Two long weeks into Kansas University’s football season, the fan base understandably is frustrated. But it could be worse. You could be a supporter of the Texas Longhorns.
Texas brings heated benches on the road for games in “cold” climates. Even so, the players’ seats aren’t nearly as hot as the one upon which good guy Mack Brown sits.
The Longhorns (1-2) are coming off losses to Brigham Young by 19 points and Ole Miss by 21. Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the BYU debacle. Now the pencil points at Brown himself.
Assuming Brown and Texas negotiate a buyout at season’s end, one of the most desirable jobs in football will come open, and the speculation already has started as to what direction the Longhorns won’t head.
Baylor’s Art Briles, a former high school coach in Texas, would clean up in recruiting and field as exciting an offense as any in the country. But those familiar with the way orange bloods think insist Texas never would stoop to hire a coach from Baylor, particularly not one as country as Briles. Plus, Texas would run the risk of Briles deciding he likes where he is just fine and rejecting the offer.
There also is the school of thought that Texas wouldn’t hire an assistant coach who never has headed his own program and also wouldn’t touch any coaches from any other in-state rivalries, such as TCU.
Let’s assume all those limiting factors are true. Who, then, would you hire if you were Texas? The premium has to be on coaching ability since the brand sells itself well enough to ensure the next coach can choose from attractive options when doling out scholarships.
For me, only one name makes sense. He has won two national championships. He played for Tom Osborne at Nebraska and spent eight seasons as an assistant coach for Osborne and Frank Solich, including three years as defensive coordinator.
In recent seasons he has been the most successful college football coach in the nation not named Nick Saban. His name: Craig Bohl. His school: North Dakota State. His record since the start of the 2011 season: 30-2, two Football Championship Series national titles, a 4-0 mark, all on the road, against Football Bowl Subdivision Schools.
FCS schools are limited to the equivalent of 63 full scholarships, but they can spread the money among 85 players. FBS schools are limited to 85 full rides and can’t spread them out.
To defeat consistently schools armed with that many more scholarships says a lot. It says Bohl is a terrific judge of talent, coaches up the talent and knows how to handle game days.
I can hear the chorus of naysayers: “Texas would never hire an FCS coach.”
If the Longhorns want to play for national championships they should. Name a better choice.