|Michael Thomas/Associated Press|
|Mack Brown has a 158-47 record in 16 seasons as head coach at Texas.|
Powers has been one of Brown's most ardent supporters, but an ongoing battle with Gov. Rick Perry and his handpicked representatives on the board had served as the backdrop for the saga surrounding Brown's future, as reflected in his Alamo Bowl press conference Thursday.
"My situation has not changed," Brown said. "I have the best president in the country in Bill Powers. He's done a tremendous job."
Brown said any decision about whether to step down after 16 seasons leading the Longhorns would not come until after he meets with Powers and new athletic director Steve Patterson.
"Any time the athletic director changes, it changes the game," Brown said. "I will sit down and talk to him and Bill and discuss the direction we're going. I'm looking forward to my meeting with Bill and Steve and then move forward."
Brown's departure still seems like the inevitable result, as the negativity that engulfed the program this season would only be magnified next season. Every loss in 2014 would be met with a new round of questions for Brown and Texas players about the future of the program, an untenable position for everyone involved.
In fact, the only way it seems possible for Brown to return would be if Texas could not land the big-name coach it wants -- i.e. Nick Saban of Alabama -- and felt another season with him at the helm would be a better option than turning to a fall-back candidate. The press conference showed Brown at his most engaging and presidential, with Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich interrupting at one point to say to Brown, "You're really good at this."
But landing Saban, who has won three of the last four BCS national championships including a win over Texas in the 2010 BCS championship game to start that run, still appears to be the ultimate goal of Texas power brokers, whatever the cost.
As prominent Texas booster Red McCombs said following the press conference, "All the money that is not up at the Vatican is at UT."
Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.