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How Much Does Steve Sarkisian Have to Prove in 2022?

Of college football coaches, ESPN believes that Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian has the most the prove in 2022

In 2021, the Texas Longhorns’ 5-7 performance fell short of the expectations of new head coach Steve Sarkisian’s ‘All Gas No Brakes’ era.

Some Longhorn fans have resorted to panic after the lackluster season, however; they should keep in mind that it typically takes a new coach at least four years to transform a program.

The Longhorns picked up an impressive recruiting class, including some elite transfers from the portal, which should improve their odds in 2022.

Gary Patterson and Steve Sarkisian
0901121-Sam Pittman-Steve Sarkisian

Most notably, the Longhorns secured a commitment from Quinn Ewers, the No. 1 quarterback in 2021, who transferred to Texas after a year playing for Ohio State. 

Sarkisian’s underwhelming first season and the addition of several promising recruits begs the question—how much pressure is Sarkisian under to turn things around in 2022? 

One ESPN writer, Alex Scarborough, believes that he has the most to prove out of any college football coach:

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“Steve Sarkisian's first season at Texas did not exactly go according to plan. After starting 4-1, the Longhorns went into a nosedive, losing six straight games, including a home loss in overtime to perennial Big 12 cellar-dweller Kansas. Beating Kansas State to end the regular season did little to clean up a disappointing 5-7 record. The offense was good at times but never great, and the defense was downright terrible, allowing 31.0 points per game.

While recruiting went relatively well, there are two ways of looking at that fifth-place finish: It was four spots below rival Texas A&M, and it heightened expectations for a roster that still might not be ready to compete for a conference title. Sarkisian, who enters the second year of a six-year, $34.2 million guaranteed contract, needs the addition of Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers to pay off in a big way. Bringing in former TCU legend Gary Patterson as a special assistant spoke to Sarkisian's confidence, but you have to wonder if things don't improve how it will look to have a future Hall of Fame coach in the same building.”

The next step for the Longhorns will be preparing for the annual Texas Football Orange-White Game, on Saturday, April 23 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Texas will open the season against the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Gary Patterson

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