The Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, which is on the UT campus, holds nearly 2,000 Native American human remains, according to Bryant Celestine, a representative from the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas.

UT researchers originally acquired the human remains from excavations during New Deal-era public works’ projects, donations and purchases from private collections and other construction-related excavations, said Marybeth Tomka, head of collections at the laboratory. Celestine said he believes the human remains should belong to their respective tribes.

Bureaucratic requirements within the repatriation process and the historical realities of Texan Native Americans make it difficult for tribes to reclaim and rebury the remains of their ancestors today, according to Celestine and anthropology associate professor Shannon Speed.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 currently governs the repatriation process for Native American human remains. In order for a tribe to complete the process, the tribe must be federally recognized and must be able to prove its affiliation with the remains in question.

The lack of natively Texan, federally recognized tribes in the country makes it difficult for the remains to reach the tribe that they belong to, Speed said.

“The biggest issue in Texas with regards to repatriation is that we have had many, many tribes over time in this area, but we currently only have three federally recognized tribes, none of which are original to the area,” Speed said. “All the remains are extremely unlikely to be from any one of those tribes, and the appropriate tribes aren’t automatically consulted for [Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act] because they are not federally recognized.”

Celestine said the requirement to prove the human remains’ affiliation with documentation hinders many tribes’ ability to repatriate remains because existing research has incorrect information.

“A lot of times the information that is in those documents is not necessarily from the native point of view,” Celestine said. “They contain assumptions that have been made over time based on one researcher’s experience, and at some point, it becomes the law of the land and anything that challenges that is normally disrespected and ignored. It impedes upon some tribes ability to get repatriation in certain instances.”

Tomka said the laboratory has recently undertaken new initiatives to reach out to tribes native to Texas living outside of the state and to make honest efforts in finding and using reliable information to ensure that all tribes have a fair opportunity to claim their ancestors.

“It’s just best policy to start the consultation process as soon as possible [and] as fair as possible,” Tomka said. “It works out for everybody because then nobody feels like they are being ignored [and] nobody feels like they are being stepped on or put aside. So we ask, ‘We are going into an area that is in your native lands. What would you like us to do?’”

Auburn at Alabama

The last time these two teams met, Chris Davis had his 15 minutes of fame after returning a missed Alabama field goal for a game-winning touchdown and helping Auburn leapfrog into the national title game. A year later, the stakes aren’t exactly the same, but the drama should be similar. Auburn has dropped off a bit with losses to Mississippi State and Georgia and then literally fumbling the game away against Texas A&M. Alabama, on the other hand, will be looking for revenge against the team that knocked it out of the national title game last year. Despite a close loss at Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide have run through the SEC West gauntlet and have put themselves in a position to get into the playoffs. These teams are headed in different directions, but this is the Iron Bowl, which is always must-watch television.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss

The stakes aren’t nearly as high as we thought they might be in October, but this should still be a great game between two rivals. Mississippi State still has a shot to make the top four for the playoffs, and a win over Ole Miss would be a big résumé builder. Bulldog junior quarterback Dak Prescott remains a Heisman candidate after throwing for 2,714 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. Ole Miss, on the other hand, is heading in the wrong direction after a promising start to the season. The Rebels knocked off Alabama but then lost to LSU, Auburn and Arkansas. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace has been less than stellar the past four games, with only five touchdown passes and four picks. Still, this game is in the national spotlight for the first time in quite some time and is well worth a watch. 

Florida at Florida State

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like much of a matchup. Florida has seemingly dropped off the face of the college football landscape along with former head coach Will Muschamp, and Florida State has won 27 games in a row. But there are a lot of unknowns in this rivalry game. Florida could be inspired by its coach’s last game and come out like world beaters, similar to what it did to Georgia a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Florida State has made a habit of struggling against lesser teams in the first half and barely pulling out a win at the very end. No, this isn’t the Gator-Seminole rivalry of old, but it’s suddenly all the rage to see if this is the week Florida State finally falls.

