clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tom Herman beating Louisville means ‘extreme pressure’ for Charlie Strong, ESPN reports

The Texas coach had a somewhat simple path to keeping his job, but outside circumstances have ramped up the danger.

Texas v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Boosters are fickle, like all humans. When we talk about the rising and falling stock of coaches, there’s truth to it. The latest example, from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy:

In October the lure of Herman, always considered Texas' No. 1 target, had dulled with losses to Navy and SMU and near losses to Tulsa and UCF. The SMU loss was extremely troubling to UT's boosters because it was to a perceived "lesser school" in the state, sources said.

That all changed with Herman improving to 22-3 at Houston after Thursday's domination of Louisville.

After that win, the bidding war for Herman is expected to start "at a minimum of $5.5 million," an industry source said.

Thursday morning, Herman had a 21-3 record as a head coach at Houston, with an impressive resume as an offensive coordinator at Iowa State and Ohio State. He’d entered the season as a no-doubt coaching star after a Peach Bowl win over Florida State, then boosted his shine with a win over Oklahoma.

But then his team lost two conference games, so nobody should fire coaches!

Thursday night, that record changed to 22-3, thanks to an impressive home upset of No. 5 Louisville.

So now we gotta fire all the coaches!

Herman’s about as close to a no-doubt hire as it can get. It’s just funny that a couple losses were all it took to change that reputation. And it’s funny that one more upset win was all it took to restore it.

Charlie Strong’s Texas has stabilized somewhat as its schedule has settled down a bit, with improving defensive numbers after a turbulent midseason change. But UT powers would never* forgive themselves now if Texas A&M or somebody else swiped the restored star Herman out from under the Longhorns. The 5-5 Horns finish with Kansas and TCU.

The Aggies could be just as likely as the Horns to make a move, per USA Today. The 7-3 Aggies have UTSA and LSU left after a three-game SEC losing streak.

This might actually be a good year to fire a middling head coach, with the whole carousel looking quiet at this point. But if everybody makes panic hires to try and join the Herman scrum, that could change.

* Unless Strong has a better season than Herman at some point. Then nobody would remember any of this even being a discussion. Because boosters are fickle, like all humans.