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Charlie Strong won’t let Texas players flash hook ‘em Horns sign yet

Charlie Strong Texas Hook 'em

Just four short years ago, Texas was competing for a BCS National Championship behind Heisman Trophy candidate Colt McCoy. Since that game, the Longhorns have compiled a record of 30-17, which is nothing to brag about for a team that was once considered a national powerhouse. Charlie Strong hopes to bring a winning tradition back to Austin.

In order to do so, Strong is trying to change the culture that Mack Brown left behind. According to ESPN.com’s Max Olson, that includes everything from making players walk to practice to not allowing them to throw up the “hook ‘em Horns” hand gesture.

“They’ll get it back one of these days,” Strong said.

Strong was a Longhorn for a matter of hours before he was already throwing up the “hook ‘em Horns” at his introductory press conference. In fact, same of his former Louisville players criticized him and called him fake because of it. The Horns gesture is one of the first things recruits do when they decide to play ball at Texas, but apparently Strong feels it needs to be earned.

Strong also makes players take the half-mile trek from their dorms to the practice facility on foot. They used to be able to catch a bus. He has put an open-door policy into effect and is often spotted chatting football with several players at a time inside his office.

Culture change is one thing, but I’m not sure how I would feel about being told to not use the “hook ‘em Horns” gesture. In my opinion, starting positions are something a player has to earn. Taking pride in your school is not.

Max Wittek: Visit to Texas was awesome

Max WittekMax Wittek was once one of the top college football prospects in the country, but after losing the USC starting quarterback job to Cody Kessler, he decided to transfer. Texas is one of the schools looking at him, and it sounds like things went quite well on his visit there over the weekend.

“Everything about my trip (to Texas) was awesome,” Wittek told Orangebloods.com on Monday. “From the coaches to the players, the school, the campus – it all probably exceeded what I thought it would be.”

Wittek has also expressed interest in Louisville, TCU and Hawaii, but he says he’s not sure of his plans to visit any of them. He also told Orangebloods that he connected with the Longhorns coaches during his visit.

Wittek enrolled early at USC in 2011 to take part in spring practice, even though he redshirted his first year. After Matt Barkley hurt his shoulder against UCLA in 2012, Wittek started against Notre Dame and then Georgia Tech in the team’s bowl game. He did not look very good in either game, and he lost the starting job to Kessler last season.

Schools still hold a lot of interest in the former Mater Dei product, but I have my concerns. He didn’t look good despite playing in Lane Kiffin’s offense and with many talented players around him, so I’m not expecting big things from him elsewhere. Based on his reputation, though, he’ll probably be able to land a starting job.

In high school, Wittek was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals. He had scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina and UCLA, in addition to SC.

Helmet smack to College Football Talk
Image via YouTube/Inside Troy

Art Briles reportedly willing to interview with Texas, would accept job if offered

Art Briles Robert Griffin BaylorArt Briles is a man in demand, and it sounds like there is a possibility he could end up at Texas.

Briles, who has been the head coach at Baylor since 2008 and gone 44-31 in his Bears career, is willing to interview with the Longhorns, according to a report.

The Austin American-Statesman says Briles would be willing to interview with Texas after Baylor’s Fiesta Bowl game against UCF. They also say Briles would accept if Texas offered him the job.

Briles recently received a 10-year contract extension that runs through 2023. It reportedly will pay him $4 million next season. His buyout reportedly is at least that hefty.

Briles has also been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Washington Redskins job. Going to Washington would reunite Briles with Robert Griffin III, who won a Heisman Trophy at Baylor in 2011.

While we don’t know the extent of Texas’ interest in Briles — or if they even have any interest in him — we do know that they interviewed Louisville coach Charlie Strong. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin are also considered candidates to replace Mack Brown.

Jose Canseco thinks he can fix Texas football

Jose-Canseco-AsWith Mack Brown recently announcing that he is resigning from his position as head football coach at Texas, the Longhorns are in need of a replacement. The job, being one of the most prestigious in the nation, is sure to attract plenty of viable candidates. Jose Canseco thinks he is one of them.

Canseco, who is apparently a big Texas football fan, believes the Longhorns need a big name to bring their program back to where it was about 10 years ago. I’m not sure I agree with that, but he makes an intriguing case. Maybe Texas should give him an interview.

