Mack Brown’s new television sidekick Danny Kanell knows the former Texas coach will always be in a tough spot.
“If he praises Texas, he’s a homer,” Kanell said Tuesday, “and if he’s tough, then people will say he’s mad at the way things ended.”
That’s why Brown hopes to talk about Texas and new coach Charlie Strong as little as possible in his new role as a college football analyst on ABC and ESPN. In that same vein, Brown is not expected to be on ESPN’s Longhorn Network this fall. His primary assignment will be the Saturday night games on ABC.
“No. 1, Charlie’s a great coach and has a tremendous background,” Brown said on a ESPN conference call with reporters. “He and I made an agreement early, and I really suggested it, that I not talk about Texas.”
Still, everyone is curious what Brown must think of Strong’s disciplinary decisions, including dismissing seven players since the end of last season. Three more are also suspended at least for the first game for violating team rules. Up until Tuesday, Brown had gone out of his way to avoid talking about Strong and the Longhorns in any public forum. Brown was the coach at Texas for the last 16 seasons.
“If you watch programs in general, there’s usually huge turnover, and with Charlie there hasn’t been that much,” said Brown, who turns 63 on Wednesday.
Many columnists around the state have pegged Brown as a potential TV superstar for his down-home charm and knowledge of the game. But, don’t expect him to push Texas on TV the way Lee Corso does Florida State.
“I’m planning on being a college football analyst for ESPN/ABC and I will not be the coach at Texas or the ex-coach at Texas,” Brown said. “I will not have favorites. They asked me to be honest and give my true opinions. … It would be very unfair in my estimation to come on as a fan.”
And Brown’s pick to win the Big 12 this season?
“You have to talk about Oklahoma as a the favorite for the way they finished the season,” Brown said.
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