Interesting story here about how Charlie Strong has had to ditch his preferred offensive philosophy and embrace a spread attack because that’s about all that coming out of the state’s high school systems.
But as Strong heads into Year 2 off a 6-7 debut, he has already conceded that his initial plan won’t work. When Texas debuts at Notre Dame on Sept. 5, the Longhorns will be another convert to the speed-and-spread style of football that has become rather homogenous in the Big 12. He’s not trying to re-create Louisville on a bigger stage; the Texas of 2015 is trying to emulate Auburn. Texas is no longer setting the agenda for football in the state; the Longhorns are adjusting on the fly just to keep up.
“It was just so hard; the scores were coming so quickly and it’s hard to match,” Strong told USA TODAY Sports. “I’d say probably 95% of the high schools in this state are all from the spread. A young man coming in here has been accustomed to the spread, so let’s not bring him in and all the sudden change it when he’s grown up with that the whole time. In the recruiting process, kids want to see that. They want to see you’re going up-tempo, so it’s almost like for recruiting alone, you had to go in that direction.”
That’s a heck of an admission from a Texas coach, but it’s also reality.
That’s also a little strange. If Strong were that wedded to his offensive scheme, why not look outside the state of Texas for a quarterback who fits it better? Maybe I’m a bit jaded from watching where Richt has plucked his starting quarterbacks over the years, but it’s not as if Strong wasn’t able to do that very thing with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. Is it that unthinkable for the Longhorns to have a non-Texan starting quarterback?
Evidently the brain trust at the University of Texas’ athletic department has forced an eight-year old fan message board to drop “Bevo” from its website name.
Steve Patterson is something else, ain’t he?
The New York Times has a pretty good story about Nick Saban’s flirtation with Texas from a couple of years ago. The amazing thing to me is the number of people associated with the Longhorns program who managed to delude themselves into thinking Jimmy Sexton was being something other than Jimmy Sexton.
Enter the biggest dick in college football.
In November, Steve Patterson, the former president and general manager of the N.B.A.’s Portland Trail Blazers, became the university’s athletic director, replacing Dodds. Patterson was tasked with cleaning up the mess at Texas, something he would soon begin to do. Of course, he had come to Texas well after the Sexton call with Tom Hicks and Hall. It wasn’t too long after Patterson had taken the job at Texas that Sexton called him, too.
Patterson says he believes he knew what Sexton was up to. “I’ve known Jimmy for 30 years,” he says. “I told him if he wanted to come here and drink bourbon and eat barbecue and talk about Saban, that’d be fine. But I told him not to come here if he just wanted to get Saban an extension and a raise at Alabama, which I thought was his intention all along.
“Of course, Jimmy took great affront to that, which is fine. He was just doing his job. But that was the end of the conversation. I never talked to Saban and we never made an offer.”
Which is a crying shame, if for no other reason than it would have been a gas to hear Saban’s reaction to being required to pay for his meals.
Some day, somebody’s gonna write one helluva book about the Steve Patterson era at Texas.
You read this, and suddenly Greg McGarity doesn’t seem so bad.
Shorter Texas AD: Sure, being a dick is a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
Sally Lehr, your problem is that what you see as a bug, Steve Patterson sees as a feature.
I fear for the rebranding.