateful so many of the Longhorns faithful have been, and it’s not a stretch to conclude that anyone who agrees to coach there has to have a screw loose.

That's not to say Patterson will remain here forever, or that we should take him for granted. Same for Briles at Baylor. Circumstances change. My point is, comparing what they have now to what they would have at Texas, they would be nuts to even think about UT. And if the day ever came when Patterson left TCU or Briles leaves Baylor, I would absolutely guarantee it would be handled in a far more dignified manner than what we just saw play out in Austin.

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