The 2014 college football season should play out to be a very interesting one to Texas Longhorns fans. This team is facing many questions that will have to be answered to keep their fanbase happy after ending the 2013 season with a disappointing 8-5 overall record that ended up costing legendary head coach Mack Brown his job.
Now with Brown out, and former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong in, the Longhorns have installed a whole new program from the strength, and conditioning staff all the way to the main man on the sideline.
Strong should turn out to be a solid replacement for Brown. Over four seasons as the leader of the Cardinals, he compiled a 37-15 overall record, and posted a 3-1 record in bowl games.
Strong is also responsible for the the success of possible first round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. It’s been a while since the Longhorns have had a quarterback NFL worthy under Brown.
When Strong arrived in Austin he went straight to work replacing all of Brown’s staff with his own.
The Longhorns new coaching staff includes:
Vance Bedford: Defensive Coordinator, Secondary
Joe Wickline: Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line
Shawn Watson: Assistant Head Coach of the Offense, Quarterbacks
Chris Rumph: Assistant Head Coach of the Defense, Defensive Line
Chris Vaughn: Defensive Backs, Special Teams Coordinator
Brian Jean-Mary: Linebackers, Recruiting Coordinator
Bruce Chambers: Tight Ends
Les Koenning: Wide Receivers
Tommie Robinson: Running Backs
Pat Moorer: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Football
The biggest problem Brown faced in 2013 was with his defense.
Bedford is a former defensive back that played with the Longhorns from 1977-81 where he was a four-year letterman. He is taking over a group of players that are now learning their third system in less than a year.
Bedford has a solid group returning this season for the most part while only losing four players to the NFL. His biggest issue will be replacing All-American defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, and safety Adrian Phillips.
Wickline, and Watson will also have their hands full with an offense that is in complete disarray following the exit of Brown, and former co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite.
Luckily the Longhorns are only losing offensive three players to the draft. The bad part is that offensive tackle Donald Hawkins, and offensive guard Trey Hopkins are two of those players.
The biggest problem with the offense is the uncertainty at quarterback from week-to-week. The last thing Strong needs are holes in his offensive line with injury proned David Ash as his most experienced quarterback.
Now that the Longhorns are finally fresh out of McCoy’s to play quarterback when Ash struggles, Strong will have to depend on either sophomore Trey Holtz, senior Cody Boswell, or sophomore Tyrone Swoopes to step in to save the day.
Other than a couple of issues, Strong is taking over a Longhorns team that is loaded with upperclassman leadership, and hungry for a bowl win before they hit the next level of their careers. All Strong, and his crew have to do is put in the right gameplan from week-to-week, and there will not be any excuses this team is not competing for a National Championship in 2014.
The Longhorns are by far one of the most known teams in the college football world. Strong will have a job as long as he is winning, and successful. The minute things get rough though, he better be prepared to hear about his faults, and cut loose if things get bad enough.
All that’s really left to say is, welcome to the Big-12, and stay #ChuckStrong. The ride could get a little bumpy.