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Charlie Strong is Bovada’s betting favorite for Texas job

Charlie Strong AP

Personally, I don’t in any way, shape of form see it happening.  However, has a very intriguing name atop its list of potential replacements for Mack Brown at Texas.

According to the gambling website, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is a prohibitive 2/1 favorite to move on to Austin and take on the task of leading the Longhorns.  Strong is finishing up his fourth season with the Cardinals, and has seen his name connected to various high-profile openings during that time.

The Longhorns, however, are a different animal entirely.  At UT, the head football coach is tasked with dealing with an intense media spotlight, which pales in comparison to the politics involved in the job.  Strong hasn’t shown a penchant for suffering either tasks — and could be biding his time for the Florida job to come open — so his inclusion on any list let alone as the favorite is certainly head-scratching.  Could Vegas know something most everyone else doesn’t?  That’s entirely possible, but still seems highly unlikely.

At least in his talks with the media, Strong insists he’s not thinking about the UT speculation.

I don’t even think about it,” Strong according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I don’t even worry about it. I have a good job here. I have a really good job here. There’s a lot of work to be done here. The only thing I can control is what’s happening right here.”

While that may appear to be a hedge of some sorts, Strong, the former Florida defensive coordinator, flat-out denied any interest to a member of the media in that part of the country.

Three names that would be considered more likely on most levels immediately follow Strong: Baylor’s Art Briles (9/2), Vanderbilt’s James Franklin (5/1) and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (7/1).  Of that trio, Briles and Gundy are the most intriguing, given their ties to the talent-rich recruiting fields of Texas.  Not only would each be considered a home-run hire based on coaching ability alone, but would also serve to weaken a conference rival.

Two NFL coaches with recent success in the Pac-12 are also mentioned, with Chip Kelly and his show-cause at 10/1 and Jim Harbaugh at 20/1.  The latter has already reportedly denied interest in the opening, while Kelly’s departure from Oregon and the NCAA cloud that would greet him upon his return to the collegiate level would seemingly make him a non-starter in UT’s search.

Asked directly about the Texas rumors, Kelly stated Monday that “I havent spoken to anybody, nor will I speak to anybody.”

Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, at 20/1, is the only other NFL head coach mentioned.

While Florida State fans won’t want to hear it, there are growing rumblings that Jimbo Fisher could be in play as well.  The coach who replaced the legendary Bobby Bowden at FSU is listed with 15/1 odds by Bovada, with the media continuing to push him as a realistic replacement for Brown at UT.

The respected Jeremy Fowler of is one of those who thinks more people should be paying attention to the burnt-orange smoke swirling around Fisher.

I’m surprised these odds aren’t stronger in Fisher’s favor. FSU dropped the ball not raising Fisher’s pay after last season. Will he remember that when UT calls? FSU has tried to ease concerns with a recent extension to $4.25 million per year, and my guess is the Seminoles will fight to keep their guy. Win or lose in Pasadena, Fisher’s roster for 2014 will be loaded and will be hard to leave.

Below is the complete list of odds, again courtesy of

Charlie Strong 2/1
Art Briles 9/2
James Franklin 5/1
Mike Gundy 7/1
Bill O’Brien 15/2
Chip Kelly 10/1
David Shaw 10/1
Jim Mora 10/1
Jimbo Fisher 15/1
Jim Harbaugh 20/1
Mike Tomlin 20/1

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21 Responses to “Charlie Strong is Bovada’s betting favorite for Texas job”
  1. realfootballfan says: Dec 17, 2013 3:22 PM

    No FSU fans are worried about losing Fisher, we expect it at some point if not to Texas, to one of the SEC giants when Saban or Miles moves on. If Texas wants to buy him and he bites, I would wish him well and get the next candidate lined up. He returned the talent level to where it should be and it would be an attractive job for whoever is next.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 17, 2013 3:53 PM

    Texas would pay him almost double the $4.25mm he’s getting now….

  3. drummerhoff says: Dec 17, 2013 3:57 PM

    Whoever takes the UT job is going to be someone who enjoys or at least doesn’t mind the LHN “all-access” mentality. That type of reality TV environment is not for everyone.

  4. jdbaker01 says: Dec 17, 2013 4:13 PM

    I was wondering why Charlie Strong’s name had not come up before, however I do agree that he’s waiting for Florida. They should probably fire Muschamp now and just do the obvious before someone else actually convinces him to leave UL.