Georgia Tech at Georgia

This could be the most underrated rivalry matchup this week, which says a lot considering both teams come into the game ranked pretty high. Georgia Tech has quietly worked its way through a tough schedule and put an exclamation point on it with a 28-6 win over then-No. 19 Clemson. Meanwhile, Georgia has at times looked like a national championship contender, with wins over Missouri and Auburn, but looked mediocre in the loss to Florida. Still, the Bulldogs need this win to stay alive in the race for the SEC East title. At any rate, this is a game that deserves to be watched.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

Last week (W, 51-27, vs. Utah): 17-for-29, 239 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 114 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2014: 2,780 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, 2 INTs, 524 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs

If there’s one safe bet to be made in the midst of college football’s unpredictable regular season conclusion, it should be made on the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks’ last two regular season contests come against Colorado and Oregon State — two teams that Oregon should brush off with ease. An equally safe bet can be made on Mariota’s performance against the lesser opponents. It would be shocking if the junior does not tear apart both defenses and add more accolades to his already impressive Heisman résumé. Mariota and the Ducks look like serious championship contenders right now, and, at least for the near future, Mariota’s Heisman lead appears safe. 

2. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

Last week (W, 45-16 vs.Tennessee-Martin): 14-for-23, 206 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 54 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

2014: 2,231 passing yards, 18 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 779 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs

To say that this is an important week for Prescott’s Heisman hopes would be a major understatement. On Saturday, the breakthrough player of the year will lead his first-ranked Bulldogs into Tuscaloosa for the game of the week against Alabama. And although the Tide have been shaky this year, they’ve been absolutely dominant at home. Beating them there takes mistake-free play from a quarterback, and then some. Prescott has struggled with consistency in recent weeks, but he turned it around last Saturday against Tennessee-Martin. Prescott’s greatest responsibility will be to take care of the ball, and, if he can’t do that, the Bulldogs are certain to lose, eliminating any chance he has of winning college football’s most prestigious award. 

3. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon

Last week (W, 34-16, vs. Purdue): 25 rushing attempts, 1 rushing TD, 44 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD

2014: 198 rushing attempts, 1,501 rushing yards, 19 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs

It’s easy to take Gordon’s performance for granted because he’s been so consistent, and his impressive numbers have become the expectation. But what Gordon has accomplished this season has been spectacular. Gordon is at, or near, the top of every rushing statistic, including the most important one: total rushing yard. It takes just one play to realize why Gordon is the Wisconsin offense’s most important piece. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t finish strong in the Badgers’ last two regular season games and put a stamp on one of the greatest running back campaigns in recent history. 

4. TCU QB Trevone Boykin

Last week (W, 41-20, vs. Kansas State): 23-for-34, 219 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 123 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs

2014: 2,691 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 546 rushing yards, 7 rushing TDs

Boykin has delivered when the pressure has been greatest. Last week, he did it again in what was supposed to be a close contest against Kansas State, in which Boykin easily led the Horned Frogs to a blowout win. Without Boykin, TCU probably wouldn’t even be relevant, let alone in the College Football Playoff conversation. The former receiver has done everything and more to make up for TCU’s poor defense, single-handedly dragging his team to a 9-1 record and a chance to play for a national championship. 

5. Alabama WR Amari Cooper

Last week (W, 20-13 (OT), vs. LSU): 8 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD

2014: 79 receptions, 1,215 receiving yards, 10 receiving TDs

Aside from a dropped pass late in the fourth quarter that could have made things easier for the Tide last week, Cooper turned in another impressive performance against a solid LSU defense. Having such a major impact is nothing new to Cooper, who is having as good a season as an Alabama receiver ever has. He’s second in the nation in receiving yards and near the top in every other category, but, more importantly, he’s the most important element of Alabama’s offensive attack. As the Tide find themselves fighting for a spot in the final four, nobody will be as vital in getting them there as Cooper.

The Bears took down Oklahoma on the road. With the win, Baylor hopes the outcome will help their playoff chances.

Photo Credit: Jenna VonHofe | Daily Texan Staff

In one of the most eventful weekends of the season thus far, four teams ranked in the College Football Playoff committee’s top 10 fell, eliminating them from playoff consideration.

One of the most stunning games of the weekend happened in Auburn, Alabama, where the No. 3 Tigers fell, 41-38, to Texas A&M. Auburn had several chances to win the game, but two fumbles late in the fourth quarter halted its rally.

The Aggies outscored the Tigers 21-3 in a critical second quarter, which included a field goal block return for a touchdown as the half ended. 

No. 6 TCU routed No. 7 Kansas State, 41-20, in Fort Worth. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin accounted for four touchdowns in the game.

No. 8 Michigan State fell to No. 14 Ohio State, 49-37, in East Lansing, Michigan. Buckeye freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while adding two more on the ground. Ohio State scored two touchdowns in the final 3:20 of the first half to take a 28-21 lead, which it did not relinquish.

