I find myself in agreement with most things I read that you post, but I disagree somewhat here. Actually, I agree this could be his thinking, but if it is I disagree with his handling of it.
There is no question DB has a rationale for what he is doing at this point. The worst part for us (as fans) is it won't become evident until after this is all over.
The ONLY way any of this makes sense is if JH is brought in following the bowl game. Otherwise this delay has done nothing other than cause a great deal of uncertainty around a program that has had enough to deal with over the past few years.
DB made a mistake when he made the timeline for his decision public. The only one who needed to know was RR, but by making it public he opened himself up to all the criticism that has followed. Had he not mentioned it, he could have easily adjusted it without looking like he made a mistake.
This has caused him to make another possible mistake (only time will tell to be sure). If RR comes back this timeline was absultely a mistake and I haven't seen a single reason that would justify why it would be a good idea for this decision to take this much time should that be the direction he takes.
It has been mentioned that a good CEO doesn't make decision based on popular opinion, and I agree. I also believe, however, that a good CEO recognizes when he has made a mistake and doesn't put his pride above the company he represents. He acknowledges a mistake was made and rectifies it.
A good CEO is also a leader who isn't afraid of making tough decisions if it is in the best interest of the organization. I don't think DB (if he is a good CEO) is waiting for the decision to make itself ( as you suggest may be the case in your post) and if he is, I would put forth that he isn't a good CEO.
To close, I guess what I am saying is the only way any of this is justifiable is if JH is coming (Full disclosure,:I hope RR stays). If that isn't the plan, DB should be keen enough to understand that things have changed and therefore his timeline should as well. Sticking to a timeline simply because you made one is a little silly at this point.