Early prognosticating seems likely to be accurate. Rumors were swirling yesterday that Mack Brown will be returning to UNC as their head coach next season. Multiple outlets reported this today. Because we hold our journalistic integrity at the utmost clownblogging level, we’ll say that this seems likely but no official announcement has come from either Brown or the school. Likely they are hashing out details of the deal. Maybe a $14 million buyout or something.
Now, this could turn out really well for them, especially if reports are correct that the program is targeting Kliff Kingsbury and Gene Chizik to join the staff as offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively. I’d put this as extremely unlikely, especially since Kingsbury would likely be looking for a head coaching gig, and Brian Brohm has reportedly turned down the Louisville job. If a good staff is in place, then sure Brown has the experience to be successful. I don’t put much of any stock in hiring him as a stop-gap in order to have a “coach in waiting” situation. You don’t spend millions of dollars knowing you’ll be making another shift in a few years. This also undercuts any decision by the current head coach, just a bad leadership stance all around.
But this could also turn south. Maybe not more south than where they’re at now, can’t go much further down. I don’t know, 0 wins maybe? Mack Brown is 67 years old. Mack Brown has also spent the last five years watching football and talking about it, not coaching or recruiting. Speaking of recruiting, he has not recruited in the state of North Carolina in literally 20 years. Maybe he did while at Texas, but not to the extent as he will have to now. Did UNC see a lot of success with Brown at the helm? They sure did. So one can see why they would want to recapture some of that former glory after spending the last few years in a dumpster fire that’s been pushed off a cliff.
On the flip side, did he springboard from that job to Texas and see even higher heights, culminating in a national championship? Yup. Will UNC fans immediately take this to think they will be competing in the ACC Championship Game every year? Well, hold on to your butts, because of course they will. Having that title in hand immediately means your coach has “championship pedigree”, something that can be enticing to recruits and perhaps put fans back in those empty Kenan seats. Maybe they’ll conveniently forget that time he swore he wasn’t leaving and then totally left. I guess if Bobby Petrino could get rehired anything’s possible, and that turned out so well.
As it currently stands, Dave Doeren and crew have done their darndest to lock down the in-state recruits, building in roads with high school coaches throughout the region. Regardless of the pedigree Mack Brown brings, he and his staff will need to build that momentum and quickly.
This is not to say they can’t do it. It’s possible. This is also why we keep saying NC State needs to take advantage of winning opportunities when they present themselves. The rest of the league is not going sit around waiting, this should hopefully serve as even more motivation for Doeren and team to keep pushing forward.
Twitter has been in good form today reacting to this news. Just a few of the choice posts are below:
Mack Brown in the living room of a high school recruit: "Remember Vince Young? I can turn you into the next Vince Young!"— Jeremy Moore (@jeremymoorenc) November 26, 2018
Recruit: "Who's Vince Young?"
Mack Brown: *falls asleep*
Mack Brown left North Carolina because, well, it was Texas. However, he also didn’t like the football vs. basketball culture. Can’t wait until he shows up and sees this helmet! pic.twitter.com/5jMAF5a8q5— Joe Ho Ho Hovies (@joeovies) November 26, 2018
Has Mack Brown asked Bubba why Maryland isn’t on the schedule yet?— Chris Hathcock (@ChrisLHathcock) November 26, 2018
I’m just glad I haven’t been forced to read the words “sleeping giant” too many times today. I would’ve thrown my computer out the window.