No. 9 Arizona State topped No. 10 Notre Dame, 55-31, in Tempe, Arizona. After the Irish scored a field goal on their first drive, the Sun Devils scored 34 unanswered points. Notre Dame rallied to get within three points, but the Sun Devils eventually put the game out of reach. 

14-point swing critical in Utah:

No. 17 Utah appeared to have grabbed a two-touchdown lead on No. 4 Oregon. Senior wide receiver Kaelin Clay had his man beat and the end zone in sight, but, as he approached the goal line, he dropped the ball in celebration. Instead, he technically fumbled the football, and it was scooped up by Oregon junior linebacker Joe Walker, who returned it 100 yards to tie the ball game.

After the fumble return, Oregon scored 24 straight points to seemingly put the game away at 24-7. But the Utes fought valiantly, cutting the difference to 30-27 before a couple of touchdowns by Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota gave the Ducks a comfortable cushion.

Baylor makes a statement:

Entering the weekend, eyes were on No. 12 Baylor, which desperately needed to impress the playoff committee to try to stake its claim as one of the four best teams in the nation.

The Bears trailed, 14-3, at the end of the first quarter but closed with the contest’s final 45 points to blow out the No. 15 Sooners, 48-14. It was
Baylor’s first victory ever on the road against Oklahoma.

Late field goal sets stage for high-stake game in Baton Rouge:

As is often the case when LSU plays Alabama, this year’s contest went down to the wire. The No. 5 Crimson Tide held the No. 16 Tigers to a field goal in the closing minute of regulation after Alabama turned the ball over at its own six.

Trailing, 13-10, with 50 seconds remaining, Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims moved the offense 39 yards to set up the game-tying field goal by placekicker Adam Griffith.

Alabama scored a touchdown on its first possession in overtime and forced four straight LSU incompletions to secure the 20-13 victory.

The Crimson Tide host No. 1 Mississippi State this weekend.

No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 24 LSU

Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Saturday, 6:15 p.m.


Ole Miss has been one of the surprise teams in the SEC West, upsetting Alabama three weeks ago. Now, the Rebels will get another challenge as they go into Death Valley at night to face a Tiger team trying to hang on in the SEC West race. Ole Miss has benefitted from a much improved Bo Wallace. The senior quarterback has thrown for 1,899 yards and 17 touchdowns so far this season, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt, the highest of his career. On the other side, freshman running back Leonard Fournette is leading the Tigers with 544 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. But, he did not score in either of the two LSU losses this season. Although the Tigers are having a down year, this is by no means an easy game for the Rebels, especially in Baton Rouge with major playoff implications at stake.

No. 20 USC at No. 19 Utah

Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Saturday, 9:00 p.m.

Fox Sports 1

The only other matchup between ranked teams comes way off the beaten path. While they both come in ranked in the Top 20, neither USC nor Utah are in any serious contention for the playoffs. But, that doesn’t mean this game won’t be intriguing. The Trojans are on their way back to some relevancy after a horrendous couple of years under former head coach Lane Kiffin. Redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler has been fairly impressive this season, throwing for 1,884 yards, 18 touchdowns and only one interception so far. But the Trojan defense is only 47th in the country, surrendering 23.1 points per game. The Utes, on the other hand, have seemingly come out of nowhere to earn their ranking. After two years of being an afterthought in the Pac-12, Utah pulled off an upset over then-No. 8 UCLA two weeks ago and beat Oregon State in double overtime last week. Yes, this is a late kickoff, but it ought to be well worth the wait to see these Pac-12 teams go at it.

No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State

Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.


The most intriguing game in the Big 12 this week comes between two teams that have had their share of ups and downs this season. West Virginia has been a bit of Jekyll and Hyde, almost pulling off an upset over Alabama and beating Baylor last week but losing to Oklahoma and needing a last-second field goal to beat Texas Tech. Senior quarterback Clint Trickett has been masterful for the Mountaineers, passing for 2,525 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. On the other side, Oklahoma State has struggled since junior quarterback J.W. Walsh went down in week two with an injury. Fellow junior quarterback Daxx Garman has played decently in his place, but the Cowboys look like a far cry from the team that almost beat Florida State to start the season, having just edged out Kansas by seven points and losing 42-9 to TCU last week. If both teams show up this week as Dr. Jekyll, we could be in for a heck of a game.

No. 13 Ohio State at Penn State

Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pennsylvania

Saturday, 7:00 p.m.


