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12.15.2013 Daily Bears Report: Let's talk about Art Briles

With speculation already swirling about the now-open UT head coaching job, it's time to come to terms with the fact that Art Briles will be mentioned as a candidate for the job and there's nothing any of us can do about that.

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Briles and Brown were seen together!  It must mean Briles is taking that job!
Briles and Brown were seen together! It must mean Briles is taking that job!
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Already, across the various Baylor subscription/free boards on which I tend to keep an eye as part of my efforts to always know what is going on in the world of Baylor sports, I'm starting to see a rather interesting trend appearing that I warned a bit about last night: people demanding that Art Briles remove his name from consideration for the head coaching job at Texas.  This demand arises from fear; people are afraid that Texas will attempt to steal our beloved head coach and want to be reassured now that he won't listen should they call. They are afraid because they see list after list going up (like this one from SB Nation this morning) saying things like "Art Briles would be perfect for the job!" or "Opposing coaches are terrified Briles might go to Austin!"  This fear is entirely rational-- we of all people know what Briles can do when given the chance, and I'm sure the resources of a school like Texas, with all of its innate recruiting advantages, carry a certain allure.  Demanding he set the record straight on his purported candidacy is decidedly less so, if only because since the moment he signed his extension in November, he's said absolutely everything you want to hear from a coach that isn't leaving.  Everything Nick Saban is saying now that has supposedly removed him from consideration in Austin, Briles said then, including that he could not envision a scenario where he would listen to other programs in the offseason.

It's certainly possible that everything he said and we've heard about his desire to stay at Baylor for the long haul is just words, that Briles may heed the siren song of that school in Austin and take whatever money they're sure to offer.  I may get a chance to use my languages post again, I may not. Anybody outside Briles' inner circle who tells you they know for sure at this point is probably a liar.  And the charge of naivete would certainly be leveled should I state emphatically that "Briles said he's not going anywhere, so he's not.  Period."  Certain politicians of note have found out how dangerous a word "period" is in that context, anyway.  So I won't say that.  Here's what I will say: it says something to me that Briles, who negotiates his own contracts, signed an extension during a season in which he probably knew this job (Texas) was going to come open.  The writing on the wall of Mack's ouster has been clear for several months, the only question was whether he'd go out on top after winning the Big 12 or in a much lower place after losing it.  Had Briles been genuinely interested in that job, he could have tabled talks with Baylor until after the season, drawn out our best/final offer and taken it to Texas regardless.  Signing something with us doesn't get him anything more with them.  The offer does that by itself.  Instead, he made his non-personal requests -- raises for his staff, a new dining facility for the team -- in negotiations in November, those requests were all granted, and he signed.

Basically, I don't see the need for Briles to say anything because he's already done it, and demanding he do so again serves no real purpose.  Those not inclined to believe him won't no matter how emphatically he speaks.  Those recruiting against him with this possibility will continue to do so.  And, perhaps most important, those who want him at Texas will continue to say he's a candidate, no matter what he says or does.  To them, saying nothing means he's interested, and saying he's not interested means he's just being a coach and he's still interested.  That's how this works, and Briles knows that better than any of us.

As always, I'll do my best to keep you guys as informed as possible about how this coaching search, which is understandably important to us despite the fact that we're not Longhorns, goes.  But until something either happens or doesn't, I think we need to chill out.


If you ever needed a good example of how slanted the ESPN Big 12 blog is (for obvious reasons), take a look at it this morning.  I realize the Mack Brown news is big-- I posted about it here, too.  But 7 different posts on it in 18 hours?  Come on.  There hasn't been a post about any other team since Friday.

Not much news today.

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