It’s a big year in Austin. No, it is (probably) not the year the University of Texas wins another national championship. I don’t know if we are anywhere near that year. It is a really big year, though. This is Charlie Strong’s year. Even if it isn’t, it kind of has to be. In the current climate of college football, coaches do not get a lot of time to turn things around and the better the program, the less time you get. People around the nation are already wondering if Charlie's time is running out.
At big budget schools like UT, three years is like a decade, or at least they feel like it. Charlie Strong has to win and he has to do it now. If he wants to be the coach of the Longhorns, he does not have any time to waste and he could help his case a lot by winning in week one.
Of course every team in the country wants to win their opener, but not every team is playing Notre Dame, in Austin, a year after getting routed by them. If Strong can get his team to beat the Fighting Irish on a Sunday home opener then he will cut himself a lot of slack for the rest of the season.
The Texas Longhorns do not have an easy schedule, but it is manageable. Going 8-4 is do-able, but the pressure to win could hurt this team. They are likely playing for higher stakes than the rest of their competitors.
Can Charlie choose a quarterback that can beat Baylor and Oklahoma for a second year in a row? Those would be big wins in the mind of the UT-faithful. He also cannot afford to lose any Big 12 bottom-feeders or schools in the state of Texas. When you add all that together it sounds like Strong needs to win 10 games to keep his job, but is that fair?
Well, as Strong surely knows, life is not fair and being a football coach is no different. If UT stumbles out of the gate then the Charlie Strong-experience may be over before it ever really got started, but this team is talented and growing. Strong might just turn out to be the coach they though he was. It will be a big season for Texas, nothing new.