The waiting game continues for the Texas Longhorns with TCU Horned Frogs co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, the top target for head coach Charlie Strong.
There hasn't been a ton of movement on Tuesday through the morning hours, but here are some notes about the process and where it might go if Cumbie declines the offer.
-- The expectation from Horns247 is that Cumbie will make his decision at some point on Tuesday, but there isn't really a more specific timetable than that as of late morning.
-- Why is the process taking so long? After all, Cumbie has already met with head coach Strong twice, including his visit to Austin on Monday with his wife that never culminated in a decision. Well, apparently this is just how Cumbie operates:
Those who know TCU co-OC Sonny Cumbie not surprised because he deliberates long, hard. In his nature.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) December 8, 2015
Some of it may just be his personality, and some of it may be his history:
This has to be quite a mind-trip for Cumbie. Former walk-on who has never really been coveted and suddenly all eyes are on him.— Geoff Ketchum (@gkketch) December 8, 2015
While that may be true about his playing days, Cumbie has been in high demand in the last year, so the current situation is increasingly a part of his reality as one of the most coveted offensive minds in college football now. If he's not used to it now, he needs to get used to it, because unless he fails spectacularly next year at Texas or TCU somehow skids without quarterback Trevone Boykin, his star will only continue to rise.
But all this discussion does raise one important question -- is Cumbie comfortable enough to be the offensive coordinator for the Longhorns and endure all the scrutiny and attention that comes with the position? That factor may be something that he's considering right now.
-- The Statesman has some news on Cumbie's salary at TCU, as a source places that figure at around $700,000. It's a pretty significant sum for a co-offensive coordinator, but the Texas offer is reportedly for somewhere around or over $1 million and there is likely some latitude there for Strong to match any raise proposed by the Horned Frogs. However, the administration in Fort Worth seems intent enough on keeping Cumbie that giving him a 50% raise is certainly possible and more doable than, say, doubling his salary if he was making several hundred thousand dollars less.
-- There's been some discussion about how an Air Raid coordinator would fit with a Texas offense that is developing an identity as a physical running team. Whether or not the team can find a fullback to replace Alex De La Torre may influence some of the scheme next year in terms of running 12 personnel, but being Air Raid these days doesn't mean that those teams can't run the football effectively.
Texas Tech, Cumbie's former employer and alma mater, ranked No. 1 in rushing S&P+ this year and Dana Holgorsen's West Virginia team finished No. 32 in rushing S&P+ this season. Cumbie is familiar with Holgorsen's offensive philosophies because his co-offensive coordinator, Doug Meachem, came to TCU from Oklahoma State, where the Holgorsen influence on the offense still lingered after his departure for the head coaching job in Morgantown.
What that indicates is that the new wave of the Air Raid offense is far removed from the pass-first, pass-second, pass-third approach of Mike Leach. Personnel packages that once tended towards four wide receivers now feature H-backs to help the running game.
All of this is to say that there is no reason to believe that Cumbie is too inflexible to highlight the strengths of his team -- he wouldn't have had so much success at TCU if he was that rigid.
And since tight ends coach Jeff Traylor will remain on staff to provide some further expertise in the power spread, the run game will be fine moving forward if Cumbie takes over.
What Texas really needs from Cumbie are the Air Raid passing schemes that are simple and the practice philosophies that allow the team to rep those schemes over and over and over. What Texas needs is a better and more effective variety of run-pass options that more comprehensively stress defenses.
-- If Cumbie does decide to accept the Texas job, expect two key offensive hires to happen quickly thereafter:
Horns247 has learned that if Cumbie accepts the position at least two assistant coaches are in line to be hired on the offense of staff at Texas. Specifically, we've been told if Cumbie is hired then the offensive line and running backs coaching jobs are all but decided.
There are some names circulating already behind the paywalls, but expect those coaches to have Texas Tech ties.
-- What happens if Cumbie decides to stay at TCU? The next target on Strong's list is probably Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert:
But also hearing Charlie Strong likes Tulsa OC Sterlin Gilbert "a lot." So there's that. TCU still in the dark about Cumbie's decision.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) December 8, 2015
Gilbert works under former Baylor offensive coordinator Phillip Montgomery in Oklahoma and previously worked under another Art Briles protege for one season at Bowling Green. Like Cumbie, he has some history of success developing quarterbacks and also adds the additional appeal of having coached at several different high schools around the state of Texas.