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Old 12-15-2013   #1
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Default University of Texas' Head Coach search

Mac Brown has resigned. There's a lot of talk that Texas will not be able to get the "big name" they hope will make a "big splash" in hiring and recruiting. Here's a list cobbled together from a few articles linked below:

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

Malzahn was born in Texas. He spent much of his early career in nearby Arkansas. He's winning national coach of the year awards. In an era of offense-first football, Malzahn is perhaps the best offensive mind around.

During its year between his stints at Auburn, the Tigers averaged 18.7 points and 305.0 yards per game on its way to a 3-9 record. This season, the Tigers are 12-1, SEC champions and set to play Florida State in the BCS Championship Game. The offense has exploded for 40.2 points and 505.3 yards per contest, and Auburn's 335.7 rushing yards per game leads the nation.

Malzahn might be the hottest head coach in America right now, and Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel recently reported that Texas is his "dream job." However, Malzahn and Auburn agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension this month, a deal that has built in raises and will pay $5.1 million in base salary during its final year. Even notorious nomads Bobby Petrino and Todd Graham would raise their eyebrows if he decided to leave right after signing a new deal.

James Franklin, Vanderbilt

If Malzahn isn't the hottest coach in the country, then it would be Franklin. Franklin took over at Vanderbilt in 2011 and has led the Commodores to three consecutive bowl appearances and has a chance at back-to-back nine-win campaigns. Yes, Franklin has done that at Vanderbilt, a school that had been to one bowl game in the previous 36 seasons. From 1975 through 2010 the 'Dores had a winning percentage of .290. Under Franklin, that number is .605.

Franklin recruits well, has the on-field credentials, and is a high-energy guy. His seemingly tireless promotion of the program at Vanderbilt shows a personal quality that would be valuable at Texas. He's a coach who'd look forward to selling his team on the Longhorn Network. Whoever gets the Longhorns gig will be in the spotlight and likely needs an outgoing attitude to thrive.

Charlie Strong, Louisville

For years, Strong toiled as a SEC defensive coordinator longing to take over a program. Louisville finally gave him the opportunity prior to the 2010 season. After 7-6 seasons in 2010 and '11, Strong has led his team to a 22-3 record over the last two years, including a Sugar Bowl win over Florida. He has a great background as a defensive coach, and Louisville has been among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense in three of his four years, including a No. 3 ranking this season.

Perhaps the biggest question mark for Strong is whether he would actually leave Louisville. The coach has been mentioned as a possible candidate for previous openings, but he's indicated a strong sense of loyalty toward his school, once spurning Tennessee to stick with the Cards. Would the allure of Texas trump that loyalty?

David Shaw, Stanford

Shaw hasn't been a head coach long, but he's already had significant success. Taking over for Jim Harbaugh in 2011, he's taken Stanford to three consecutive 11-win seasons and BCS bowl berths. Most thought the Cardinal would take a step down when Harbaugh left for the NFL, but Shaw has proven that he too can run an elite program. USC reportedly had some interest in Shaw before hiring Steve Sarkisian, but he said the feeling wasn't mutual.

As with Strong, the biggest question regarding Shaw's possible candidacy at Texas is loyalty, and it's an even bigger question here. He's a Stanford alum and the son of a Stanford coach, and even if the Longhorns offer a big pay day, it likely will not be enough to pluck him from Palo Alto.

He has eight years of experience as an NFL assistant, and some think if he ever leaves Stanford, it would be for the professional ranks like his predecessor. The Houston Texans are already rumored to be suitors.

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

If Texas can't get Nick Saban, why not a Saban disciple? After Florida State struggled in the twilight of Bobby Bowden's career, Fisher has returned the Seminoles to prominence. Could he replace another fading legend?

After 10-4 and 9-4 seasons in in 2010 and '11, the Seminoles won the ACC title and defeated Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl last year. Now, FSU is 13-0 and playing Auburn for its first national championship since 1999. Fisher has been an outstanding recruiter for the 'Noles, hauling in four straight top-10 classes, according to 247 Sports.

But Fisher might not be the guy, for the same reasons Malzahn is unlikely to be the guy. He's tied up for a month to prepare for the title game, and he just agreed to a contract extension, coming to terms for $4.1 million for at least the next five years. It's hard to see him leaving a brand-new deal and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Art Briles, Baylor

Briles, who also has a new deal, could be the front-runner. He's from Texas and was a championship high school coach in the state. He knows local recruiting. He's turned Baylor from a doormat into a contender. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III in 2011.