Since top teams Ohio State and Michigan State each lost big out-of-conference games back in September, the Big Ten has flown under the radar. But, this showdown of perennial conference powers will put the conference back on the map, even if it’s just for one week. Other than the loss to Virginia Tech in the second week of the season, the Buckeyes have been dominant this year, winning their two conference games by a combined score of 108-41. Freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has been great in place of the injured Braxton Miller, throwing for 1,615 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. Penn State, on the other hand, has fallen off, losing their last two games after winning their first four. In those two losses, sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg has only thrown one touchdown pass and two interceptions. While this might seem like a cakewalk for an Ohio State team with an outside chance of getting into the playoff, anything can happen in Happy Valley.

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

It could very well be that the state of Mississippi boasts the two best college football teams in the country. 

Fresh off its dominating 38-23 victory over Auburn, Mississippi State is ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs also became the fastest team to climb from unranked to No. 1 in the history of the Associated Press poll, accomplishing the feat in five weeks. They are the fifth team ever to defeat three top-10 teams in three consecutive weeks. 

Their rivals in Oxford, Mississippi, are sitting pretty as well. Ole Miss routed Texas A&M in College Station, 35-20, on Saturday. The Rebels are now ranked No. 3 in both the AP and coaches polls, their highest ranking since 1964.

The road only gets harder for Mississippi State — the team must travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Nov. 15 to play the Crimson Tide. It also finishes the season on the road against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss hosts the Auburn Tigers in a few weeks, but the Tigers are the only ranked opponent left on Ole Miss’ schedule until the aforementioned Mississippi State matchup.

Plenty will happen between now and the end of the season for both programs, but, if the teams enter the end-of-season matchup unscathed, they could very well find themselves in the College Football Playoff.

Big 12, SEC dominate top 15: 

The Big 12 and the SEC each landed five teams in the top 15 of the polls. The Big 12 is led by Baylor, which ranks fourth in both polls after a thrilling 61-58 victory over then-No. 9 TCU. Oklahoma comes in at No. 11 while TCU drops to No. 12. Kansas State and Oklahoma State round out the top 15 at Nos. 14 and
15, respectively.

The SEC, led by the aforementioned Bulldogs and Rebels, has three more teams in the top 10 this week. Auburn moved down to No. 6 in the AP poll, and Alabama and Georgia are ranked Nos. 7 and 10, respectively. 

Special teams cost Arizona:

Fresh off an upset win at Oregon, Arizona controlled its own destiny in the Pac-12 South race. The Wildcats jumped from unranked to No. 10 after the win, their highest ranking since 2010.

They had a chance to remain perfect after rallying to bring their score to within a field goal of USC this past weekend. But Arizona junior placekicker Casey Skowron, who had been struggling all night, missed a 36-yard field-goal that would have put the Wildcats ahead in the waning seconds. Arizona fell, 28-26, and Skowron finished the night having converted only two of his five field goal attempts.

Aggies set attendance record in loss:

A crowd of 110,633 people attended Ole Miss’ 35-20 drubbing of Texas A&M on Saturday. It was the largest ever football crowd in the state of Texas and the SEC. It didn’t help much, however, as the Aggies fell behind 21-0 at halftime and trailed 35-7 after three quarters before eventually falling 35-20. 

No. 3 Alabama at No. 11 Ole Miss

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Mississippi

Saturday, 2:30 PM


This could very well be a telling sign of how things will play out in the SEC West. If Alabama wins, like most are predicting, the race to the SEC Championship game should remain between Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M. But, if the Rebels find a way to pull off what might be the biggest win in school history, it would open the door for them or Mississippi State to find a way into the conversation. The Crimson Tide continue to roll with senior quarterback Blake Sims, who has completed 73 percent of his passes for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns, while senior quarterback Bo Wallace, with 1,271 passing yards and 11 touchdowns of his own, has the Rebels on a mission. This will be Ole Miss’ best shot to beat Alabama for the first time since 2003 and shake up what many consider the best division of the best conference in the nation.

No. 14 Stanford at No. 9 Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana

Saturday, 2:30 PM


No, this doesn’t feel like the same Stanford team that’s played in the past two Rose Bowls, and, no, this isn’t the same Notre Dame team that played in the national title game two years ago. Nonetheless, this will have a big impact on which team will remain in contention for the College Football Playoff. The Cardinal, even with the loss to USC three weeks ago, still have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. They had a quality win at Washington last week and can potentially add a quality win at Oregon in November and against whoever they face in the Pac-12 title game. Notre Dame, playing as an independent, will likely fall out of contention with a loss but gain a lot of credibility with a win.

No. 15 LSU at No. 5 Auburn

Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama

Saturday, 6:00 PM


Similar to the Alabama-Ole Miss matchup, this battle of Tigers could determine how the SEC West will be won. LSU, having already lost to division foe Mississippi State, could play spoiler for rival Auburn and open the door to get back into the hunt for the division crown. Auburn, on the other hand, could get the inside track at the title with a big home win. The LSU Tigers aren’t exactly the same team that competed year in, year out with Alabama just a short while ago. They haven’t exactly impressed folks with a close 28-24 win over Wisconsin in week one and a 34-29 loss at home to Mississippi State. The Auburn Tigers are seeking to become the first team not named Alabama to win back-to-back SEC West titles since the division was formed in 1992.

No. 4 Oklahoma at No. 25 TCU

Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Saturday, 2:30 PM


Oklahoma has steamrolled its opponents with relative ease so far but will likely face a test when it travels down I-35 to Fort Worth to play TCU on Saturday. The Sooners vaulted their way back to the top of the Big 12 title discussion with big wins over an improving Tennessee team and an always difficult West Virginia squad in Morgantown. And, although the Horned Frogs aren’t the same squad that won the Rose Bowl before joining the conference, they’ll still be a challenge for the Sooners. TCU is coming off of a massive 56-0 win over SMU last Saturday and easily beat up on Minnesota earlier this year. With the quarterback issue of a year ago now solved, the Horned Frogs and their stout defense will not be a walkover for the Sooners.

Men's golf

The No. 4 men’s golf team opens its season this weekend at the Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational after a runner-up finish at the event last year.   

Coming off a stellar season and conference championship last year, the Longhorns look to continue the winning tradition with the addition of three new freshmen to the starting lineup. Freshmen Taylor Funk, Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler will make collegiate debuts for Texas this weekend.  

Senior Brax McCarthy and sophomore Gavin Hall round out the Longhorn team for the Invitational. The Longhorns will compete against some of the toughest teams in the nation, including conference rivals No. 1 Oklahoma State — which is tied with Alabama — No. 11 Oklahoma and Baylor. A total of 10 ranked teams, including No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Illinois and No. 7 Stanford, will also be in included. 

Men's tennis

While the Longhorns will start competition this weekend at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland, their top singles player — two-time All-American
senior Søren Hess-Olesen — will be in his home country of Denmark for the Davis Cup.

Hess-Olesen, ranked No. 5 in singles, advanced to the finals of the invitational the past two years. Without Hess-Olesen, senior Jacoby Lewis will lead Texas in the tournament. The three other Longhorns competing — Brown University junior transfer Michael Riechmann, redshirt freshman William Jou and freshman John Mee — are making their Texas debuts.

Women's tennis

The women’s tennis team, under interim head coach Darija Klaic, will begin the fall season at the Under Armour Kick Off on Friday in Waco. 

Texas will return five of its six regular starters from last season, including two-time All-American and defending Big 12 Player of the Year junior Breaunna Addison. Addison was ranked No. 13 in the preseason ITA national rankings, along with No. 81 sophomore Ratnika Batra and No. 112 sophomore Neda Koprcina. 

Sophomore Pippa Horn, senior Lina Padegimaite, senior Annat Rabinovich and junior Lana Groenvynck also return alongside freshman newcomers Ryann Foster and Danielle Wagland.

Players from host Baylor, Texas A&M, Alabama and USC will also compete in the doubles and singles tournaments, which run Friday afternoon through Sunday. 

Klaic will be making her head coaching debut after nine years as an assistant under Patty Fendick-McCain, who announced her retirement in June. 

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

It was quite the anti-climatic ending to an eventful week for Texas fans.

After a Tuesday report expecting Mack Brown to retire as head coach of the Longhorns gained national interest, many thought the veteran coach would retire Friday night at the annual Longhorn football banquet. Instead, Brown gave a short but inspired speech celebrating his 2013 team, ending on a simple note, stating his only goal is to beat Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Brown mentioned nothing of his future with the Longhorns.

President William Powers Jr. and new men's head athletic director Steve Patterson reportedly met with Brown on Friday morning to discuss the future of Texas football, but Patterson declined to divulge in what was reviewed.

