This past Saturday on College GameDay, Kirk Herbstreit called the University of Texas football program a cesspool. Herbstreit’s comments had nothing to do with Austin, which is perhaps his favorite city in America, nor did it have anything to do with Charlie Strong or his players.
“It’s really more of the underbelly that I think is active on a lot of these college campuses,” Herbstreit said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I feel like we’ve been talking about what’s wrong with Texas for a long time. In fact, for the last five-plus years now, Texas is 43-39. Mack Brown did some amazing things there, but it caught up to Mack, that underbelly the last three years. And listen, if a coach isn’t getting the job done, then he should be replaced. But at least support him and give him a chance while he’s the head coach. The rumors last week that anonymous sources say that Charlie’s done at the end of this year, imagine being in the building and trying to coach and recruit and build a program when you’re dealing with nonsense all the time. It has nothing to do with Texas, nothing to do with Charlie or the city or the fans. It has more to do with the coach (and) what he’s up against, and how, instead of supporting the program, people with a lot of powerful positions are constantly second-guessing.”
Brown was forced out in the same fashion that Strong is being forced out now: with rumors and anonymous sources. When Brown was let go, there were rumblings that Nick Saban would leave Tuscaloosa and rescue the Longhorns.
That obviously didn’t happen – and it wasn’t going to happen, either.
“That was never a reality for them,” Herbstreit said. “When that didn’t happen, whoever that next guy was had no chance of having support from the folks when it came to being the next head coach. So I wish Charlie nothing but the best. I hope they’re able to win out the rest of their games, but I look at Charlie (and wonder) how is he withstanding all this? Would he be better off going somewhere else? He’s a great coach who, if they fire him, he’s going to land on his feet. I wish Texas nothing but the best, but I just wish that the coaches did not have to deal with that.”
Herbstreit believes that a coach needs at least four years of recruiting to build his program and his brand. At Colorado, that’s possible. At Texas, it isn’t – not unless you’re winning.
“I think when you go to a high-profile brand such as Texas, they want to win right now,” Herbstreit said. “They want to win a championship today. When that doesn’t happen right away, instead of dealing just with the normal fodder you might get in a chat room or a talk show, it gets real. That’s the challenging thing there. Imagine trying to do that job with a lot of different chefs in the kitchen trying to give you ideas and suggestions on what and how to do it before you even get really going in your first year as a head coach. So it’s been a tidal wave that he’s had to fight through. The guy is a great coach if you talk to anybody in the coaching profession. I just hope he’s given a fair shake to try to show what he can do, that’s all.”
Texas (2-3), which has allowed 45+ points in each of its last three games – all losses – hosts Iowa State (1-5) this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.