Remember folks, this is the same Jose Canseco who believes global warming could have saved the Titanic and still thinks he deserves a shot in the MLB. It’s obvious he’s been put on this earth for our entertainment.

H/T College Spun

Mack Brown resigns as Texas coach

Mack Brown TexasMack Brown is resigning from his position as head coach of the Texas Longhorns after all.

A day after it was reported that Brown was fighting for his job and that he would remain as the coach of the Texas Longorhons, Texas announced that the 62-year-old would resign.

The Longhorn Network first reported the news and added that Brown told his players and recruits about his plans.

Brown will coach Texas for the Alamo Bowl game against Oregon on Dec. 30. That likely won’t shape up as a nice sendoff for him as Oregon is a much better team.

Texas issued this statement from Brown:

“Now, the program is again being pulled in different directions, and I think the time is right for a change. I love The University of Texas, all of its supporters, the great fans and everyone that played and coached here. I can’t thank DeLoss Dodds enough for bringing our family here, and Bill Powers and the administration for supporting us at a place where I have made lifelong friendships. It is the best coaching job and the premier football program in America. I sincerely want it to get back to the top and that’s why I am stepping down after the bowl game. I hope with some new energy, we can get this thing rolling again.”

Speculation had been swirling throughout the week that Brown would resign before long, so the news comes as no surprise.

After taking over Texas in 1998, Brown returned the football program to national prominence. He won double-digit games every season from 2001-2009 and he brought the school a national championship in the 2005 season. The success he enjoyed was on par with Darrell Royal, and he will be remembered by Longhorns fans for all the great things he did for the school much more than the last four disappointing seasons that led to his resignation.

Nick Saban paged over intercom at Texas airport as a joke

Nick-SabanAlabama will not have the opportunity to compete for a third straight national championship this season. Mack Brown is expected to announce by the end of the week that he has stepped down as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. What does one thing have to do with the other? If nothing else, it means the rumors about Nick Saban potentially leaving Alabama to coach at Texas aren’t going to stop.

Saban has brushed aside talk of him joining the Longhorns in the past. On Tuesday, some jokesters had a little fun with the speculation at Austin-Bergstrom International airport in Texas. Chase Goodbread of NFL.com rounded up several tweets from people who were at the airport and confirmed that Saban was paged over the intercom system.

Of course, Saban was not in Texas. He was actually in Ohio making some recruiting rounds earlier in the day. Yes, recruiting for the Crimson Tide.

Saban’s agent reportedly said back in January that Texas is the only job that could make Saban consider leaving Alabama. Now that Brown is expected to step down, Saban is going to be peppered with questions about the Longhorns. He’s not going to like it.

Mack Brown will reportedly step down at Texas

Mack Brown TexasMack Brown is stepping down as the coach of the Texas Longhorns, according to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com. Texas is 8-4 this season after a 30-10 loss to Baylor over the weekend. The Longhorns will face Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. Brown is expected to make the announcement by the end of this week.

“Mack Brown loves Texas and wants what’s in the best interest of Texas and what’s in the best interest of Mack Brown,” a high-level source reportedly told Orangebloods.com. “I don’t think it’s been an easy decision. But he doesn’t want negativity around the program he helped unify.”

Last week, a report from Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel indicated that Brown was likely to step down.

The 62-year-old is expected to coach in the Alamo Bowl, which will cap off his 16-year career as the head coach of the Longhorns. His 158 wins are second only to Darrell Royal, who had 167 wins in his career at Texas.

Brown is under contract through 2020, but he will reportedly receive a $2.75 million buyout and other considerations. His contract states that he is to be “reassigned to another significant position” within UT’s athletic department if he voluntarily relinquishes his duties as head coach. That position would pay an annual salary of $500,000.

Since losing to Alabama in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, Texas has gone 30-20 and not exactly been the national powerhouse Brown had built in the earlier part of the 21st century. Brown won a national championship with the Longhorns in 2005, which was the school’s first title since 1970.

This was seemingly the best outcome for all parties involved. While it’s difficult for any coach to “step down,” it’s better for Brown and the school to have the relationship end mutually. No one wants to fire one of the greatest coaches in school history, and Texas is clearly ready to move on.