DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Since the final years of the Mack Brown tenure, the Texas Longhorns have not been able to reach their standards as a football program. Thanks to Brown, those standards remain high to this day.
In fact, in 16 years at Texas, Brown won 158 games, had a win percentage of 76-percent win percentage, played in two national titles games, won one of those national titles, and brought home a pair of conference championships. In the seven seasons since Brown's departure, the Longhorns have won just 48 games and have played second fiddle to their arch-rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners.
Following the end of the 2020 season, the program took a bold move towards returning the program to its standard of excellence, firing previous head coach Tom Herman, and hiring Alabama offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian.
As the new CEO of the program, Sarkisian has hit the ground running, both in assembling an all-star staff and making waves on the recruiting front. Two key areas that are critical to elevating the Longhorns back to where they want to be -- going toe-to-toe with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide on a yearly basis.
“My time with coach Saban was tremendous,” Sarkisian told 105.3 the Fan's GBag Nation on Tuesday. “He’s a great mentor of mine. He’s a tremendous coach. He’s a tremendous leader. Obviously, we’re different people, with different niches. He’s a defensive guy, I’m an offensive guy, and the idea is that, hopefully, we are going into the same living room back-to-back nights competing for the same players off the field. And then the goal is that at the end of the college football season, we are competing on the field in the playoff because that’s the standard here. And I know that’s the standard at Alabama, and we should be going toe-to-toe on a daily basis with recruits, and we should be going toe-to-toe on the field every season.”
Obviously, that will be a difficult standard to reach for Sarkisian and the Longhorns. After all, Saban is coming off of his seventh national championship win as a head coach, giving him the record for the most national titles in college football history for a head coach.
If the first few weeks of his tenure are any sign, Sarkisian is off to a great start. In order to catch Saban, however, he is going to have to figure out a way to not only implement what he learned during his time under Saban at Alabama, but also build upon that, and mold it to fit the Texas Longhorns.
You can listen to Sarkisian's full interview with the GBag Nation below: