Ohio State has proven themselves to be one of the best teams of the country. With such a mass exodus of key players leaving at the end of last season for the NFL, it was expected for the Buckeyes to rebuild and make a good bowl game. Instead, they finished the regular season with just one loss, against Rose Bowl-bound Penn State, and ended up the No. 3 team in college football, ensuring a spot in the playoffs against Clemson.
Even Ohio State’s assistant coaches become targets on the radar for head coaching positions, as shown by the story of Tom Herman. Herman was an offensive coordinator for a few seasons, and was given his first head coaching job at Houston. His success there landed him the new lead position at Texas.
The previous coach at Texas, Charlie Strong, could not bring the program back to its place of prominence after being praised for his performance at Louisville during his last two seasons there. He led the Cardinals to an 11-2 record in 2012, and a 12-1 record in 2013. Both of those years the team won their bowl game. With this momentum, Longhorn fans thought that they were back on track. However, with three losing seasons, Strong was fired from the team.
Since his departure, there has been much speculation on where Strong would land next. On a recent episode of the Carpenter & Rothman radio show, fill-in host Jeff “Tito” Thitoff mentioned Strong going to Ohio State as a defensive coordinator, since he held that position under Urban Meyer.
Although it is a possibility, former Buckeye linebacker Bobby Carpenter believes there is no chance. He stated on the show that there is just not a strong enough relationship formed between Meyer and Strong. While they did work with each other in Florida, Carpenter still felt that it would not be a good fit for the team.
Another subject that was mentioned was Meyer’s remaining time as head coach for Ohio State. Both Carpenter and Thitoff believed that Meyer would only be around for about five more years. While names such as Tom Herman coming back to Ohio State were discussed, Strong’s name was brought up, but almost immediately shot down.
Right now, there are many options opening up on the table for Strong.
Per Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, a head coaching job at the University of South Florida is a strong lead, as he is currently the frontrunner for the vacancy. Strong visited the campus to discuss a future with the team.
While the head coach job is enticing, 247Sports is reporting that Strong may pass on that role for the time being to regroup from his disappointing seasons at Texas.
“Strong is currently debating the head coach vs defensive coordinator path after Texas. He still wants to coach, but a source said he’s not sure if he wants everything that comes with being a head coach after what he went through at Texas right now.”
From the looks of it, going back to defensive coordinator may be the next route for Strong. While he had a very successful run at Louisville, his time at Texas was not nearly as comparable. Per SportsDay, Oregon, Temple, and Cincinnati are also viable options for Strong.
For Buckeye fans, the question would be whether Strong’s time in Florida and Louisville has gained enough confidence in him to be defensive coordinator, since (according to Thitoff and Carpenter) colleges will be eyeing both Luke Fickell and Greg Schiano. In fact, Eleven Warriors reports that the USF head coach position may instead go to Schiano and not Strong.
For Charlie Strong, a spot on the Buckeye personnel could be a possibility. Wherever he goes, Strong hopes to remove the dark days of Texas from being such an eyesore on his resume.
[Featured Image By Garry Jones/AP Images]