Texas coach Mack Brown declined to say Thursday whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game, amid intense speculation following another disappointing season that began with the Longhorns talking about becoming national championship contenders again.
“My situation has not changed,” Brown said.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since multiple published reports this week indicated that he might step down, Brown said he has yet to talk with new Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson and university President Bill Powers about the job he’s held since 1998.
He deflected several other questions about his future during a news conference in San Antonio about Texas’ bowl game against Oregon on Dec. 30.
“I want to sit down with [Patterson] and Bill in the near future and talk about where we’re going and where our program is going,” Brown said.
About an hour later in Austin, Powers reasserted his support for Brown and said they planned to speak in the coming days.
Brown acknowledged the Longhorns (8-4) didn’t finish how they wanted after starting the season talking about competing for a national championship.
Notably attending Brown’s news conference was influential Texas booster Red McCombs, who is a close friend of Brown’s and one of the university’s most generous donors. McCombs told reporters he hopes Brown comes back next year — but didn’t blink about the caliber of coach Texas could get to replace him.
If the Longhorns job comes open, expect more speculation about Alabama coach Nick Saban replacing him. The AP reported last month that after last season Texas regents had spoken with Saban’s agent about the possibility of replacing Brown and approached Brown about stepping down.
Saban has deflected those reports. But McCombs expressed confidence about Texas’ ability to lure him to one of the wealthiest athletic programs in the nation.
“I don’t think there is any question about ‘getting him,’ ” McCombs said. “When Mack came there, budgets were an issue; they are not an issue now.”
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron said Saban told him he wasn’t leaving Alabama.
“I messed with Coach, [saying] he’s getting too old to start up again somewhere else,” McCarron said on ESPN’s College Football Daily from Walt Disney World. “He told me he’s not leaving. And I know Miss Terry [Saban’s wife] well enough; she runs that house. And she’s not allowing Coach to leave either. I think he’ll be at the University of Alabama for a little while.”
ESPN reported Wednesday that Alabama had readied an “offer of commitment” to make Saban the highest-paid coach in college football.
He signed an extension in March that pays him $5.62 million a year and runs through 2020.
Brown is 158-47 at Texas, including a national championship in 2005.
• Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston was selected as the Walter Camp player of the year and named winner of the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the top quarterback. Winston has set FBS freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38).
• Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won the Maxwell Award, given to the player of the year.
• Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman, and Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the defensive player of the year.
• Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back. The senior from Georgia finished the season with four interceptions.
• Florida State freshman Roberto Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best place kicker. He was 19-of-20 on field-goal attempts for the top-ranked Seminoles this season, including a 52 yarder, and was perfect on 90 extra points.
• Oregon State junior Brandin Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver. Cooks finished the season with 120 catches for 1,670 yards.
• Boston College’s Andre Williams won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back. He became the first running back at the Football Bowl Subdivision level since 2008 to rush for 2,000 yards.
• Memphis senior Tom Hornsey won the Ray Guy Award winner as the nation’s best punter. He averaged 45.2 yards on 62 punts.