Texas Football Coaching Hot Board: Top 10 Potential Replacements For Charlie Strong (If He Gets Fired)

Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong was on the hot seat when the season started, but now, that seat is an inferno. After a 2-0 start, the Longhorns have lost four of their last five games, culminating in an embarrassing loss at Kansas State. As if there was any question about Strong's future, there's already a report that Texas is expected to fire Strong at season's end

Now, there's still five games left for Texas to improve on their 3-4 record, but it's going to take a monumental effort from Strong to keep the job. Basically, the Longhorns have to win out.

If Texas does decide to fire Charlie Strong, who could take over the Longhorns program? Here are Strong's top 10 potential replacements:

10) Major Applewhite, offensive coordinator, Houston

A former Longhorns quarterback, Applewhite has had a ton of success as Houston's offensive coordinator. He has led the high-flying offense that has carried the Cougars to the No. 6 national ranking, and will be getting a head coaching job sooner rather than later. That time is thought to still be a year or two away, but his ties to Texas mean he should at least get a call.

9) Art Briles, former head coach, Baylor

Briles was linked to the Texas job when the Longhorns hired Strong. While he's gotten himself into hot water recently after being fired due to scandal, Briles is still one of the best coaches in college football. There are plenty of other options the Longhorns will consider before him due to his past, but he knows how to win.

8) Lane Kiffin, offensive coordinator, Alabama

Yes, this may seem like a horrible idea, but Kiffin has rehabbed his image enough under Nick Saban for him to get another head coaching job. Texas would undoubtedly quiz him on what he learned under Saban and wouldn't give him a long-term deal. It would be a gamble, but someone is going to take it. Remember, Kiffin is still young (41) and one of the best coordinators in the country. 

7) Todd Graham, head coach, Arizona State

Graham has been a job-jumper in the past (he went from Tulsa-Pittsburgh-Arizona State in three years), but Texas could keep him in one place for a long time. Graham just received a raise from ASU, but Texas has the funds to make the raise seem like pocket change. 

6) Dan Mullen, head coach, Mississippi State

Mullen showed what he can do by taking Mississippi State to the No. 1 ranking in the country for most of the 2014 season, but it appears that he's taken the Bulldogs has far as he can take them and could be looking to a job upgrade. If he was able to make the Bulldogs one of the best teams in the country, imagine what he can do with everything Texas has to offer.

5) Jim Mora, head coach, UCLA

Texas offered Mora the job before it went to Strong, but Mora turned it down. If Strong is fired, Texas could try to lure Mora away from UCLA again. 

4) Les Miles, former head coach, LSU

Miles had run his course at LSU, but he's still known as one of the best coaches in the country, particularly defensively - which Texas really needs to upgrade. He is also one of the best recruiters in the country, and would bring a high level of talent to Austin. There are questions about what he can do offensively, but his track record speaks for itself.

3) Jon Gruden, former NFL head coach, ESPN analyst

Gruden's name pops up every time a major college head coaching job becomes available. If Strong is fired, expect that to be the case again this season. Gruden was rumored to have interest in the job last time and that will likely be the case again. Gruden's college coaching experience is limited, but he's good enough to win anywhere. 

2) Tom Herman, head coach, Houston

No coach's star is burning brighter than Herman's right now, who has won a Peach Bowl and taking Houston to the No. 6 national ranking (before losing to Navy) - and he hasn't even had the job for a year and a half. Texas would obviously be a huge step up in pedigree, and the Cougars won't be able to match the kind of money the Longhorns will be able to throw at him. He's the best young coach in the sport, making him an easy target for Texas.

Herman will get offers from everywhere with a vacancy, but there are also rumors that Texas is his top choice given the fact that he has spent a large majority of his coaching career in the state. The Longhorns will call Saban first for obvious reasons, but Herman is next - and it looks like he'll take the job.

1) Nick Saban, head coach, Alabama

Saban was Texas' top target the last time the job was open, but Saban ultimately decided to stay at Alabama. Texas came close to snagging Saban last time. If the job opens up, they'll go hard at Saban again despite his winning of yet another national title. Whether or not Texas can actually land Saban is another question entirely.  

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Related Topics: Texas Longhorns Football, Big 12 Football, NCAA Football, Charlie Strong