Bye weeks don't normally feature a media availability from Charlie Strong, but the Texas Longhorns head coach made a Wednesday appearance and addressed continued reports about his interest in the open Miami Hurricanes job.
The latest emerged from the Palm Beach Post on Thursday and indicated that Miami has Strong as the school's leading candidate and that the administration believes he "wants out" of Austin.
Unsurprisingly, Strong characterized all the reports connecting him with the job as false, a statement that would presumably include Thursday's report, too.
"It's all a rumor," he said.
Admitting that he's frustrated about his name being mentioned in connection with Miami, Strong seemed confused about why the rumors haven't stopped even though he laughed off the situation weeks ago.
"I have an unbelievable job here, and a lot of times I don't know where it surfaces from," Strong said. "But the thing I've got to do is continue to work here and get this done."
The real question is why the administration in Coral Gables believes that the Texas head coach has interest in the Miami position. Perhaps it's entirely wishful thinking.
Regardless, as much as Miami would be a fit for Strong and as difficult as things look moving forward in Austin, there are two elements of the bottom line here -- UT-Austin president Greg Fenves and interim athletic director Mike Perrin both support Strong and, as I pointed out on Twitter last week and Mike Finger wrote Thursday, Strong isn't a quitter. It simply isn't a part of his make up as a person.
Strong has come too far and overcome too much to get into his current position to simply give it up and walk away, even for a job that makes sense for him. Perhaps he feels that truth is so self-evident that he doesn't need to point it out, as Finger suggests he should have done on Wednesday.
There's also the fact that he feels a sense of responsibility to fix things.
"It's important that I have to be successful here," Strong said. "There's just too many people counting on me, but not just me; counting on us to get it done. We have an unbelievable fan base and unbelievable support from our alums. We've got to get it done. Nobody is more frustrated than I am, because when you go out to play you want to win and that's what it's all about, to win football games."
Unlike the situation at the end of the Mack Brown era, the forces that matter at Texas are currently pulling in the same direction, which is of no small importance and stands as a major indicator of what will happen in the coming weeks.
"We're here to build a program and that's why I came here," Strong said. "I know we still have a ways to go and we have great support from our president and also from our athletic director. They know what the situation is.
"We know this -- the coaching staff and everyone is on board. We know that we have to get things done here. We know what we're up against and we know what the battle is. We just have to get better. We're not where we want to be. We know that the future is very bright, and we have some outstanding players and we just have to make sure that they improve."
So as long as Strong wants to be back at Texas next year (reminder -- he's not a quitter), he will be. And that is as should be, regardless of whether he's ultimately able to turn things around in Austin or not.