Art Briles (right) said Mack Brown is "a class guy and has done it right," but says he's focusing on the Bears' Fiesta Bowl game. Briles signed a 10-year contact extension in November that will reportedly pay him about $4 million annually.

Staff photo— Jerry Larson

Speculation has been running wild about who will replace Mack Brown as the next Texas football coach.

But Baylor coach Art Briles hasn’t been spending his time listening to rumors. He’s too busy preparing his Big 12 championship team for its Jan. 1 date against Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl.

“I’m just getting my team ready for UCF,” said Briles as he walked on to Baylor’s practice field Monday.

Briles signed a 10-year contract extension in November that will reportedly pay him about $4 million annually. One of the reasons Briles and Baylor agreed to the extension was to stop rumors that he would leave the program that he’s built into a Big 12 power in six seasons.

Briles is excited about moving into Baylor’s $260 million on-campus stadium, but that hasn’t stopped media speculation that Briles could be a target for Texas after Brown announced that he was resigning.

New Texas athletic director Steve Patterson hasn’t named any potential coaching candidates. But there has been plenty of speculation from media outlets including Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Stanford’s David Shaw, San Francisco 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, UCLA’s Jim Mora, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and others.

Briles said Monday that it’s sad that Brown is leaving, and has a lot of respect for Texas. Baylor beat Texas, 30-10, to win the Big 12 championship in Brown’s final game for the Longhorns.

“To stay 16 years is incredible because in this day and age that just doesn’t happen very often,” Briles said. “He’s been a class guy and has done it right. He’s been an inspiration to a lot of people for a long time.”