by Bill Holmes
Hey Texas Longhorns, I have a deal for you. It's a little trade of head coaches. The new Texas coach for the current Gators coach. It makes sense for both sides. You get a guy that you once thought would be your next head coach and the Gators get the guy who should already be their head coach.
Late Friday night it was announced that Charlie Strong will be the new head football coach of the Texas Longhorns. During the day on Saturday there were reports that it wasn't a done deal, Charlie was undecided and there were counteroffers from Louisville. On Saturday night there were more reports that Strong would indeed move to UT and there would be an official announcement on Sunday. The announcements by Texas, Strong and Louisville came early Sunday afternoon. Charlie is moving to Austin.
Here is the logic behind my suggestion that Texas sign and then trade Charlie Strong to the Florida Gators for their current coach Will Muschamp. Just a couple of years ago, Muschamp was the defensive coordinator and designated head coach in waiting at Texas. During the same time Strong was defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and interim head coach at Florida. Both programs were successful while Will and Charlie were coaches. Both programs have fallen off since they left.
Charlie has spent over 15 years at Florida in various coaching positions going all the way back to 1983. He has recruited for years in Florida and the southeast. He has been especially successful in the Miami area. His 2013 Louisville Cardinals team had over 35 recruits from Florida, most from in and around Miami. How do you get 35 good Florida high school football players to go to Louisville? There were no players from Texas on his team.
Muschamp has recruited successfully in Texas from his days with the Longhorns. So you see, on recruiting alone this trade makes sense.
There are a few details we have to work out. Texas is said to be offering Charlie $5 million a year. Will makes around $3 million. Right there Texas will save $2 per year. The Gators will pay Charlie the $5 million and also pay Louisville the $5 million buyout fee. That is a net increase of $15 million over five years for Florida and a net savings of the same amount for Texas. The Gators can even throw in a few assistant coaches if that helps the deal.
Lastly, both Charlie and Will can save money on wardrobe. I'm sure Strong still has some Gator logo blue and orange clothes in the back of the closet. Likewise, Muschamp must have burnt orange stuff with Longhorns on it. Take a look on the web at how much that school logo gear costs.
I know this is a pipe dream. We'll all have to wait and see how this plays out. Will Charlie Strong be successful in Austin as the new Texas Longhorn coach? Can Will Muschamp recover from a less than stellar start in Gainesville with the Florida Gators? They both face big challenges, Muschamp has to regain the support of the Gator Nation and get them back to the elite level of college programs. Strong also has to revive a once elite program, stake out new recruiting territory and most importantly navigate the richest and most political football school in the country. The Longhorns alumni wields enormous power in Austin.
I wish both coaches good luck. Strong because he is a good guy who deserved a top coaching job several years ago. Muschamp because I'm a Gator fan, if he does well, the Gators will do well. Go Gators! Go Charlie!