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Nick Saban as Longhorns coach would raise the bar in Big 12

The Saban-to-Texas rumors won't go away and will only intensify if Mack Brown steps down this week, which most of us expect.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 9, 2013

Nick Saban awaits the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl game on Jan. 2. Oh my.

Unless Saban awaits the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl stadium every October. My oh my.

Suddenly, OU can't get away from the specter of the coach who's as good a pick as any for starting OU's tortoise-speed slide from the pinnacle college football. Bob Stoops hasn't come as close to his second national title since losing 21-14 to LSU and Saban 10 years ago in the Sugar Bowl.

Now there's a rematch. Same bat coach, same bat bowl. But not the same bat school. Saban coaches Alabama these days, maybe you've heard, and the Crimson Tide will be a prohibitive favorite against the upstart Sooners.

If Saban's even there. The Saban-to-Texas rumors won't go away and will only intensify if Mack Brown steps down this week, which most of us expect. I have no idea if the rumors have remnants of truth. Both parties — UT and Saban, not Mack — deserve to be drug through the mud, after Texas regent Wallace Hall and longtime booster Tom Hicks talked with Saban's agent last January about his client replacing Mack. Uncool. Very uncool.

>>PHOTO GALLERY: The plays that changed Bedlam

>>BLOG: Mack Brown denies he's stepping down as Texas coach

The prospect of playing Saban's team in the Sugar Bowl is both exciting and terrifying for Sooner Nation. Hopefully just the former for the ballplayers, who have shown uncommon fortitude in keeping a troubled season not just afloat, but asoaring. Everyone else, including perhaps the coaches, have to be thinking, careful what we wish for.

But if you think the idea of playing Bama in the Big (Not So) Easy is daunting, consider the prospect of Saban coaching the Longhorns, a nodding-off giant in the sport. Texas is 30-20 the last four years.

Such a hire in BevoLand would sober up a variety of Big 12 ports. Norman and Stillwater. Manhattan and Morgantown. Waco, Lubbock and Fort Worth. Everywhere, really, except Lawrence, and even then should Saban agree to take over the basketball team, too.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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