The Texas Option

texas-longhorn

In life opportunity doesn’t come around the corner often, but when it does, you better be ready for anything.  The University of Texas at Austin has a particularly controversial coaching decision to make after Coach Mack Brown stepped down earlier this week.  Many thought that Nick Saban from the University of Alabama was going to switch over, but it was highly unrealistic.  Looking forward there are some tough decisions to make, so here’s my top-three lists of potential hires.

Art Briles just signed a 10-year contract extension with Baylor University that will pay him $4 million annually.  Briles, 58, a born Texan has the background check that resembles a Texas head coach.  He has Baylor posting up record breaking offensive numbers, and playing against UCF for the Fiesta Bowl this season.  His 36-15 record in the past four seasons may scare Texas fans, but let’s look at Baylor’s program before Briles came along.  Oh, I almost forgot, Baylor wasn’t even relevant before his arrival.  Let’s just say that Texas must sign a Texan for fans to be ultimately happy.

James Franklin, Vanderbilt, has showed what hard-work and perseverance can do if done correctly.  Franklin has brought life to a program that was dead within the SEC East division.  He’s 23-14 at Vandy and has consistently found himself within the Rivals top 20 each season.  The charismatic youth could be something that makes his coaching stock rise for this job, but it could be a negative as well. Altogether, Franklin would be a great fit and help define the Longhorns future in college football.

Les Miles, LSU, is the mad hatter of college football and knows how to win big games.  Miles holds a 94-24 record at LSU and earns $4.3 million annually through 2019.  At age 60, are there many years left in his tank?  I would estimate that he has 7-10 years left coaching and will win another national championship in that time period.  Never underestimate a man who has showed multiple times that he’s a top-notched competitor who wins frequently.  LSU fan’s better not take Miles for granted, because he could be outing quickly if a contract is offered.

Briles, Franklin, and Miles are my top-three candidates, but there’s always a dark horse that steals the show.  Lovie Smith, Gladewater, Texas has to be the favorite NFL guy to take this position.  At age 55, he is young and unemployed since 2012.  Smith coached linebackers at Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  From 2001-03 he was the defensive coordinator in St. Louis under coach Mike Martz.  Smith in 2004 was hired head coach for the Chicago Bears and finished with an 84-66 record.  His experience notches my listed top-three and could potentially shock the country.  Don’t be surprised if Smith gets a call by Texas and considers the offer.

Contact the writer: dpucket1@aum.edu

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