On Friday afternoon, head coach Tom Herman and the Houston Cougars were the eyes of the country for a plethora of reasons, one of which were they had a rather important game against the Memphis Tigers which could have a direct impact on the team's bowl game.
Unfortunately, it looked as if the Cougars forgot there was a game and ate just a bit too much turkey and stuffing yesterday, as they trailed 21-10 in the first quarter and 34-17 at halftime. While Houston did battle back and make this a competitive game, they were not able to close the deal and lost in possibly their final game with Tom Herman as the head coach.
Now, it is time to look at the offseason. Coach Herman is the #1 target for most top teams looking for a change or trying to fill a vacancy at the helm of their football program. The LSU Tigers were reportedly closing in on a deal with Herman last night and an announcement was reportedly supposed to be made this morning.
The day has come and gone and it appears as if the Tigers and Herman have not yet agreed upon a deal. While some have speculated this game against Memphis may have scared away some teams, I find that highly unlikely. It is important to not overreact to one game at the end of the season and I think, or at least hope, most college administrators and boosters feel the same way.
It is easy to look at Herman's body of work and say he is a phenomenal coach. And you would clearly be right saying that.
However, a deeper look at Herman's time in Houston is important to recognize what he has done with the program. Herman has won major bouts against top teams such as Oklahoma, Florida State, and Louisville, but has also suffered heart-breaking defeats to the likes of Navy and UCONN.
In 2015, Herman inherited a phenomenally talented and eager team that had simply not reached it's full potential. They did that last year, as they were able to reach a New Year's Six Bowl. However, they have clearly come back to earth this season and shown some vital flaws. Herman is a great big game coach, as he motivates his players unlike many and can game plan with the best coaches in college football.
While LSU looks to be the front-runner for Herman, keep an eye on Texas, as they always seem to be in the running for these types of coaches. That being said, Texas reportedly seems more keen on keeping Charlie Strong around for 2017. I guess we will see.
UPDATE: 11:42 PM ET
According to Geoff Ketchum of Orangebloods, the Texas Longhorns are scheduled to meet with Tom Herman on Saturday. The Longhorns still may retain Charlie Strong, but it is widely speculated that Strong will be relieved of his duties on Saturday.
Additionally, it is being reported by multiple media outlets that Herman is also scheduled to meet with LSU on Saturday as well.
UPDATE 11:30 AM ET
A mere hour after firing Charlie Strong, it seems as if Texas has their new man. According to Heather Dinich of ESPN, the Texas Longhorns are set to officially hire now former Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman to the same position. While nothing is official, it appears as if the Longhorns will announce this decision later today.
Herman is expected to meet with his Houston players this afternoon to tell him of his decision. It has been one of the worst kept secrets in college football that Herman desperately wanted this job.