In addition, all suspicion that Alabama head coach Nick Saban would leave Tuscaloosa for Austin was ended Friday night. Saban reportedly made an agreement with Alabama for a long-term contract extension.

Saban, who has won three national titles in the last four years, is expected to receive a sizeable raise and could reach an annual salary of more than $7 million, according to a Tuscaloosa news report. 

"It's been a wonderful ride."

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

After 16 seasons as the Longhorns’ head coach, Mack Brown’s tenure is officially over.

Brown announced his decision to step down Saturday, one week after Texas’ 30-10 loss to Baylor in the regular season finale with a Big 12 championship on the line. He will coach his last game in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 against Oregon.

“Sally and I were brought to Texas 16 years ago to pull together a football program that was divided," Brown said in a statement. "With a lot of passion, hard work and determination from the kids, coaches and staff, we did that. We built a strong football family, reached great heights and accomplished a lot, and for that, I thank everyone. It's been a wonderful ride."

President William Powers Jr. said the announcement of Brown’s resignation — who he saw as a friend — is not easy. 

“This is a very difficult day for everyone in The University of Texas family,” Powers said. “Mack Brown is one of the best football coaches in the country, a tremendous representative of our University, and, most importantly, a great friend. He has produced championship teams with tremendous student-athletes and has always done so with the utmost class and integrity. Mack is just the best and he will be missed."

Brown’s decision to step down comes after Texas finished the 2013 regular season with an 8-4 record, the fourth straight season in which the Longhorns suffered at least four losses. Speculation about Brown's future ran rampant earlier this year after Texas dropped a pair of non-conference games to start the season 1-2.

Rumors began to swirl about possible replacements for Brown, with Alabama head coach Nick Saban being the most talked about. In January, one current and one former UT System regent placed a call to Saban's agent Jimmy Sexton to gauge Saban's interest in coming to Texas.

Questions about Brown’s job security quieted once Texas began conference play, as the Longhorns reeled off six straight wins against conference opponents. This proved to be short-lived though, as losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor in two of the next three games put Brown back on the hot seat.

Despite this, Brown maintained his intention to finish his current contract, which ends in 2020, throughout the year.

“I want to finish at Texas,” Brown said before the season. “If I’m healthy and we win, I’m going to try to make 2020. I think it would be fun to do that, get back on another roll.”

After the Longhorns’ second game of the season against BYU, he relieved defensive coordinator Manny Diaz of his duties and replaced him with Greg Robinson, the first time he’s ever replaced a coach mid-season. Robinson became Texas’ third defensive play-caller in the last four seasons.

These struggles aren’t new to Brown and his team.  He has failed to produce a football team up to Texas' standards, which in part he built, the past four years. Since 2010, he has led teams to a 5-7, 8-5 and a 9-4 record. His 2012 team manufactured, statistically, the worst defense in school history.

Despite these recent problems, there is no question of Brown’s importance to the Texas program. Brown led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship, the school’s first title since 1970. He also helped Texas to the 2009 national title game, which the Longhorns lost to Alabama. Under the 62-year-old head coach, Texas won a pair of Big 12 championships.

"We appreciate everything Mack has done for The University of Texas," said Steve Patterson, the newly hired men's head athletic director. "He's been a tremendous coach, mentor, leader and ambassador for our University and our student-athletes. He is truly a college football legend … I know this decision weighed heavily on him, and today he told us he's ready to move forward."

Patterson was hired in early November, one month after DeLoss Dodds, who was UT's men's head athletic director for the past 32 years and who hired Brown, announced his plans to retire.

Powers, who received a vote of confidence from the board of regents earlier in the week himself, said he looks forward to working with Brown in a new, unspecified capacity.  

"I'm excited for the future and the opportunity to work with him in a new capacity for the years to come and am thrilled that he and Sally will remain part of our family," Powers said. "He is an unbelievable resource for us and will always be a valuable member of the Longhorn community."

Since Brown started his tenure in Austin, the Longhorns have finished in the top 15 in 10 of the last 13 years. He is one of only two coaches nationally to lead his team to 20 bowls in the last 21 seasons and 22 winning seasons in the last 23 years.

Brown finishes his 16-year tenure at Texas with a career record of 158-47, the second-most wins in school history behind Darrell K Royal. The Tennessee native has 40 years of coaching experience, 29 of which were as a head coach.

"[Texas] is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America," Brown said. "I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that's why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.”

Correction: The call to Alabama head coach Nick Saban's agent was placed in January and reported in September.