The head coaching job at Texas is one of the most prestigious in the country. With tons of financial support and plenty of top talent in the state, it has a chance to be one of the best jobs in the country.
And now it appears the job will be opening up. Per Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, Texas has decided to fire head coach Charlie Strong. With a job as big as Texas, the firing and subsequent hiring process at the school is going to have huge ramifications, even on the SEC.
These are just some of the ways the Texas move will affect the conference.
Expect to hear Nick Saban rumors
The last time the job came open, Texas made a hard charge at Saban. In the time since then, Saban has added another national championship and currently has the Crimson Tide on a 23-game winning streak.
Texas figures to offer up a ton of money to whoever it hires. While Tom Herman is largely considered to be the favorite for the job, don’t be surprised to hear Saban’s name pop. Saban also is no longer the highest paid coach in college football, and could leverage the Texas opening into a big pay raise.
The LSU job loses a candidate
While LSU is a great job, most probably would pick Texas as the superior job. With someone taking the Longhorns gig, that removes one possible candidate from LSU’s pool.
The Tigers reportedly have set their sights on Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who was approached last season by the school. Should Fisher not have interest, it becomes unclear who the next set of candidates could be. A NOLA.com report named coaches such as Ed Orgeron and North Carolina’s Larry Fedora as possible options.
Does Texas A&M open up now?
There was a report that Strong and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had an equal chance of keeping their respective jobs, but that word came out before the Longhorns lost to Kansas for the first time since 1938.
Texas A&M is having another bad November, and a loss to LSU on Thanksgiving would drop the Aggies to 1-3 in November and 8-4 on the season. It would be the third consecutive season the Aggies have sputtered after getting off to a hot start. And with Texas making a move, why wouldn’t Texas A&M?
A name to watch for that one is Fedora, who was born in College Station.
Recruiting in Texas just became much more difficult
Strong had done a fairly decent job of recruiting in Texas, and it’s impossible to get all the top prospects the state has to offer. But the Longhorns’ last three recruiting classes ranked 7th, 10th and 16th, per 247Sports’ composite class rankings.
But if the Longhorns hire Herman or even Saban, expect to see Texas closer to the top of the rankings. Herman has shown he can get elite talent at a place like Houston, such as freshman defensive tackle Ed Oliver, a former 5-star recruit. Imagine what Herman could do at a place like Texas.
SEC teams have been able to go in and get players from the state, such as Ole Miss grabbing 5-star offensive tackle Greg Little in 2016 or Alabama getting Jalen Hurts. Texas probably will begin to keep some of those players in the state.
Does Charlie Strong return to the SEC?
Strong has a past in the conference, as he won two national championships as a defensive coordinator with Florida. Given that he’s shown he can run a program like Texas and that he’s won at Louisville, he probably could be a head coach again if he wants.
But Strong also can go back to the coordinator level and run a defense if he wants. Schools like Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all figure to have openings at the position. Strong was on the Florida staff at the same time as current Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. Would Strong be interested in working with him?