Saban, Texas and a bizarre Friday night
For a guy who allegedly didn't want to be the focus of the night, the college football universe centered squarely on Mack Brown Friday night.
Let's start in Austin, where, hours after a meeting with Texas president Bill Powers and athletics director Steve Patterson, Brown attended Texas' year-end football banquet. The evening started with Patterson telling a table of reporters "when we've got something to say, we'll say it." That was followed by DeLoss Dodds telling Brown and his wife Sally, "You've made this a better place...you've done it with integrity." Patterson followed by saying Brown has been "classy, ethical and competent for 16 years", and hoping the two would work together for many years to come. Next was Powers, telling Mack and Sally, "you two are the best and I'm proud to be your friend," and keynote speaker Don Evans noting how Texas' endowment has risen to $9 billion since Brown's arrival in Austin.
If that all sounds like the build up to a retirement speech, well, that didn't happen. Brown stood in front of the microphone for the second consecutive day, and for the second consecutive day did nothing to address his future at Texas. He thanked the band, the cheerleaders, the seniors, the parents and closed the night with "beat Oregon."
As the banquet was going on, word leaked elsewhere that Brown intended to stay in Austin. Orangebloods.com tweeted that a Texas high school coach was told Brown was staying at Texas. Thirteen minutes later, news broke - from Kirk Herbstreit - that Nick Saban had agreed to an extension at Alabama. Forty minutes later, another report indicated that Brown would remain the coach of the Longhorns.
While Saban appears parked in Tuscaloosa for an extra $2 million a year (yes, Nick will now make over $7 million per year), the situation at Texas remains unresolved and will stay that way until one of Brown, Powers or Patterson says otherwise.