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Charlie Strong: Texas ‘will not be in the national championship game’ this season

Charlie Strong AP

Memo to Longhorn Nation: do not book flights to Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex or reserve hotel rooms in that area for the time around Jan. 12, 2015; you’re head coach says your team won’t be there.

While not exactly a statement that goes against conventional wisdom when it comes to the 2014 college football season, Charlie Strong surprised some observers Monday when he talked about expectations for his first season at Texas.  Or, more to the point, he significantly lowered the first-year expectations of the media and fans alike.

We have everything available, and I don’t know why we can’t be successful,” Strong said while speaking to fans on his tour of Fort Worth. “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.”

While some will criticize Strong for a defeatist attitude, others — myself included — will applaud the first-year UT coach for injecting some reality into a fan base that ofttimes suffers delusions of grandeur.

The Longhorns haven’t been a factor nationally since the 2009 season.  The past four years, they’ve sported a 30-21 record and earned three postseason berths — two to the Alamo Bowl, one to the Holiday Bowl.  While they played for a Big 12 title the final day of the regular season, that had more to do with other conference teams stumbling.

In other words, UT has a tough row to hoe to get back to where they belong nationally — especially with an unsettled quarterback position heading into his inaugural season in Austin.  Good on Strong — not an overwhelmingly popular hire to begin with — for shooting straight with his new fan base and not blowing the kind of rectal sunshine for which most coaches are infamous.

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13 Responses to “Charlie Strong: Texas ‘will not be in the national championship game’ this season”
  1. woebegong says: Apr 22, 2014 1:18 PM

    Got to give the coach a “A” for being honest and upfront, although I am sure a lot of fans of Texas do not want to hear that.

  2. mogogo1 says: Apr 22, 2014 1:30 PM

    Realistic, but still an odd statement from the head coach. They don’t exactly have a murderous schedule. They play both BYU and UCLA in the state of Texas for the non-conference portion, they host Baylor, are coming off a win last year against OU in the Red River Showdown, and Oklahoma State is going to be their toughest road game.

    No, you probably don’t win all those, but they’ll have a realistic shot at all of them and isn’t being head coach all about taking one step at a time and never ruling anything out?

  3. 8to80texansblog says: Apr 22, 2014 1:31 PM

    And water is wet….

    Actually, it’s an honest take and comment and he should be commended for that. Too many coaches are afraid to say the obvious in fear of inciting the fan base. But I think even the staunchest UT fans know that they are not that close right now. It will take a Strong a few years to get his recruits in and change the culture.

    He better not take too long though… the Aggies have been dominating in recruiting the last few years and taken a bit of Texas’ national stage away.

  4. thekingdave says: Apr 22, 2014 1:31 PM

    @goodfieldnohit, this is your cue. Please come utilize your vast knowledge of the Longhorns program and drop your two cents in.

  5. hockeyissweet says: Apr 22, 2014 1:37 PM

    thanks nostradmus, can i go to vegas now?

  6. tgaustin says: Apr 22, 2014 1:44 PM

    Love Coach Strong. Love his directness and honesty. Any reasonable Longhorn fan knows this is the truth. Need to give Jerod Heard a few years to develop. Defense will be there, it’s the offense that will take time.

    Hook Em

  7. irishdodger says: Apr 22, 2014 1:45 PM

    I’m indifferent to the comment. No, they probably won’t be in the Nat’l Championship game but stranger things have happened. Now add in the playoff system & it could make for even stranger outcomes. Auburn was coming of a worse record when they bounced back w/ a new HC and landed in the NC game this past season.

  8. thefiesty1 says: Apr 22, 2014 2:12 PM

    Well, duh. Nothing like stating the obvious. After the spring game last week he knows what kind of team he has.

  9. h0c2000 says: Apr 22, 2014 4:40 PM

    They’ll be lucky to end the year in the top 3 in Texas.

  10. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Apr 22, 2014 6:01 PM

    Everyone wants to believe their team could win it all. In reality only a complete team can win it all. As far as strange things happening, good luck with that. Ash is banged up, his back up is not experienced, the offense is transitioning away from the power run team it was in its prime, and this is not a defense that could stop a Baylor offense let alone Auburn, A&M, Oregon, or Bamma. The longhorns probably finish behind Baylor, OK state, OU, and Kansas state. A bowl win would be a good start for Strong. Lets be real Texas isn’t the Texas of 63,69,70, or 05, its today’s Texas, a mid of the pack team. Be happy though you guys have your TV station and all. Something else to think about, look at successful Big East coaches(Rodriguez, Edsall, Jones, Kelly, and Holgorsen) who moved up to power conferences,Check out their records. Good Luck!

  11. sportsguy3434 says: Apr 22, 2014 9:38 PM

    At least he is honest. Last year I sent a text to a die hard longhorn friend of mine and asked how many games they would win. He jokingly said “all of them.” If longhorns don’t win 10 games they can’t take it. Strong will turn them around, but even he knows it won’t be next year.

  12. 35longmiles says: Apr 22, 2014 10:50 PM

    What does Vegas have to say about it? Odds change?

  13. jdillydawg says: Apr 22, 2014 11:32 PM

    What? He’s still employed after saying that?

    What I don’t get is that he flat out said he has all the talent they need to make it but they ain’t gonna make it. He basically said, “Give me a few years, not sure how many, but at least a few. Five maybe? That should be good.” A team like Texas doesn’t need “years” to build. Should be done in a season.

    Thanks coach, now let me go play hard for 5th place.

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