Despite statements to the contrary last week, Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong already has his eyes on his next offensive coordinator and will try to land TCU Horned Frogs co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, according to a report from Orangebloods.
Along with co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, the former Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback has orchestrated the rise of head coach Gary Patterson's offense in Fort Worth. The results were immediate and dramatic -- when the two joined the program in 2014, the Horned Frogs became the nation's most improved offense in total yards (+188.2 ypg) and scoring (+21.4 ppg). The points per game improvement of TCU's 21.4 broke the Big 12 record of 19.1 set by Oklahoma in 1999 and was the largest improvement by any college football team since 1999-00.
But offensive aptitude by itself isn't enough for the Longhorns -- Strong needs an accomplished quarterbacks coach and Cumbie would seem to fit that bill as well. When he arrived, Trevone Boykin was a failed quarterback whose brightest future appeared to be at wide receiver, but Cumbie and his Air Raid-derived offense help turn him into the 2014 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a 2015 Heisman candidate for much of the season.
Cumbie played quarterback under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, turning in an impressive season as the starter before playing for several years in the Arena Football League. After a stint in the Indoor Football League, he spent four seasons back in Lubbock, rising to the role of play caller for the 2012 Meineke Car Bowl and quickly proving his aptitude by orchestrating a win over Minnesota.
However, with Meacham interviewing for the North Texas Mean Green position on Sunday and a strong possibility to receive the job, Patterson and the TCU brass may not be willing to let both Meachem and Cumbie leave at the same time, putting Cumbie in line for a major payday.
So there may be a bidding war for Cumbie in a year when there don't appear to be a lot of home-run hires available on the national landscape.