This year, employing his explosive offensive attack, the Bears have had the best offense in America, averaging 53.3 points and 623.8 yards per game. Baylor defeated Texas, 30-10, in the regular-season finale to clinch its first conference title since 1994 and will play in its first BCS game in January.

Briles appears to be the perfect fit, and Texas could likely out-bid Baylor, but would he leave Waco for Austin? If he continues his current level of success with the Bears, he'll be the most-beloved coach in school history. Baylor will open a new stadium next fall, he just signed an extension, and at 58 years old, he might not want to start over at a new destination, especially one that would be so firmly in the limelight.

But if the question is about which coach would be most likely to find immediate success at Texas, the answer is likely Briles.

Quote:
Big 12 coaches I have spoken w fear that Art Briles will get the job, "He'd crush everyone if he gets the job" "Might never lose".
— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 15, 2013

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

He hasn't been a college coach in 15 years, and he was only a position coach at small schools even then. And when he was connected to USC rumors, he shot those down.

But if CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman says Tomlin is a name to keep in mind, then Tomlin's a name to keep in mind.

Jim Mora, UCLA

Mora has done a fine job at UCLA, turning the Bruins into the best program in Los Angeles. Yes, some of that is because of Lane Kiffin's downfall at USC, but Mora deserves plenty of credit. The Bruins have nine wins this year for the second season in a row, and they can reach 10 with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl. His recruiting has been among the best in the Pac-12, and since he's already in L.A., he knows how to deal with the kind of media scrutiny that would come with the Texas job.

Mora is a Washington alum and once spent a year as an assistant on the Huskies staff, but when that head coaching job opened up a few weeks ago, he didn't have any interest in returning to his alma mater. Texas is a much bigger job than Washington -- and it's bigger than UCLA, too -- but Mora recently signed a six-year extension with the Bruins and seems to be happy in Southern California.

Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

This might be the best name on the list, even better than Saban. Harbaugh is the one who turned Stanford into a Pac-12 power, and since taking over the 49ers, he's returned San Francisco to the NFL's top tier. The Niners were 6-10 in 2010, but Harbaugh immediately turned them around to 13-3, reaching the second round of the playoffs and winning Coach of the Year honors in the process. It was San Fran's first postseason appearance since 2002. Last year, Harbaugh's team advanced to the Super Bowl, and it's primed for another playoff run this season.

And this was all after taking Stanford from a seven-year bowl drought to a BCS bowl win.

ESPN's Colin Cowherd said Harbaugh would have taken the USC job if offered (and while Cowherd isn't known for breaking news, he's very connected to USC), and if that's really the case, it's not a stretch to think the head coach would consider moving to Austin. But with success building Stanford and in the NFL, would taking over at Texas be a step down? Harbaugh would likely have to have a significant preference for the college game in order to leave the 49ers for the Longhorns.

Barking Carnival wrote this before Saban re-upped with Alabama:
Quote:
Given the more or less common knowledge of the tension between Harbaugh and young 49ers team president Jed York and GM Trent Baalke -- including Harbaugh puzzlingly turning down a two-year extension to his contract -- it's pretty plain that Harbaugh is currently receptive to different employment options.
If it sounds insane for a highly respected NFL coach with an elite young team to even consider moving because he's unhappy with his surroundings, then you don't know Jim Harbaugh very well. There's walking to the beat of your own drummer and then there's pushing the drummer down, smashing his drums, and walking off of the road.

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Gundy's overall record at Oklahoma State is outstanding. 77-36 over nine years (OSU started 12-15 under Gundy), but 41-9 over his last four years (including two Big 12 titles -- you know, the same number as the guy who has coached SIXTEEN YEARS at TEXAS). Though Oklahoma State has some financial and facility resources courtesy of T. Boone Pickens, they're still the No. 2 school in a state with a paucity of FBS recruits and a clear step below neighboring OU, Texas, A&M, and LSU in the program potential power rankings. And the recruiting rankings bear that out. This is a program clearly overachieving.

Gundy nearly left Oklahoma State for Tennessee last year, so pulling him away from his alma mater isn't out of the question, especially since his staff sees Texas' advantages up close on the recruiting trail every day. Whether he'd choose to leave at this point is another question.

