Big 12 Head Football Coaches Ranked: No. 10 – 6

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Oct 11, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong takes the field with his team before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Charlie Strong, The University of Texas

As one of the league’s newest coaches, Strong is still a bit of an enigma to fans in Austin and around the Big 12. In 2010, the Louisville Cardinals hired the then Florida defensive coordinator to lead their program.

Strong’s first two seasons were mediocre 7-6 campaigns, but then the Cardinals took off going 11-2 and 12-1 in the next two years. Overall, Strong was 37-15 at Louisville but skeptics are quick to point out that his greatest successes came in the weak Big East and American Athletic Conference.

Strong was not the Longhorn’s first choice to replace Mack Brown and many Texas fans and boosters feel that the program has settled on a coach who is less accomplished than the prestigious program deserves. Hard-nosed and far from a media darling, Strong has also found it difficult at times to change the country club culture of Texas football.

In his first year as Longhorns coach, Strong suspended numerous players for legal and disciplinary reasons. He also took the iconic burnt orange Longhorn logo off of the players’ helmets until they earned the right to wear it. (So the question must be asked why Tyrone Swoopes ever had a logo on his helmet last year.)

Some see Strong’s actions as grandstanding while others feel the changes are necessary at Texas. However, the results on the field were not there in Strong’s first year.

Texas finished the year 6-7 after being crushed by Arkansas in the Texas Bowl. Strong’s accomplishments at Louisville are meaningless in Austin. Fans expect to see the team begin to take on Strong’s no-nonsense mentality and play disciplined and physical football. However, they must remember that it took decades for the spirit of entitlement to infest the Texas program, and a cancer that cannot be eradicated in only a year.