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College football rumors: Bryan Harsin leaving the Texas Longhorns?

Brendan Maloney: USA Today Photo Images

Rumors are swirling around Austin tonight that the Texas Longhorns offensive coordinator, Bryan Harsin, will accept the head-coaching position at Arkansas State University as early as Thursday.

Under Harsin, the Horns’ offense was, for the most part, unexpectedly the brightest spot for the Horns’ this season. Though there were some inconsistencies on the offensive side of the ball, the Longhorns boasted a strong running game and a solid passing game. In Harsin’s second season with Texas, the Horns averaged over 400 yards per game and ranked inside the top 25 in scoring.

Though Harsin shared the co-offensive coordinator title with former Longhorn quarterback Major Applewhite, it was Harsin that was responsible for the offensive play-calling over the last two seasons.

Prior to coming to Austin, Harsin served as the offensive coordinator for Boise State under head coach Chris Peterson. It was there that Harsin began to capture the attention of the college football world, particularly after his offense stunned the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl using such creative plays as the Statue of Liberty and the Hook and Ladder.

Last season, Harsin’s first in Austin, was a tough one to say the least; he was forced to rely on true freshman quarterback David Ash who was thrown into the fire before he was ready. That said, while there is still room for improvement, Ash and the Texas offense made huge strides this season under Harsin’s coaching and creative play-calling.

If the rumors prove to be true and Harsin leaves for his first head-coaching position, many inside the program believe that Major Applewhite would take over the offensive coordinator duties on his own.