Nick Saban, Alabama

Yep, the guy who signed a new deal just two days ago will remain part of the conversation until Texas' next coach is giving his introductory presser.
...

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State. This is a dark horse to consider. (And only in this search would Dantonio be considered a dark horse.) Dantonio has led Michigan State to 11 wins in three of the past four years – and to the Big Ten title in 2013 – with a never-fail, old-as-football-itself system: run the football, protect the football, makes plays downfield, hit the quarterback, jam up receivers, tackle, convert on special teams. If not as big-time as Saban, not as trendy as Fisher, not as local as Gundy or as explosive as Malzahn, Dantonio would put the bread and butter back in Texas football.

Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora)
Quote:
So, just to make sure this is clear: I hear Texas has interest in Sean Payton. Don't think he'd leave. But that's how high they're aiming
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

Yes, Sumlin has a $5 million buyout and makes $5 million a year. But that's pocket change for Texas. So can you imagine the joy that Longhorn fans would feel in stealing away the state's hottest coaching star? Especially since that Aggie little brother has surpassed Texas as the preeminent program in the Lone Star state, what better way to strike at the heart of a rival?

Major Applewhite, Texas (OC)

Todd Graham, ASU. Do you even have to ask? Just because of his connection to AD Steve Patterson.

Will Muschamp, Florida

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...isher/4012495/
http://msn.foxsports.com/college-foo...t-texas-121413
http://www.sbnation.com/college-foot...rch-candidates
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Old 12-15-2013   #2
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

Gundy, Shaw, O'Brian, and Tomlin would all be great choices. Look forward to seeing who they get.
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Old 12-15-2013   #3
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

I really think most Texas fans are going to end up disappointed when the new coach is named. 10 of those 16 names we have zero shot at. I have no problem with us gauging interest but let's not get our hopes up.

I really don't care how big the name is. I would just like a coach who has more to offer in game and doesn't have to lean on his assistants so much.
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Old 12-15-2013   #4
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
Gundy, Shaw, O'Brian, and Tomlin would all be great choices. Look forward to seeing who they get.
O'Brien is probably my top choice.
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Old 12-15-2013   #5
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
O'Brien is probably my top choice.
O'Brien is eyeing the NFL. I think he might end up here or in Minnesota.
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Old 12-15-2013   #6
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
I really think most Texas fans are going to end up disappointed when the new coach is named. 10 of those 16 names we have zero shot at. I have no problem with us gauging interest but let's not get our hopes up.

I really don't care how big the name is. I would just like a coach who has more to offer in game and doesn't have to lean on his assistants so much.
YOu might be correct Bah. I will be happy just to see a new regime. And if this new regime doesn't get going after about 4 or 5 years, then they should find another hot name. I don't think it's healthy for a team to keep a HC way to long if they aren't keeping their team amongst the top contending Universities every year. Sure, teams can have down years here and there or even two or so, but the great coaches always bounce back and re-load with great talent and get their teams clicking. Bob Stoops has always done that at Oklahoma which has been a pretty irritating thing to watch for me as a Texas fan. Guys like Saban and Meyer seem to be able to keep their teams at a very high level as well.

I just hope they don't give the next guy a ridiculously long leash. He should get a fair one on par with what most big time Universities give to other guys when they go to a new job.
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Old 12-15-2013   #7
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
O'Brien is probably my top choice.
He is mine for both the Texans and the Horns. It would be nice to just clone him and use him for both.

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I really don't care how big the name is. I would just like a coach who has more to offer in game and doesn't have to lean on his assistants so much.
Very well put.
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Old 12-15-2013   #8
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
He is mine for both the Texans and the Horns. It would be nice to just clone him and use him for both.



Very well put.
Would be nice for both organizations to have a HC that recognizes and develops QB talent.
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Old 12-15-2013   #9
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search


With speculation already swirling about the now-open UT head coaching job, it's time to come to terms with the fact that Art Briles will be mentioned as a candidate for the job and there's nothing any of us can do about that.
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Old 12-15-2013   #10
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

I posted this in the Mack Brown thread but I'll post it here too.

Realistic options among current FBS Head Coaches:

Art Briles - Baylor
Todd Graham - Arizona St
Charlie Strong - Louisville
Bill O'Brien - Penn St
James Franklin - Vanerbilt
Bobby Petrino - Western Kentucky
Bronco Mendenhall - BYU

You also have a whole slew of top NFL and FBS coordinators who could be potential candidates but I figure a school like Texas would want to go after a top head coach.
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Old 12-15-2013   #11
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

Would love to get Briles. Don't think he'd entertain it at this point though.
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Old 12-15-2013   #12
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
Would love to get Briles. Don't think he'd entertain it at this point though.
Agree. Waco's gotta be pretty cozy for him right now.
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Old 12-15-2013   #13
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

No go on Malzahn and Fischer as they are getting ready to play in the MNC game and won't be able to interview before. Texas can't afford to wait that long.
Shaw is also likely No because he has WAY to many ties to Stanford.
Franklin is hot, but I don't think he'll be targeted because they've said they want someone who has won a MNC or Super Bowl.

Actually, I've heard the top target right now is actually Les Miles.That would be a big get for them.
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Old 12-15-2013   #14
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

What about Sumlin??


I would hate to get Les Miles.
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Old 12-15-2013   #15
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

If I'm Miles, leaving LSU for Texas seems like a sideways move.
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Old 12-15-2013   #16
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

More candidates to Replace Mack Brown at Texas
Quote:
Pat Fitzgerald, head coach, Northwestern
As a former Northwestern player, it’s difficult to see Fitzgerald leaving Evanston. But if he was looking to leave, Texas may be the only job that tempts the 39-year-old coach. The Wildcats are 55-46 under Fitzgerald’s watch and had a streak of five consecutive bowl appearances from 2008-12. Northwestern – much like Vanderbilt or Duke – is a tough place to consistently win at a top 10-15 level. Again, it’s unlikely Fitzgerald will ever leave Northwestern, but he would be a home-run hire for Texas.

Al Golden, head coach, Miami
Miami is a top-25 job, but the Hurricanes simply lack the resources of a place like Texas. Even though Golden seems content at Miami and guided the program through the Nevin Shapiro scandal, the New Jersey native would at least have to listen if Texas calls. Golden helped to resurrect Temple’s football program, recording a 27-34 mark in five seasons with the Owls. Temple played in one bowl game and earned back-to-back winning records with Golden leading the way. In three years at Miami, Golden is 22-14 and has a 10-6 mark in ACC play over the last two seasons.

Bill O’Brien, head coach, Penn State
O’Brien inherited a difficult situation at Penn State. The program was hit by NCAA sanctions due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and there was plenty of uncertainty about which players might transfer to another program due to the postseason ban. In two years, O’Brien is 15-9 and Penn State has back-to-back winning records under his watch. O’Brien also has NFL experience, spending 2007-11 as an assistant with the Patriots. The Nittany Lions are getting some relief from the scholarship sanctions, but the bowl ban for the next two years is still in place. O’Brien interviewed with the Browns last season, and his name will likely come up in coaching searches over the next few years.

Gary Patterson, head coach, TCU
Much like the other coaches on this list, Patterson seems unlikely to leave TCU. The Kansas native guided the Horned Frogs on a winding conference journey, starting in the WAC in 2000, continuing with Conference USA from 2001-04, the Mountain West from 2005-11 and the Big 12 in 2012. Transiting from a non-BCS league to a BCS conference is no easy task, but TCU is 11-14 over the last two years and recorded a 7-6 mark in 2012 without its starting quarterback for most of the season. Patterson is known as one of the best defensive coaches in the nation and certainly knows how to recruit the state of Texas. Patterson has a pretty good gig at TCU. But if he wants to upgrade, it’s not easy to turn down the No. 1 program in the nation – and he won’t have to go too far to do it.

Rich Rodriguez, head coach, Arizona
Rodriguez is a good darkhorse candidate for Texas. After a failed three-year stint at Michigan, Rodriguez is 15-10 with two bowl appearances at Arizona. And while the 15-22 record at Michigan is tough to overlook, Rodriguez went 60-26 at West Virginia and was on the doorstep of playing for the national title in 2007. Rodriguez does not have any experience coaching in Texas, but even with a mediocre tenure at Michigan, his overall record is 135-94-2.

Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama
Since Texas can’t get Nick Saban, would they settle for a Saban clone? Smart has worked under Saban for eight years, starting in 2004 at LSU and continuing in the NFL with the Dolphins. Smart followed Saban to Alabama in 2007 and has served as the defensive coordinator since 2008. The Crimson Tide’s defense has ranked No. 1 in the SEC in total defense every season since 2008, and this unit led the nation in fewest points allowed in 2011-12. Smart does not have any head coach experience, and most of his background has been in the SEC. The former Georgia defensive back is ready to run his own program, but Texas likely wants a proven commodity to replace Mack Brown.

Les Miles, head coach, LSU
Raise your hand if you would watch Les Miles every day on the Longhorn Network. Yep, that’s what we thought. Miles has one of college football’s top-10 jobs at LSU and is 94-24 in nine years in Baton Rouge. In order to coach at Texas, you have to be good at dealing with boosters and able to put up with the requirements of the Longhorn Network. Both sound like strengths of Miles, but again, it’s unlikely he leaves for Austin.

Longshots

Larry Fedora, head coach, North Carolina
Fedora is a Texas native – College Station to be exact. The 51-year-old coach has stops as an assistant at Baylor, Air Force, MTSU, Florida and Oklahoma State. Fedora has been a head coach for six seasons, recording a 48-29 overall mark. It’s a safe bet Fedora would be interested if offered an opportunity to interview. However, is six combined seasons at Southern Miss and North Carolina enough to interest Texas?

Mark Hudspeth, head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette
With a victory over Tulane in the New Orleans Bowl, Hudspeth will have nine wins in each of his first three seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette. Hudspeth is clearly a rising star, but Texas is probably looking for someone with more experience as a head coach.

Tim DeRuyter, head coach, Fresno State
DeRuyter is 20-5 in two seasons at Fresno State and went 1-0 as Texas A&M’s interim coach in 2011. The California native is due for a promotion to run a BCS program, but he is unlikely to be in the mix at Texas.

Hugh Freeze, head coach, Ole Miss
Freeze’s contract was upgraded this offseason by Ole Miss. Would that be enough to stop him from leaving? In two years with the Rebels, Freeze is 14-11 and went 10-2 for Arkansas State in 2011. Freeze’s record at Ole Miss isn’t particularly overwhelming, but he inherited a team that went 6-18 in the two seasons prior to his arrival. The Rebels reeled in a top-10 recruiting class this year and after back-to-back seven-win seasons, the program is on the right track.

Jerry Gray, defensive coordinator, Tennessee Titans
Gray is a former Texas player and worked on Mack Brown’s staff in 2011. However, despite his ties to the university, Gray is an extreme longshot candidate for the position. The Titans rank No. 9 in the NFL in total defense, but Gray has never worked as a head coach on the college or pro level.

Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson
It’s only a matter of time before Morris gets a chance to be a head coach in a BCS conference. The Texas native was a successful high school coach prior to taking over at Tulsa as an offensive coordinator in 2010. After one season with the Golden Hurricane, Morris was hired by Dabo Swinney to coordinate Clemson’s offense. Over the last three years, the Tigers have ranked first or second in the ACC in total offense.

Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State
Narduzzi was in the mix to be the coach at Connecticut, but he turned down an opportunity to lead the Huskies for another year at Michigan State. Narduzzi does not have head coaching experience, which would seem to be a major drawback for Texas. However, there’s no denying Narduzzi is one of the best defensive coordinators in college football.
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Old 12-15-2013   #17
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

You guys just need a football coach and talent developer, something you haven't had in many years. The recruiting will take care of itself, especially if the new coach is willing to entertain taking more than one QB each year.
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Old 12-15-2013   #18
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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You guys just need a football coach and talent developer, something you haven't had in many years. The recruiting will take care of itself, especially if the new coach is willing to entertain taking more than one QB each year.
This. Texas recruits itself. Find a guy who can develop and utilize talent.
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Old 12-15-2013   #19
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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This. Texas recruits itself. Find a guy who can develop and utilize talent.
This sort arrogance is what keeps Texas from walking with the true big boys of college football. The big timers don't take their spit for granted and recruit hard like they are TCU or Baylor.

Two of the last three Heisman trophy winners played football less two hours from Mack Brown's office and third (rumored) wanted to talk to Texas but could not get the Longhorns to respond.
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Default Re: University of Texas' Head Coach search

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This sort arrogance is what keeps Texas from walking with the true big boys of college football...
Signed, Andrew Luck, RG3, Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston, et cetera.
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