  5. bigbuckeye76 says: Dec 17, 2013 4:28 PM

    Would love to see Harbaugh back in college football but that is probably not going to happen.

  6. thehawg says: Dec 17, 2013 4:32 PM

    Al Golden from UM

  7. realfootballfan says: Dec 17, 2013 4:37 PM


    This is something Texas fans aren’t factoring in. Knowing Fisher a little bit, I would think it would be an irritant to him much like I thought it would be to Saban because those guys like to keep their programs bolted down. Besides the money Texas can pay, the only thing that I would think enters into Fisher’s decision would be his foundation that he has established to raise funds for a rare disease that one of his sons has. Getting money for that foundation would be taken to a whole other level in Austin and with people grateful to him for putting Texas where it needs to be. Btw, if he does go, I call James Franklin up the same day and interview him for the job.

  8. afrancis55 says: Dec 17, 2013 4:37 PM

    If Charlie strong was close to leaving UL for Auburn/Tennessee last year, you can bet he’s interested in Texas. Jdbaker is right, if UF wants Strong they’d better fire muschamp and get him now, or forever hold their peace.

  9. scotchman says: Dec 17, 2013 4:39 PM

    John Taylor pretty well nails it. Charlie Strong is a great coach, but isn’t exactly the best fit for Texas. Dallas/Fort Worth media, who typically know the Texas program pretty well, would probably put the list more like this:

    1. Briles 3-1
    2. Gundy 4-1
    3. Franklin 5-1
    4. Shaw 10-1
    5. Fisher 20-1

    Nobody else is really being given serious consideration.

  10. floridacock says: Dec 17, 2013 5:08 PM

    Strong recruits Florida very well, Texas needs a Texas recruiter. Anyway Bridgewater’s eligibility is up.

  11. thesconnienation says: Dec 17, 2013 5:16 PM

    floridacock says:
    Dec 17, 2013 5:08 PM
    Anyway Bridgewater’s eligibility is up.


    Might want to double check your facts on that one.

  12. fsu01 says: Dec 17, 2013 5:20 PM

    If you are looking at a Mack Brown type coach (the one from 16 years ago that is) there is one that may be unemployed from the NFL in a couple of weeks… Greg Schiano. Just like Mack Brown turned a lower rated North Carolina team into a winner and had success at a program not known for football, Schiano did the same thing with Rutgers. I know he did not have much success at Tampa Bay, but remember Spurrier struggled in the NFL as well. Could be a dark horse.
    But I agree Fisher could be a candidate. Which begs the question who would be next at FSU if that happens? Would you consider Pruitt after just one year as a coordinator?

  13. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 17, 2013 5:54 PM

    You were wondering why Charlie Strong’s name hasn’t come up in connection with the UT job? You do realize that Austin is in the Republic of Texas, right?

  14. floridacock says: Dec 17, 2013 6:00 PM

    @thesconnienation says:

    Whoops! He does have a year left. I stand corrected

  15. teedraper says: Dec 17, 2013 6:37 PM

    Yeah right. Racist a$$ white folks will run him out of town so fast.

    If he’s smart then he parlays his current job into an NFL job.

  16. scotchman says: Dec 17, 2013 6:48 PM

    wisconsinhillfolk says:
    Dec 17, 2013 5:54 PM
    You were wondering why Charlie Strong’s name hasn’t come up in connection with the UT job? You do realize that Austin is in the Republic of Texas, right?

    Same Texas that is drooling all over itself to get David Shaw, and would be happy to get James Franklin.

  17. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 17, 2013 9:36 PM

    What’s your point?

  18. boomgrounder says: Dec 17, 2013 11:02 PM

    Next Texas HC will be either Jimbo Fischer or Gus Malzhan and it will be announced after the NCG. Winner take all!

  19. raiderufan says: Dec 18, 2013 7:34 AM

    I think they should be going all in for Gundy or Briles….Franklin a close 3rd in my book.

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 18, 2013 12:38 PM

    wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 17, 2013 9:36 PM

    What’s your point?

    What’s your point saying that Austin is in the “Republic of Texas”?

  21. dhardy8207 says: Dec 24, 2013 3:03 PM

    wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 17, 2013 9:36 PM

    What’s your point?


    I think what other commentors are trying to say is that your original comment hints to racism and that Strong’s name was left out before because of the color of skin. Thats why another poster listed the names of other black coaches that UT would gladly go after. David Shaw’s name has been floated since speculation began to surface regarding a possible change.

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