Not many programs have the clout and power to force a coach into retirement following an 8-5 season but when you are the Head Coach at the University of Texas, finishing fourth in the conference behind two teams from Oklahoma and another team from Texas is unacceptable. Mack Brown announced his retirement last December after 16 seasons in Austin and the speculation swirled as the Longhorns searched for the next head man. Texas ‘settled’ for defensive-minded Charlie Strong from Louisville and he will breathe some new life into a program that is in desperate need of a little revitalization. The Longhorns return 15 starters including senior quarterback David Ashe who will finally get his chance to be the unquestioned starter instead of having to look over his shoulder. Defensively, the Longhorns return senior defensive end Cedric Reed who will benefit from the new Head Coach. Reed was third in the Big 12 in 2013 with 9 sacks.
The Longhorns were in the news over the weekend as Coach Strong has dismissed four players from the team after sexual assault charges, three of whom were expected to contribute this season and one was expected to start. Then two more players over the weekend were arrested for sexual assault over this past weekend.
The first real test for the Longhorns in 2014 will be week 3 when they play UCLA in Arlington. Texas only leaves the state of Texas three times all season long. They will play both Kansas teams on the road and Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The rubber meets the road on where Texas is as a team in the first two weeks of October as they play Baylor in Austin on the 4th and then the annual Red River Showdown against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl the following week. If the Longhorns are in play for the new College Football Playoff, they will be the most rested team when it begins as they only have two games in the month of November.
The Longhorns are an interesting team to keep an eye on in 2014. The old saying is that ‘Texas doesn’t recruit, Texas selects players’ and Texas has a collection of some of the best players in college football. Coach Strong will make his mark immediately on defense, an area where Texas has the players to be very good. Improving the offense is what will propel the Longhorns to the next level and to the top of the Big 12 and Texas almost averaged 30 points per game in 2013. The eyes of Texas and the nation are now focused on the Longhorns and if they can climb back to the top of the Big 12 and college football.
Stay logged on to Sowegalive.com for Team #19 on Tuesday and tune in to the Southern Football Report every Saturday from 10am-Noon starting on August 23rd! Here is a hint for Team #19: This team had its first losing season since 1979 in 2013.
#25 – Michigan Wolverines
#24 – Northwestern Wildcats
#23 – Boise State Broncos
#22 – Arizona Wildcats
#21 – Iowa Hawkeyes
#20 – Texas Longhorns
#19 – ????????????