After watching their team go 11-14 the last two seasons under Charlie Strong, forgive Texas Longhorns fans if they’re not quite ready to go all braggadocios with their co-workers as Strong just did with his.
The Longhorns coach, now entering critical Year 3, is pretty proud of the 2016 recruiting class he just signed, coming on the heels of a 2015 class that showed some promise on the field last season.
Strong, apparently, is feeling pretty optimistic about things. On Monday he addressed UT’s university faculty council and said once he gets the program turned around, well, let’s let coach throw it down, via Hookem.com:
“What’s going to happen when we flip this thing? Where are we going to be then? You think about what we’re doing right now, what’s going to happen when we really get it turned?
“They might as well move out of the way, because we are going to steamroll everyone. That’s going to happen.”
That sounds like a guarantee.
Of course Strong doesn’t say when, exactly, that’s going to happen. Certainly no one expects the Longhorns to “steamroll everyone” in 2016. They’ll have to work mighty hard to make sure they don’t get steamrolled again by Notre Dame in the season-opener. This time the two schools play in Austin. Last year year, the Irish put a 38-3 thumping on the Longhorns that got former offensive coordinator Shawn Watson demoted, and eventually let go after the season.
But hey, Strong is pumped about that opener on Sept. 3, too, he told the group of about 100 faculty members.
“I love that we open with Notre Dame. I really do love that,” Strong said. “We were embarrassed up there last year. I tell our players all the time, what bothers me more than anything, when we get the support that we get, we go out and don’t play up to our ability. That’s what bothers me.
“We have so much support and there’s so many people who have so much passion for Texas football. There’s no reason for us to go let them down.”
There’s nothing wrong with Strong talking the talk. How his team walks will eventually determine if it can steamroll anybody, and ultimately how much longer he’ll be the head coach of the once-mighty Texas Longhorns.
Strong said he’s preaching belief to his players, specifically to have belief when no one else seemingly believes in you.
Good for Strong for not backing away from setting the bar. Texas has 100,000 seats to sell for each of its home games, quite a number of which went lacking fannies last fall. Now’s the time to whip up the fan base — or at least the faculty in this case — and keep working like heck to walk the walk. Bringing in a young, hot-shot offensive coordinator to bring the Longhorns into the modern age is a good start.
The recruiting classes look like winners. Other Big 12 programs such as Baylor and TCU, while both are certainly expected to be strong again, are also going through more roster transition than a season ago.
The 2016 season remains six months away, but the time is now for Strong and the Horns to start making believers.