Brown to Face Tough Choices

The process has started. That much we know. Texas coach Mack Brown met with his staff on Sunday, and word is that decisions could start coming soon.

But where does Texas go from there? In that respect, we're a bit more clueless. Sure, there are educated guesses. And we know, according to Brown, that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will not be involved with the choices.

Brown made a point to specify that Muschamp was his defensive coordinator, and that Brown alone would make the decisions for his program.

For his criteria, Brown has said he will evaluate his coaches in three areas: coaching, recruiting and public relations. How that formula is weighted in his mind is unknown, and could decide which coaches keep their jobs.

For instance, what is the fate of receivers coach Bobby Kennedy? As a coach, he had a rough year. Texas's receivers in general struggled to run routes, dropped passes and were inconsistent as a whole, often failing to get open. But Kennedy is one of the offensive staff's top recruiters.

Then there's Mac McWhorter. McWhorter is a common target for Texas fans, but few can deny that his lineup looked a lot better when his younger, more talented players began to emerge at the end of the year. He's also the lead recruiter on several of Texas's offensive linemen in what appears to be a stellar class.

And what of strength and conditioning coach Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden? At least one Big 12 assistant I talked to blamed a large portion of Texas's problems on its S&C program. Madden is annually handed the most athletically talented players in the state of Texas. He gets a head start. So to watch Texas mauled at the point of attack by a Kansas State team that largely suits up recruiting leftovers is a shock. On the flip side of that coin, Kansas State's strength coach, Chris Dawson, is among the conference's, and the nation's, best. He showed what a team can do with a coherent strength program.

It also isn't known how much past performance will factor into Brown's decision-making. Brown himself said that he thought the 2008 staff did the best coaching job of his tenure in Austin. And the 2009 team went to the BCS National Championship game, a game they very well could have won had Colt McCoy not sustained a shoulder injury.

Somebody's head will roll for the season at hand, of course. You don't have 5-7 seasons at Texas without some sort of change. But how will Brown measure the 2010 season's failures versus previous season's successes?

Some of the pieces are coming into light. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis has announced that he won't retire. That means that if Davis ends up off the staff, we'll know that it wasn't his choice.

There's also a rumor that Mike Tolleson, the team's defensive tackles and special teams coach will be retiring. A retirement or two could keep the staff changes to a minimum.

So that's where we're at. A bevy of decisions to make, all of which are Brown's, and next year's staff in the balance. It won't be easy, but things should be more clear before too long.

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