Charlie Strong’s Texas tenure has not gone as well as planned. The Longhorns are 11-14 over the last two seasons – their worst two-year stretch since 1988-89 – and Strong finds himself firmly on the hot seat.
Texas doesn’t exactly have a cupcake in its home opener, either. The Longhorns host No. 10 Notre Dame this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Texas is only a 3.5-point underdog in that game, but do the Longhorns have enough to keep that game close and possibly pull out a win?
“Well, one thing that Charlie Strong does have at the University of Texas is talent,” Fox Sports college football analyst Gary Reasons said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They have a lot of players on that roster than can definitely compete with anybody in the country. They’ve been able to recruit. They’ve been able to get some guys in there that are under the tutelage of his coaches and their system. I think that the little bit of a change that they’re going to do offensively – they go more uptempo and they’re bringing in Sterlin Gilbert as a new offensive coordinator – gives them a new identity on offense, and they’re going to go with a quarterback that’s going to be a true freshman starter under center.”
That would be Shane Buechele, a two-time all-state quarterback who starred at Arlington Lamar. Buechele, who scored 94 touchdowns (73 pass, 21 rush) in high school, enrolled at Texas in January. He is one of the top quarterback prospects in the country.
“I think that’s going to be a big splash for Texas,” Reasons said. “Shane Buechele, who was an all-star quarterback here in the state of Texas in his high school days, I think he’s going to be a catalyst. If they’re going to have success, it’s going to have to come from a freshman quarterback. This is going to be a big audience watching that ball game against the Fighting Irish because they’re a quality team, but Charlie’s got a lot of athletes down there. So anything could happen and I think they’re looking for good things to happen – because he needs something good to happen for him to (have) his seat be a little more comfortable for him in Austin.”
Texas will play five teams ranked in the preseason Top 25 this year: Notre Dame, No. 21 Oklahoma State (Oct. 1), No. 3 Oklahoma (Oct. 8), No. 23 Baylor (Oct. 29) and No. 13 TCU (Nov. 25).