Texas' recent downturn began when quarterback Colt McCoy was driven into the Rose Bowl turf by Alabama during the 2010 BCS championship game. Taking the old adage "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" literally, a Texas regent met with Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban's agent in January to gauge interest about replacing embattled Longhorns head coach Mack Brown.
Agent Jimmy Sexton spoke with university regent Wallace Hall and former regent Tom Hicks, who used to own the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars and Liverpool F.C., by telephone a few days after Alabama throttled Notre Dame to win its second consecutive BCS title, The Associated Press reports.
Hicks met with Brown two days after the call. Brown was informed of the contact with Sexton and asked if he was ready to retire. When Brown said he was ready for his 16th season at Texas, the matter was dropped.
Bringing in Saban to replace Brown has been a popular topic of discussion on Texas message boards for years following the 37-21 Alabama win in Pasadena, Calif., with rumors of the meeting circulating in recent months. The acknowledgement of contact between Saban and Texas could emerge as the dominant storyline around an already reeling Longhorns team this season.
Texas is 1-2 and has allowed 822 rushing yards in humbling losses to BYU and Ole Miss the last two weeks. Brown is 23-18 since the BCS title game appearance, has not been in contention for the Big 12 championship with three straight whippings at the hands of rival Oklahoma. Factor in the rise of former in-state rival Texas A&M and Brown sits on one of the hottest seats in college football.
Brown, however, isn't ready to give up without a fight.
"If there are any more [pressure on Brown to resign], get ready for a lawsuit," said Joe Jamail, Brown's attorney and a prominent Texas booster. "Mack has publicly stated he wants to coach."
But if there are two things in abundance on the 40 Acres, they are the desire for Texas to be a dominant football program and piles of cash -- more than enough to buy out Brown's contract or sustain a legal challenge and still offer Saban or any other target the biggest salary in college football -- not necessarily in that order.