Texas football has been trying to reclaim its spot atop the college football world for years now, with Charlie Strong and Tom Herman failing to reach the top of the sport during their runs. It now falls on Steve Sarkisian, former Alabama offensive coordinator and head coach at USC and Washington.
The expectations remain sky high for the Longhorns. Paul Finebaum of ESPN/SEC Network is not so sure that they should be, though. He doesn’t see Texas as the type of program that pushes the needle at this point.
“Texas is no big deal other than to Texas fans. This is not a relevant program anymore,” Finebaum said on Wednesday’s Get Up on ESPN.
“Go back to 2013 when Texas fired Mack Brown. He didn’t resign. He was shown the door. The same Mack Brown who now has North Carolina in the Top 10. Texas can’t even win its own state anymore. Lost two of its best players to Alabama. It’s pathetically behind Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M and it’s way, way behind its biggest rival in Norman, Oklahoma. Texas is fighting for third at best in its own league.
Finebaum says that he likes Sarkisian as a coach, but says that the problems in Texas go far beyond the coach to the booster class. He revealed what Nick Saban told him about the culture at UT, and why he turned down that job.
“The problem isn’t Sark, the problem are Texas people. Nick Saban told me one time, after he turned down Texas, he didn’t want to report to 15 or 20 billionaires everyday. That’s the way that program rolls. Saban took over at Alabama and said ‘I’m in charge here.’ Lincoln Riley has very few people that he has to answer to in Norman.
“That’s the problem for Sark. Every other minute someone else is calling up and wants a piece of him and that program. Until they clear that up, and they haven’t yet, that program will be stuck in the mud.”
It is a pretty jarring statement from Paul Finebaum, but given what the last few months have looked like for Texas football, it is hard to deny that major things need to change, and it can’t just be a new head coach every three or four years.