With the hire of Montana State head coach Jeff Choate as inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian’s staff is now complete. There are some helpful breadcrumbs in some of the title designations and known pay scales to deduce how this staff is going to work together and what the philosophy and approach will be on defense.
The timing of Steve Sarkisian’s defensive hires has been a great puzzle to much of the Longhorn interwebs. First, Mike Stoops was going to come and co-coordinate the defense. Then, it was Will Muschamp until the former Texas DC chose to withdraw from consideration. Next thing Texas fans and commentators knew, the defensive staff was filled up with a pair of defensive back coaches and no defensive coordinator hire within sight.
Pete Kwiatkowski has caught my eye many times over the years for what he's done as a defensive coordinator out west. One of his initial wins was serving as the D-line coach for the 2006 Boise State Broncos when they stopped up the Adrian Peterson Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl.
There was a time when the Texas Longhorns were on the cutting edge of blending pro-style schemes with spread formations and tactics. The 2005 and 2009 runs at the National Championship were both powered by offensive systems designed to allow Vince Young and Colt McCoy to dominate games by operating in space.
It was a little bit difficult to enjoy Texas’ 55-23 thrashing of a bad Colorado team in the Alamo Bowl. It would have been harder for the Longhorns to draw an easier matchup than a team from a league that barely put together a season and who barely even played anyone from said league. No disrespect to Colorado, who honorably made the most they could of their season, but if you thought the 11-2, 2019 Utah Utes or the 9-3, 2012 Oregon State Beavers were a bit overmatched athletically…
Colorado wasn't a great team this season. The Pac-12 is really approaching a sad state of affairs these days. Last year's 10-win league runner-up was squashed by Texas. This year's 5-1 Colorado drew a Texas putting three new starters on the offensive line and still got smoked. Make no mistake, Colorado was quite bad this year despite their relative success in the Pac-12. Texas handled them like a Longhorn squad should handle an opponent of this caliber by burying them 55-23.
In the last Scoop, everyone got to hear the names of some targets Texas will be investigating in the pursuit of replacing Tom Herman. Most of the names were already established or obvious with one significant addition, the “scenario 3.5” in which Texas hires a splashy coach with a major resume but nothing quite so magnificent as Urban Meyer’s three National Championship rings.