Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em, Trade ‘Em: Analyzing Texas FBS Head Coaches

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Photo via Gordon DeLoach,


Last week, we asked if you would start, sit or trade select Texas FBS wide receivers. Your votes have been tallied: Linell Bonner, Collin Johnson, Blake Lynch, Jalen Guyton and KaVontae Turpin were all chosen to start next season.

This week, we will examine choice FBS head coaches: including veterans, guys on the hot seat and first-timers looking to make their own unique imprint on a program.

As we get closer to the illumination of the Friday Night Lights, we want YOU to decide the futures of your favorite teams and players.

Put on your GM caps for a moment and select whether an athlete should sit, start or be traded. Obviously, NCAA rules prohibit trades, but you get the overall idea.

Voting results will be revealed a week after publication. Leave your comments below to analyze, discuss and debate this week’s batch of players.

Tom Herman (UT)

Houston’s 2016 campaign was marred by the media circus surrounding coach Tom Herman’s possible UT coaching position — scavengers eager for any news scraps concerning the No. 1 most profitable collegiate program in the world that ended up coming to fruition. The buzzards smelt something, and they were right; Herman’s Cougars coaching career is dead, and he will take over for a Longhorns’ team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2013.

The cover boy of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine may struggle adapting for the 2017 season, but his sophomore or junior effort in Austin could be the most telling; UT’s 2018 class is on pace for a Top 5 finish.

With the Cougars, coach Herman finished with a 22-4 record, collecting a Peach Bowl victory and hardware for 2015’s AAC Coach of the Year. The quarterback whisperer will once again inherit a solid offensive program, but the mediocre defense is the area of concern for the Burnt Orange. Over 80% of the unit return as either sophomores or juniors, proving that inexperience could have factored into their struggles last year. Houston transplant Todd Orlando will incorporate a base nickel defense and likely improve the pass defense.

Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech)

Arguably the most handsome coach in the FBS, coach Kingsbury is also arguably the most likely to get sacked after this season in Texas college football. Recruiting has stalled under the Ryan Gosling doppelgänger, with a plethora of former commits hopping off the Red Raiders’ train to find more stable means of FBS transportation.

After a promising first season with Tech, the “Lubbock Golden Boy” has struggled to a 24-26 record in four years — the worst in program history since 1990-94. Renowned as a quarterbacks coach, the offense has ascended through his tenure as HC in the rankings, but the defense has done the opposite, dwindling to a bottom-five unit each year from 2014-2016; the Red Raiders have allowed 41 points or more in each of those seasons respectively. Without stud quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Tech’s replacement gunslinger must throw a ridiculous amount of touchdowns just to compete and erase the inevitable deficit of a lackluster defensive unit.

Kingsbury has missed a bowl in two of the last three years and is pocketing $4 million per year for mediocrity. Air Raid offense has spread like wild fire kindled by an offensive guru across the college landscape; it’s much easier to find coordinators to implement the system. If Gosling-lite can’t fix the weaknesses of his Tech program, he will likely be searching for future employment during the postseason.

Gary Patterson (TCU)

Patterson had a good run with TCU, until his Horned Frogs went belly up last season. The program was consistently inconsistent — putting up eye-popping numbers one week, only to slip off a lily pad of their own hype the next. Coach Patterson is currently the second longest-tenured college football HC, taking the reigns of the Horned Frogs in 2000 and leading them to a 149-54 record.

By winning in three conferences, he accumulated six conference championships, 15 bowl appearances, countless top 25 finishes and five top 10 rankings.

The glory days of 2014-15 saw quarterback Trevone Boykin perfecting the Air Raid and guiding the Frogs to a 23-3 record. However, with Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill, coach Patterson seems to have lost control of the dynamic offensive unit from years prior, finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2013.

Matt Rhule (Baylor)

The dumpster fire that was known as the Baylor scandal was extinguished by the hiring of coach Matt Rhule — a high school friendly pick-up that padded his Waco coaching staff with controversy-retardant Texas HS products. Now that seven Title IX lawsuits have been brought on the program, the Bears have a long way to go before they can even attempt to rectify such immoral wounds.

On the gridiron, Rhule and staff have landed an astonishing 40 recruits in a period of less than five months. When the first-year FBS coach arrived at Waco near Christmas, only one recruit remained from the Art Briles era.

Coach Rhule is coming off back-to-back 10-4 seasons with the Temple Owls; he has yet to win a Bowl game as head coach, a postseason crutch that could be remedied this coming year: Out of all twelve teams in Texas FBS college football, only the Bears managed a bowl victory last season.

Frank Wilson (UTSA)

As expected, the Roadrunner’s C-USA recruiting was absent of anything above a 3-star grading, but No. 70 National rating is the highest in program’s history. UTSA is on the rise with second year coach Frank Wilson, who lead San Antonio to their first bowl berth ever.

The San Antonio frontman also promised that any rival football team would have to pry local talent from the claws of the Runners – a competitive claim that years ago would have been laughed out of the room, but is now a valid promise. Coach Wilson succeeded coach Larry Coker — a veteran HC who extended his stay with the startup unit that lingered at the bottom of conference standings. The diminished energy of coach Coker was given a much needed boost of B-12 by the LSU recruiter; the Roadrunners overcame a 1-3 start to finish 6-7, doubling their win total from the previous season.

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