Apparently University of Texas booster Red McCombs already longs for the days when UT fans could count on a .500 record and a last place finish in the Big 12 South. Because that was the routine towards the end of Mack Brown’s recently-concluded tenure.
But Red doesn’t just miss his pal Mack.
Lets see if we can piece this together, through the prism of a normal, dispassionate football fan. Charlie Strong cuts his teeth at powerhouse Florida. He then plucks Louisville from mediocrity and pilots the school to back-to-back bowl wins, including a Sugar Bowl victory in 2012, suffering just three losses in the past two years. He accomplishes all this absent much of the recruiting cache that, McCombs seems to acknowledge, a coach at a more highly-touted school would inherit. That would seem to ensure Strong healthy consideration for virtually any college head coaching job in the country. And, clearly, the only logical career move for a coach with Strong’s pedigree is a head coach position at the likes of Texas. He’s not going to achieve much more success than he already has at very many schools where the name ‘Nick Saban’ or ‘Urban Meyer’ doesn’t already on an office door.
Contrast this with McCombs’ vision. Put aside, for a second, that McCombs doesn’t see a place for Strong at “one of the three most powerful university programs in the world right now at UT-Austin.” McCombs instead thinks Strong “would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator.”
Let’s take a brief detour, shall we?
What would you think if, hypothetically, someone approached you on the street and offered any one of the following opinions?
— “You know what Oprah should try for? A gig as David Letterman’s sidekick. I’m sure she’d be flattered if he took her under his wing.”
— “I know Miguel Cabrera has had a pretty good run of late, but he’d function much better as the team’s pinch hitter. You know, first of the bench, late in the game sorta thing.”
— “Halle Berry is fine, I guess. I’m sure she could hack it in some off-Broadway type roles.”
Right?!! Who calls one of the most sought-after football coaches on the planet a “great position coach, maybe a coordinator”? That’s called a ‘demotion’; that would not make any sense.
Strong has a right to be offended at comments like these. He is a great head coach with the track record to prove it. Any attempt to whitewash over that record is illogical to the point of being derogatory.
But Strong can certainly afford to take the high road. Because apparently everyone else at UT recognized what McCombs missed: Texas couldn’t beat the midmajors like Louisville anymore. Texas needed Charlie Strong more than he needed the Longhorns.