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BISHER: Kings ought to be watchful of their football coaching thrones

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

It would be my guess that Mack Brown will not be hand-picking another head coach-in-waiting at Texas -- until he is ready to give up his throne. And that head coaches across the fruited plain will have taken note of what happened when he elevated Will Muschamp from an assistant to the head of the pack.

All Mack did was establish Muschamp as a personal coaching corporation. He was an investment standing out there waiting for an investor, and the University of Florida bought in.

I wondered at the time Mack made his announcement, if he was actually trying to nail Muschamp down at Texas. And just what about all the other assistant coaches? Would that cause a tilt in loyalty, from Mack to Muschamp -- especially among the older guys? Mack couldn't possibly have expected what happened -- the Longhorns had a serious recession, and in the process some of his other assistants either quit or were fired, and then the worst possible speculation broke out. Was Mack even safe at home?

Then Muschamp takes leave for Florida, and lo and behold, danged if he doesn't reach into the NFL and hire fat Charlie Weis to run his offense.

This being the same Charlie Weis who was a failure at Notre Dame, his alma mater. It was always a puzzle to me, that the fathers would hire a former Notre Dame student who never played on the football team to come back to the campus to coach it.

Muschamp and Weis? An uncommon association, a pair from two different worlds. Muschamp grew up in the south, a Georgia Bulldog, and how did it come about that he and Charlie Weis made contact? And how was it that Weis, who made his name in the professional game, came to be on Muschamp's wish list? I'll admit, I don't know nearly enough about this amalgamation as I should know, or would like to know, but I'd guess we'll come to learn more as time rolls by.

Meantime, back in Austin, how is Mack Brown going about repairing the damage? You can wager he'll not be appointing another successor in waiting. Look at Joe Paterno. He's 84 years old, and you haven't heard of JoePa anointing Penn State's next head coach, or even suggesting retirement. That's his call.

You saw what happened at Florida State, when it developed that Bobby Bowden didn't rule the kingdom. Jimbo Fisher was established as Bobby's successor and Bobby was shown the exit while begging for one more year, "Just one more year, please? Please?"

Embarrassing for the man who once was king of all he surveyed.

And it wasn't Bobby who crowned his own successor. That came from above, including a retiring president who had played on his football team. Whew! I'm confused. How about you?

Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Citizen.