The Texas football job now is 10 days open. And who hires a coach over Christmas?
So the wait continues on a coaching search that has not only Austin on edge, but piques the interest in ports all over the Southwest.
And while we wait, let's answer 10 questions about the Texas coaching search.
1. Is Mike Gundy a candidate?
Sure. I think the ‘Horns will try to hit a home run — Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh — but are more likely to end up with a program-builder like Gundy, James Franklin, Pat Fitzgerald, Charlie Strong, etc.
Gundy is 1-8 vs. OU, which doesn't set well with Bevo. But Gundy is 3-1 the last four years against Texas, with the lone loss controversial. That will resonate in Austin more than will Bedlam results.
And Gundy would consider it. When hired at OSU, Gundy said that was his Yankees job. But maybe we should have asked him if he's a Red Sox fan.
2. Is Bob Stoops a candidate?
I'll say no. Not good timing, even if Stoops was tempted. His daughter is in high school and his twin sons soon will be.
Also, Stoops always has valued the stability of OU's administration. Texas' administration doesn't seem stable. Athletic director Steve Patterson is new. President Bill Powers has kept his job, but who knows for how long?
3. Is Texas waiting on the BCS bowls?
Maybe. We're drawing closer to the January games, and at least four of the five BCS bowls sport coaches who would be viable candidates for the Longhorns.
Is UT waiting on Florida State's Jimbo Fisher or Auburn's Gus Malzahn? Stanford's David Shaw or Michigan State's Mark Dantonio? Baylor's Art Briles or Alabama's Nick Saban?
If so, I feel better about the coaching profession. Maybe it's starting to develop a conscience. Maybe coaches are starting to find honor and won't bolt on their teams until after the season is complete.
4. Is Saban really out of the picture?
I assume so. But I'll believe it when Texas hires someone else. I don't trust anything a coach says or signs. And neither should you.
5. Who should Texas hire?
Briles. He's not an Austin type of guy, but he's a Texan through and through. It's the University of Texas, not the University of Austin.
6. Who will Texas hire?
I've been saying James Franklin. Win 8-9 games at Vanderbilt more than once, and you ought to be able to win big at Texas.
7. Where has Texas historically gone when hiring a football coach?
Almost exclusively, UT has hired a head coach from a program a notch or three below the ‘Horns.
Mack from North Carolina. John Mackovic from Illinois. David McWilliams from Texas Tech. Fred Akers from Wyoming. Darrell Royal from Washington, before the Huskies were nationally prominent. Not since promoting Ed Price in 1951 has Texas hired an assistant coach to be the head man.
8. What kind of team will the new coach inherit?
Not bad, especially if David Ash is healthy and gives Texas an experienced quarterback. The ‘Horns lose eight senior starters. But OSU, Baylor and Kansas State all suffer much heavier losses.
OU will be the Big 12 favorite in the 2014 preseason, but no reason why Texas won't be picked second.
Let the expectations begin.
9. What kind of schedule will the new coach face?
Tough. UT's non-conference slate is North Texas and Brigham Young in Austin, plus UCLA in Arlington.
The Longhorns play at Lawrence, Manhattan, Lubbock and Stillwater. Going 3-1 in those road games won't be easy. Plus the Sooners in Dallas. It won't be easy to reach 10 wins.
10. So who's making the decision for Texas?
Uh, good question. Who knows, with a new athletic director, a just-redeemed president, a just-formed search committee, renegade regents who talked with Saban's agent last January and billionaire boosters like attorney Joe Jamail, for whom the Royal-Memorial Stadium field is named?
I know who's not. DeLoss Dodds. It's possible that Texas already is missing its 30-year AD.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.