Are Texas Fans Spoiled By Success?
New Texas coach Charlie Strong gave Longhorns fans a dose of reality a few weeks ago when he told them Texas will not win a national championship this season.
“We have everything available, and I don’t know why we can’t be successful,” Strong told fans in Fort Worth during the first stop on his bus tour, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
“There’s no reason for us not to be. Now, I can’t tell you how soon it’s going to be. Don’t hold me to that. Don’t say, ‘Ooh, coach said next year we’ll be in the national…’ We will not be in the national championship game.”
Most people thought it was a harsh truth that needed to to be told to Texas fans.
Now, I'm sure some Longhorns fans were upset by that statement, but you have to admire Strong for doing what a lot of coaches refuse to do, and that's tell the truth. Strong never said they'd never win a national championship, he just said not this year. And there are several reasons why.
One is recruiting. Texas barely finished in the Top 20 in recruiting. To win a national championship, you've got to finish in the Top 10 in recruiting. Ask Alabama, Auburn and Florida State, all of which finished in the Top 10 last year according to the sites that analyze recruiting classes.
Another reason is coaching. This is Strong's first year at Texas. Players will have to adjust to his system and most of the time (unless you are Gus Malzahn of Auburn) that kind of thing doesn't happen overnight. It takes time to build a good team.
As good as Strong was at Louisville, his success didn't happen right away. It took good players and kids buying into what Strong was selling before the Cardinals blossomed. Strong coached the team to a 7-6 record his first two seasons there. His last two years, he lost a grand total of three games and won a Sugar Bowl over Florida. If Texas fans expect a turn around right away, they will be disappointed.
But this is Texas. Longhorn fans are like every other fan base. They expect and want success overnight. They are tired of watching little brother Texas A&M blow up overnight in the college football world. And they are also fearful of Oklahoma making a comeback.
Despite Mack Brown finishing the season strongly, including soundly beating Oklahoma, Longhorns fans still wanted Brown gone. There were even reports that the Longhorns were willing to pay $10 million for a certain coach in Tuscaloosa.
Anything less than a nine- or 10-win season this year probably will be seen as a disappointment by Longhorns fans, which will amp up the pressure on Strong even more for the following season.