Tommy Tuberville’s exit and Neal Brown

The big news of the afternoon was Tommy Tuberville’s surprise departure from Texas Tech for the head coaching job at Cincinnati, replacing Butch Jones, who was just hired at Tennessee.

Not that Tuberville’s exit from Lubbock is a surprise. (I can hear the Dixie Chicks singing “Lubbock or Leave It” now.) There have been rumblings that the veteran coach had grown unhappy in that part of Texas and was looking to leave. His name kept getting mentioned around the periphery of the UK search that ended up with Mark Stoops as coach.

But Cincinnati? Not sure anyone would have guessed that Tubs would leave a Big 12 school for a Big East school, especially with the Big East in such an uncertain state. Who knows if there will be a Big East, as a football conference, after next season.

Closer to home, how does this affect UK’s chances of landing Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown?

I would have to think it improves Stoops’ shot immensely. I doubt Brown would follow Tuberville to Cincinnati instead of taking over the offense at his alma mater, which happens to be an SEC school.

Should Texas Tech consider Brown for the head coaching job, the time frame of an interviews, etc. could complicate Kentucky’s plan — word is UK was hoping for an answer by Sunday — but I’m hearing that probably will not be the case. Texas Tech wants candidates with more experience. And truth be told, despite coordinating the nation’s No. 2 pass offense, Brown isn’t held in the highest regard by some Texas Tech fans. Reason? He’s not Mike Leach.

There is still talk that Brown could be in the mix at Southern Miss, a C-USA school coming off an 0-12 record. It doesn’t sound like that the 32-year-old Brown is among the favorites to wind up in Hattiesburg, however.

Meanwhile, I’m getting tweets from people claiming that Brown is on board at Kentucky. I have no confirmation of that. We’ve been told not to expect any news today, and probably not tomorrow. There could be some sort of announcement on Monday.

Let’s just say this: I’ll be surprised if UK’s next offensive coordinator is not Neal Brown.

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