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Q: How long before my head explodes?
Great question! Probably right after mine!
Q: Do you believe the rumors of Chancellor McRaven inserting himself into the coaching decision are true? Seems far fetched to me. Is he also going to pick UTEP's coach?
Yes. McRaven is very involved. Not sure about UTEP. Not sure McRaven's going to have regents who are as interested in UTEP's football coach.
Q: Charlie the coach next year in your opinion? Any realistic shot at Dabo if Charlie is fired this weekend?
1) So much of that question depends on Friday's game. I think Texas has to have a convincing win Friday vs TCU for Strong and staff to be brought back. That will be tough. Not impossible. But tough - because the key matchup in that battle is Sterlin Gilbert vs Gary Patterson.
Gilbert's offense averaged 41 points per game the first five games and 28.2 ppg the last six as defenses have been able to dissect film and adjust to it.
2) I have not heard - as of yet - to stop mentioning Dabo Swinney's name as a possible candidate. Everyone thinks Dabo's dream job is Alabama, because he went there. But I'm hearing Dabo knows how hard it would be to follow Saban (for anyone to follow Saban)! And that he'd be seen as a hero if he could restore Texas. We'll see.
Q: You said Charlie is back if he beats TCU. Chip, there is a big difference between a 30-28 win and a 45-10 win. No way we bring Charlie back by squeaking by a sucky TCU team right. Please tell me it ain't so, Chip! ;)
Go back and read my story. I said Strong "might be able to save his job" with a victory over TCU. But you're right, I'm told it would need to be "convincing."
Q: God, I would love to have Dabo! You telling me there is a Chance?? Odds?
A chance. Maybe 25 percent right now. But could go up depending on Friday.
Q: How has James Franklin been so successful in year 3 with a program coming off probation in one of the hardest divisions in college football? How does it conflict with how TEXAS past 3 years?
Franklin is a hell of a coach. Steve Patterson interviewed him. Franklin is an excellent recruiter, super organized, great staff (he has a special teams coach and one of the best FG kickers in the country in Tyler Davis, who is 20 of 22 and went 3-of-3 in a 29-26 OT win over Minnesota). Just sayin.
Q: If we lose Friday, and Strong gets fired, who's your top 2 likely possible replacements - not including Tom Herman?
I hear John Harbaugh would listen after the Baltimore Ravens are eliminated from the playoffs or playoff contention. He'd be my No. 1.
I'd be on board with Dabo Swinney as No. 2.
Q: Chip, if you were AD, which direction would you take this program?
I've always been a huge John Harbaugh guy. If I could get him, I'd get him.
Q: Will Tom Herman wait till Saturday for Texas?
I think so.
Q: Is there any chance to see Chris Warren on the field Friday?
No. I hear he's a medical redshirt. He'll get this year back.
Q: Higs/Chip you may or may not be able to answer this yet - but Higs said to remember and remind him of sundays date 11/20 in reference to his story that he couldn't release at the time. Can you give us the story or release some details yet??
I think it relates to some demands Tom Herman's agent may have relayed to UT intermediaries, such as wanting a say in picking new people to run UT's academic services and nutrition - among other things. The kind of stuff Nick Saban and Urban Meyer ask for and get. I think some of this stuff might be stunning to a place like Texas, which can be so stodgy and stuck in its ways, it's almost prohibitive to the school's coaches. I could be wrong, but I think that's part of it.
Q: What are some of the variables in place for Strong to return to Texas?
Variables? I'm not sure I follow.
Q: Are Fenves and Perrin using the "Strong possibly coming back" narrative as a bargaining tool with BMD to get some of the campus projects funded in return if we fire Strong?
Haven't heard that. Part of the problem in firing Strong is obviously the $17.7 million in contract buyouts for Strong and the assistant coaches. I think no one has stepped forward to write those checks, because it's not yet clear who the coach would be coming in to replace Strong.
There were big-money guys willing to step up huge financially in order to try to go get Saban. But they didn't have to spend $17.7 million to get rid of Mack - only $1.75 million. Different worlds. The buyout money is a big deterrent to firing Strong. But I'm told Fenves is willing to do it, if he feels it's necessary to move on from Strong following Friday's game.
Q: If Strong is fired this weekend, how long will it be until UT hires a new HC?
The big-money guys want Tom Herman, and that deal could be done quickly.
Q: If McRaven has taken over and is shooting for a big name,
- Does the timeline for his due diligence cost us Herman since he's not all that interested in TH?
- In that scenario, if we don't land a big name then what? Charlie returns?
2) Oh, I'm sure we'd see UT rummage around, giving other head coaches raises all over the country before landing a high-quality coach
Q: Have you heard of any back channel interest from Chris Petersen and the possibility of a meeting when the regular season ends?
Not at this point.
Q: Is Fenves micromanaging the coaching situation? It appears that way from the outside looking in but things aren't always as they appear.
I think Chancellor William McRaven is micromanaging some, too. But, yes, Greg Fenves is very involved and will ultimately have the final say - even though AD Mike Perrin will have been involved as well.
Q: How soon will the decision come after the TCU game?
Depends 1) on the outcome. If it's a "convincing" victory - I'm told Strong is staying. If it's not convincing or it's a loss, Strong would not be retained.
A decision on a replacement would depend on the candidate. Tom Herman could probably be finalized quickly. John Harbaugh would have to wait for the playoffs or for playoff contention to end.
Q: What do you think the likelihood is that Charlie wins and is kept on, but decides to bolt for another head coaching opening because of the way Texas has handled this and the uncertainty of his contract moving forward?
You just have to keep an eye on other jobs that come open - and if they'd be interested in Strong. If he's not getting a contract extension from Texas and he can get a 5-year deal from someone that pays him big bucks, he'd probably have to entertain that offer.
Won't know the likelihood until we see what other jobs come open. We should know more about all that after this weekend's games.
Q: If I scream really really loud, will it make any difference?
Try it and see!
Q: Any chance the football support staff (e.g. QC coaches, Grad Assts) grows to more of an Alabama like setup under the next coach? If Strong somehow keeps his job, does that impact your answer?
And....Happy Thanksgiving to the HD staff!
It's been growing with the additions of Andrew Sowder as a QC and Michael Huff as a player liaison. Mike Perrin has been much more receptive to those types of requests than Steve Patterson ever was.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!
Q: Okay, let's assume the Ravens' Harbaugh is the selection. What is a plausible timeline?
After NFL playoffs or after Ravens eliminated from playoff contention. The NFL season ends at the beginning of January. Playoffs start Jan 8. The dead period ends the next weekend (Jan 15). It would be complicated. But doable.
Q: If y'all are a betting man then who would you put your money on for the head job if Charlie gets fired?
I still think there's a higher probability of Tom Herman than anyone else. I'm told he's not been eliminated as a candidate.
Q: What is the Herman-or-bust BMD response to Fenves bringing back CS, assuming we beat TCU and show up for a bowl game (let's not talk about road games...)?
The BMDs would be smoking mad. But I don't think they'd take down Fenves over it.
Q: Is it definitely true that Charlie is back if we beat TCU?
I'm told it has to be "convincing."