Oklahoma has announced that Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel will take over as co-offensive coordinators after the departure of Kevin Wilson who left to take the head coaching job at Indiana. In what was some surprising news, Heupel, not Norvell, was selected to call the actual plays. Norvell was previously the receivers coach and will retain that position, while Heupel will also continue coaching the quarterbacks for the Sooners in addition to his play calling duties.
Norvell will obviously be heavily involved in the offense, but one can’t help but think the news Heupel will be calling the plays is a big letdown for Norvell. Norvell was in the same position at Nebraska from ’04-‘06, serving as the offensive coordinator while Bill Callahan called the plays. Norvell left prior to the 2007 season to become the offensive coordinator at UCLA where he was the play-caller, something he viewed as a prerequisite to becoming a head coach. Now, four years later, he finds himself in the same position at Oklahoma.
Either way, it’s a great move for Oklahoma as Bob Stoops, once again, promotes from within. They’ll reap the benefits with the offensive continuity developed under Wilson, not to mention, it should have little to no affect on recruiting.
Texas, on the other hand, appears to be in a little bit of disarray following defensive coordinator Will Muschamp’s departure to be the head coach at Florida. Brown was already trying to replace offensive coordinator Greg Davis and two other assistants, now he will have almost an entire staff worth of turnover to deal with.
One positive for Texas, it appears former Longhorn and current running backs coach, Major Applewhite, will be staying in Austin. It had been rumored Applewhite could follow Muschamp to Florida to become his offensive coordinator.
Texas may not be far from making their first move, however. Rumors have persisted today that Texas is close to replacing Muschamp with former Florida defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin reportedly joining Brown’s staff in the not-to-distant future.
On the offensive side of the ball, Davis had been with Brown during his entire tenure at Texas which started in 1998. The continuity on the staff no doubt contributed to the Longhorn’s success during their impressive run over the last decade. Now, that lack of continuity threatens to make the climb back to the top that much tougher for a Longhorn team that finished 5-7 and missed a bowl game for the first time in Brown’s time at Texas.
With the continuity in Norman, and the seemingly unrest in Austin, it’ll be interesting if this creates any gap between the two rivals. Oklahoma had the advantage early in the decade but Texas had won four of five before this year’s Sooner victory. While OU picked up a victory in this year's Red River Rivalry, they also added their seventh Big 12 title with their victory over Nebraska. Texas is sitting on three titles and could fall even further behind with the shake-up currently happening in Austin. It was already going to be an uphill climb for Texas trying to rebound from the 5-7 season, but now that climb looks even steeper than it did immediately following the season.
Texas will not only have to get everyone on the same page in the coaches' office, but will also have their work cut out trying to keep the 17 commitments in this year's recruting class headed to Austin. There's no question it has been, and will be, open season on Texas' recruits up until signing day. Steve Edmond, currently committed to Texas and the nation's 20th ranked prospect, says it may be time to look around again, “I don't want to de-commit yet,” Edmond told Rivals.com on Sunday. “I want to get some more information on other schools. If they don't get someone I really like, I'm gone. I only know one coach there. I can do that at a different school.”