Mack Brown did what he said wasn’t going to do and tendered his resignation at the University of Texas over the weekend, probably setting in motion a wave of coaching changes at some winning programs.
Apparently Nick Saban, of Alabama, had apparently turned Texas down before any official offer could be tendered, one happy camper with the program he restored at Alabama. The speculators emerged full force shortly afterwards with their short lists of possible candidates to succeed Brown
Among the speculators is Paul Myerberg, a sportswriter at USA Today, ranking the candidates for the job in order from first to fifth. His list included Mike Grundy, Oklahoma State; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; Gus Malzone, Auburn; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; and Charlie Strong of Louisville.
Here’s what Myerberg says about Strong:
Strong is another accomplished coach with a sizable buyout: UT would owe Louisville $5 million if it hired Strong in 2013 – and $4.375 million if the school waited until 2014, in case you were wondering. Beyond the money, Texas would also have to convince Strong to leave a very comfortable and successful position at Louisville, which leaves the American Athletic Conference to join the ACC after this season.
But what makes Strong an appealing candidate? He has big-school experience – as at Florida, where he helped win a pair of national titles. He has 11 wins in each of the last two seasons at Louisville, including a Sugar Bowl win against the Gators last January. Strong would have an enormous impact on the Longhorns’ defensive production, obviously. UT would want to hear his thoughts on an offensive staff before advancing past a preliminary stage, but Strong is a logical second-tier candidate for the opening.
We doubt Strong would be interested in the quagmire that is Texas. Longhorn fans are over the top when it comes to national aspirations and they have little patience. Lose two or three games and they’re already looking for a new coach.
Doubtful he would go to Florida State. He would be coaching right away against the players he recruited at Louisville and we don’t believe he would enjoy doing that. Besides any coaching candidate in his right mind wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of Jimbo Fisher who’s practically a legend in the minds of the school’s fans.
Auburn, based on its history, may have already attempted to schedule a secret meeting at a Southern Indiana airport. Charlie wouldn’t have agreed to participate in a clandestine activity.
Michigan State has gone the Louisville route before and it didn’t work out very well for the Spartans.
Oklahoma State is still in Oklahoma.