Thanksgiving is a few hours away, and Texas coach Charlie Strong will have plenty to be thankful for if his team can beat TCU. According to various reports, if the Longhorns win their season finale, Strong will return for another year. This news comes just days after the shocking loss to Kansas had everyone writing off Strong, and giving the job to Houston’s Tom Herman.
Tonight’s news is telling for many reasons. First, many felt the buyout of both Strong ($10.7 million) as well as his staff ($6.6 million) was too steep. You tie in the fact of the strong player support for Strong, and add in the notion that it wasn’t a slam dunk that they would be able to land Herman, and Strong lives to see another day.
While Ohio State and Michigan will get the crown for the biggest game of the weekend, there may not be a game with more on the line than Friday’s TCU/Texas battle. A Longhorn win will also make them bowl eligible, and build momentum for Strong potentially into a make or break 2017 season. He is under contract for two additional years, and even if he were to survive this year, nothing less than a 9 win season and New Years Six bowl game would be the bar.
Charlie Strong’s press conference Monday was powerful for a few reasons. First, it was disgraceful that no one from the school, other than Strong, addressed the media to confirm or deny the whirlwind media reports about their head coach.
Through 36 games, Strong is 16-20 at Texas. That is simply not good enough in the eyes of many boosters, however if they fire Strong, and Hermann decides to pass up Texas to either stay in Houston or perhaps look at another job (LSU, Florida State?) there is no Plan B. Fans of the Longhorns are torn in their views of which direction the school should go with the embattled coach, but almost all agree the way this has been handled is likely scaring off potential coaches.