Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde released his first “Most Intriguing” list on Wednesday, touching on what head coaches he’s the most fascinated by headed into the 2021 college football season. Although Jim Harbaugh and Scott Frost both made the list, the SI columnist is looking to the state of Texas for the program leader that he’s most interested in to kick-off a new year.
Forde named Steve Sarkisian as his “most intriguing” coach in college football on Wednesday. The former Alabama offensive coordinator is now at the helm of the Texas Longhorns and will have high expectations to meet in his first year on the job.
Here’s what Forde has to say about why Sarkisian is the college football coach that intrigues him the most this season:
“The Longhorns spent nearly $50 million to fire Tom Herman and hire Sark, with the express purpose of him leading the $100 million charge into the Southeastern Conference era (whenever it comes to pass). That’s a lot to throw on the shoulders of a guy with a 46–35 career record who hasn’t been a head coach since 2015. But everything is bigger in Texas, including the gambles. Sark will need some time to build his program but could be afforded little of it. Dangerous underdog Louisiana comes to Austin on Sept. 4 with hopes of making a mockery of Texas’s SEC summer power play.”
Column: The CFB Most Intriguing Lists are back. Starting with the Most Intriguing Coaches of 2021 — from Sark to Jimbo and 23 places outside the state of Texas https://t.co/z8qre7YJkl
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) August 18, 2021
As Forde points out, Texas paid a hefty price to get Sarkisian in Austin and will expect results right away, as they have done with various head coaches in the past. However, the former Washington and USC head coach has spent some significant time away from the top job, so he may need some time to settle back in and change the trajectory of the Longhorns recruiting.
Sarkisian is fresh off an undefeated national championship run with the Alabama Crimson Tide so he should carry some momentum with him to Texas. Time will tell if he can meet the high expectations set out for him and how he performs in his first year on the job.