On Thursday, Dallas Morning News SMU beat writer Bill Nichols wrote a column exploring the prime candidates for the Mustangs’ vacant head coaching position. While 11 coaches are mentioned toward the bottom, only one name makes the opening paragraphs: Mack Brown.
Here’s what Nicholls wrote:
Thus, it’s not shocking that SMU officials have already had preliminary discussions with former Texas coach Mack Brown, floating $4 million annually over eight years, sources say. Brown, 63, fits the Larry Brown model — a national championship winner who can land star prospects on name alone.
There are a number of reasons this doesn’t make sense. The first is that if Mack Brown was seriously offered $32 million, he would have accepted it. Brown has stated he’s waiting until December to weigh his options, but he has nothing holding him back from accepting an offer on the table. The job is officially open. He’s not in coaching. What’s holding him back?
And nothing about the offer makes sense, either. SMU is essentially bidding against itself, and it’s going to make him one of the 10 highest paid coaches in college football?
Who was the last CFB to get an initial 8-year deal? Was he unemployed at the time?
— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) October 23, 2014
Per DMN scenario: Would it really take $4 million per year to get an unemployed coach in his 60s who is unlikely to get hired elsewhere? — Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 23, 2014
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports floated the idea that some at SMU believe hiring Brown would be a step toward an eventual Big 12 invite. This is going to read harsher than intended because SMU is an attractive school that, when the football program is cranking at full capacity, is a solid member of the American Athletic Conference, but SMU is one of the last schools in America the Big 12 would look to add should it choose to expand (which it isn’t). The conference already carries the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Adding SMU would be a completely redundant move. Some in Big 12 land were upset the conference invited TCU for that very reason, and the Horned Frogs had one of the best programs in college football at the time.
As always, we’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds.