Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst issued a one-word response to the Omaha World-Herald in response to rumors that Nebraska was pursuing former Texas head coach Mack Brown.
On Sunday, Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls tweeted that Mack Brown's agent had received an inquiry from Nebraska regarding Brown's interest in the Husker head coaching job.
Joe Jamail said he got a call from someone saying he represented Nebraska seeking Mack's interest. "He's not going to Nebraska," JJ said.— kbohls (@kbohls) December 15, 2013
Jamail is a long time Texas booster and friend of Brown. The origins of this rumor probably go back a week to a Bohls column in the aftermath of the end of the regular season:
Joe Jamail, his trusted friend and attorney, told me he received "a feeler from a major, major university to see if Mack was interested." When I asked Jamail if that was USC before it hired Steve Sarkisian, he said, "I can’t tell you. They called me in complete confidence." Other big-name schools have come after Mack regularly. I think Nebraska would be crazy not to consider Brown if it lets Bo Pelini go.
Again, that's Bohls' speculation in his column last week. The speculation fed further last week when a conservative Twitter feed picked up on it:
Breaking, 2 sources say Nebraska highly interested in Mack Brown upon his release to replace Huskers HC Bo Pelini— beingreal (@tex09413171) December 9, 2013
It's a Twitter feed that, prior to this month, focused primarily on conservative talking points, such as this gem:
What's the difference between Toronto's Mayor Ford and our #POTUS? Ford actually admits he's on Crack.— beingreal (@tex09413171) November 14, 2013
So take it for what it's worth. The whole "Mack Brown to Nebraska" rumor probably had some basis in reality at one time...sixteen years ago. Allegedly, Bill Byrne was interested in Brown to succeed Tom Osborne upon his retirement, though in the end, he wasn't able to override Osborne's promise to Frank Solich. But that was three athletic directors ago, what about now?
Eichorst issued a statement of support of Pelini after the Iowa game that made it clear to most that Pelini would be the Nebraska coach in the future, being careful to not qualify it as a "one year" ultimatium. So why would Eichorst and Nebraska do an about face and begin pursuing Brown? It makes absolutely no sense, except in a conspiracy scenario where the vote of confidence instead freed up Pelini to pursue other jobs. (And Pelini's activity on the recruiting trail the last couple of weeks certainly doesn't give the appearance of a man pursuing employment elsewhere.)
So what about Jamail's statement that he had received an inquiry from Nebraska? Read it again: it was from somebody claiming to "represent Nebraska". A search firm, such as the one Tom Osborne used to assemble a list of football coaching candidates in 2007, perhaps? That's a possibility. Or more plausible, a someone trying to cast a doubt on the stability of Nebraska's coaching situation. Last week, a Facebook account was set up to contact Nebraska recruiting targets to imply that the staff was on the verge of being fired.
If you are going to go to that effort to try and sabotage Nebraska's recruiting, why wouldn't you go ahead and contact Brown's agent and hope it gets out. Nebraska fan upset with Pelini? Maybe. Fan of another school hoping to get a Nebraska recruit to flip? Maybe.
Either way, it simply looks like more shenanigans than anything else. Really, would Nebraska and its fans really want something that Texas has rejected?