One thing that has become prevalent in college football is the on-going, never stopping, always looming coaching carousel that occurs all around the nation. Texas fans should already be familiar with this situation on an even larger scale when the University of Texas lost their â€œHead-Coach-In-Waitingâ€, Will Muschamp, to the University of Florida. Now itâ€™s another coordinator that will be moving on by following an interest to be a head coach.Â After just two seasons at Texas, Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin will be the head coach at Arkansas State.
Some fans may not know anything about Arkansas State orÂ let aloneÂ ever seen a Red Wolf (Ark. St. mascot) before,Â but if recent history tells you anything then itâ€™s clear why Harsin would want a shot to be head coach at this stepping stone program.Â After each of the past two consecutive seasons at Arkansas State, the head coach of the Red Wolvesâ€™ has left for much bigger head-coaching jobs and both coaches have found landing spots in the SEC.Â After the 2011 season, Hugh Freeze left for Ole Miss after just one year as head coach at Arkansas StateÂ and after the 2012 season, Gus Malzahn left for Auburn just 1 year after he was named the head coach in Jonesboro. BothÂ Freeze and MalzahnÂ wereÂ offensive minds, like Harsin. With that knowledge alone itâ€™s easy to see why Bryan Harsin is ready to give head coaching aÂ shot at Arkansas State.
Regardless of the fact that Harsin wants to take the gig as the head coach at a stepping stone school, we cannot shy away from the fact that Texas still has a big question mark at the quarterback position; a position Bryan Harsin had been coaching. Â The fact that Harsin is leaving may explain why the Juco QBâ€™s UTÂ expressed interest in hadnâ€™t received a Texas offer yet. On top of this, it will also be interesting to see ifÂ Harsin’s moveÂ plays a role in the decision of any quarterbacks (or any offensive players) to stay or leave the 40 acres. Fellow HornSports contributor Johnny Whisenant (@Texas0205) will shed more light into this subject and give more insight into how the players felt about Harsin, not just as a play-caller, but as someone they worked with daily. Itâ€™s definitely something you will want to read. But even with the question marks still floating around at theÂ quarterback position, I believe this move for Harsin had more to do with the chance to be a head coach at a school that has recently catapulted previous head coaches into a top football conference, than any other reason.
Moving Forward With Major
Whether you liked Harsinâ€™s play calling or not, he has now moved on.Â ThisÂ means Texas must move on and move forward with a new play caller. Co-offensive coordinator and beloved lifetime longhorn Major Applewhite is now taking over as the play caller during games. He will still be a co-offensive coordinator, as wide receiverâ€™s coach Darrell Wyatt has been promoted to co-offensive coordinator, but Applewhite will take charge of the offensive strategy and insert his own direction into the squad.
The excitement over Major Applewhiteâ€™s promotion is understandable. The guy worked his magic as a player, when he was doubted most: especially by his own head coach (Mack Brown). Now many fans and even players, seem excited to see if Major can carry that magic into his play calling.
As an offensive coordinator and playcaller, Major has had just 2 seasons in that position. His first was at Rice in 2006 andÂ his second opportunity was with Nick Saban at Alabama in 2007. Below are the offenseâ€™s respective stats those years.
Totals â€“ 4,486 yards, 44 TDâ€™s,
Passing â€“ 2,783 yards, 29 TDâ€™s, 14 INTâ€™s. (6.40 yards/attempt)
Rushing â€“ 1,703 yards, 15 TDâ€™s. (3.9 yards/carry)
Totals â€“ 4,859 yards, 38 TDâ€™s.
Passing â€“ 2919 yards, 19 TDâ€™s, 12 INTâ€™s. (6.18 yards/attempt)
Rushing â€“ 1940 yards, 19 TDâ€™s. (4.0 yards/attempt)
And Harsin’s past season at Texas:
Totals â€“ 5, 292 yards, 54 TDâ€™s.
Passing â€“ 3180 yards, 23 TDâ€™s, 10 INTâ€™s (8.71 yards/attempt)
Rushing â€“ 2,112 yards, 31 TDâ€™s. (4.6 yards/attempt)
The numbers in Applewhiteâ€™s two seasons as OC are lower than what Texas did last season but we really shouldnâ€™t even compare those two seasons to the Longhorns’ offense of last season. The style of offense and talent on offense at Rice and Alabama are much different that what Texas currently has. Texas is faster and has multiple players than can take it to the house on any given play. Riceâ€™s talent isnâ€™t up to that par, and we all know about the offenses Alabama has run in the past. Right now Applewhite has a Mustang (itâ€™s not a Porsche yet) of an offense sitting in the driveway. If he can find a quarterback who can consistently drive this offense then he could very well shatter his own past offensive stats as a coordinator and keep this offense performing at a high level like it did in many games last season.
Thereâ€™s no question the Harsin move is an unexpected change. But what has almost been more unexpected is the reaction the fans, and even players, have displayed when learning knowledge of Harsinâ€™s exit. Many fans donâ€™t seem nearly as disappointed or as upset as I would have thought. Iâ€™m not sure if fans A) expect Major to come in and keep the offense rolling with out skipping a beat. And/Or