By Garret Heinrich

By: Garret Heinrich (@GarretHeinrich)


We need to have a hard conversation with Houston Cougar football fans. Tom Herman is leaving the University of Houston. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. It’s going to happen at some point. Many Houston Cougars fans understand that. Their school is a stepping stone for coaches to get better jobs (see: Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin). And Tom Herman is a great coach. He’s going to get a better job.

And while some people hope Herman decides to become a lifetime member at UofH it is more than likely not going to happen. However, he could end up having a good run with the school instead of a couple of years and done like it might be.

The best thing that can happen for UofH to retain Herman for a good long while is a move to the Big 12. If that gets announced (possibly soon) it could give Herman four to five more years at the helm of Cougar football. But if that doesn’t happen he will more than likely bolt in the next one to two years. Herman is a great coach and I think he wants to be the best coach in college football at the best program. That is never going to be the University of Houston (the best program part). But rarely will a coach go from a non-power five conference to a top program, so Herman would need a stepping stone or a few years dominating in a power five conference.

If the Big 12 accepts Houston into the fold Tom Herman should wait with Houston as long as it takes to get one of these nine jobs. It wouldn’t be terrible for him to stay with Houston until he can get one of these anyway, but I don’t see that happening unless the Cougs get into the Big 12.

Some of these programs might not have an opening for a while, but if he wants to wait for one of these schools specifically I wouldn’t blame him.

(First Four Out: Oregon, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M)

Florida State
Current Coach: Jimbo Fisher
National Titles Since 1998 (BCS ERA): 2

The Seminoles are a team that probably won’t be getting rid of Jimbo Fisher anytime soon, but it’s a job that Herman would do very well in. He would recruit the hell out of Florida and in the ACC he would dominate everyone (even Clemson). His ability to pair high powered offense with high flying fast exciting defenses would draw kids there (as would the amazing student body).

Current Coach: Les Miles
Nationals Titles Since 1998: 2

Now this is a job that could easily be open next year, or in two years or never. We never know what is happening in Death Valley. They seem to love and hate Miles depending on how he did against Auburn or Alabama or whatever team they decide they want to compare to that week. But LSU is a great program for Herman. He would be able to still recruit Houston, where he has made great waves locally, and he would be in the SEC West where all you have to do is lose once all year and you will get a place in the College Football Playoff.

Current Coach: Clay Helton
National Titles Since 1998: 0 (2004 was taken away from them for Reggie Bush issues)

The only west coast team Herman should even consider. Even schools like Stanford and Oregon that have been very good aren’t quite on the level of USC in prestige and ability to be a championship contender year in and year out. I don’t know who Clay Helton is (WikiUPDATE: He played and coached for the Cougars!). He has the easiest job this season in football; following Steve Sarkisian’s drunken exit. He also seems like the perfect fit for a guy to right the ship at USC and get them back on the map just before being let go so the Trojans can make a big-time play at a big time coach, like Tom Herman.

Current Coach: Jim McElwain
National Titles Since 1998: 2 (without Urban Meyer: 0)

Florida is up on the list because the coach could be gone sooner than LSU (but LSU is a better job IMHO). If McElwain has a couple of years (don’t win the SEC East) he could be out. Just like FSU it’s a great place for Herman to recruit a hotbed of talent. It would also be a great spot for him because he would have the easier road to the the SEC championship game every year. And if you win the SEC, you are in a place to win a National Title. Plus this trajectory would look a lot like his mentor, Urban Meyer.

Notre Dame
Current Coach: Brian Kelly
National Titles Since 1998: 0

The Fighting Irish haven’t won a title since 1988. That doesn’t matter. They are Notre Freaking Dame. If the Irish come calling you take that job. You play on your own network. You breed NFL talent and you make your own schedule every year. Kelly has done a great job in South Bend, but things can turn quickly with a few bad seasons. If that job opens up Tom Herman would bolt Houston for it in no time (despite the obvious weather downgrade.)

Current Coach: Bob Stoops
National Titles Since 1998: 1

This would really dig at the ire of Cougars fans, (rightfully so, it’s OKLAHOMA!) but this job is a great job and Herman would clean up in Norman. He’d be a king if at all successful. However, as are the two of the three other jobs on this list, this job is Stoops to call an end to. It would take a long hard fall from grace for Stoops to be fired (not forced out, but FIRED) from Oklahoma. Herman might wait a while playing Stoops and the Sooners in Big 12 Title games before he takes over this position.

Current Coach: Nick Saban
National Titles Since 1998: 4

The only way Herman gets this job is if he gets Houston into the Big 12, wins 2 or more Big 12 titles and then Saban decides he wants to try his hand at the NFL again. Saban is second in the hierarchy of people in Alabama (right behind Jesus) and I doubt he leaves anytime soon. Herman can be a candidate though if he continues to be successful with the Cougars. Who wouldn’t want the Alabama job though? Les Miles, maybe?

Ohio State
Current Coach: Urban Meyer
National Titles Since 1998: 2

Urban Meyer could leave Ohio State. He’s done it once in Florida after winning two titles. If Meyer gets sick of coaching, or worried about his health or the itch for the NFL (doesn’t seem like it) Herman might actually pick up the phone and call the Buckeyes before they could reach out to him. Herman is from Cincinnati, so OH-IO is a bit in his blood. He also has a 2014 National Championship with the Buckeyes as the offensive coordinator. That job got him the head coaching job in Houston and it would be the right turn to return and take over for Meyer.

Current Coach: Charlie Strong
National Titles Since 1998: 1

The Longhorns top this list because of a multitude of reasons:
1. Charlie Strong is on the hot seat. Another mediocre year for Texas and he is probably fired and out of Austin.
2. It would fit with the Houston Coaching tree spreading to other Texas schools.
3. Herman has a great foothold in recruiting for the state of Texas and this would only make him stronger.
4. He wouldn’t even need to be in the Big 12 for the fan base to get behind the hire it.
5. Herman’s coaching pedigree already has brought him through Texas where he was a graduate assistant for Mack Brown
6. It would add to his state of Texas coaching train. (Herman coached at Texas Lutheran, Sam Houston State, Texas State, Rice and Houston)

Let’s be honest. He’s probably ending up there but one of these nine programs should be his goal, especially if he can be successful at UofH in the Big 12 for a few years.

Comments (13)
  1. Ron Bradshaw says:

    Great to have the support of the “hometown” media…geezzzzz… cover Herman leaving when he is leaving…until then cover the freakin COOGS!!

  2. Dan says:

    less than two weeks until U of H vs Oklahoma and this is what you choose to write about? Pathetic journalism.

  3. Chris Vaughan says:

    Who is this noob and why does he only have one ‘T’ in his first name?

    Why don’t you do a more relevant piece on which teams Bill O’Brien would leave the Texans for?

    Bless your heart son, you’re just clueless.

  4. Avi says:

    Way to stir up a hornet’s nest…you’re in trouble now, boss.

  5. What materialistic, conformist thinking. This writer’s brain is clouded with dollar signs. The real “best coach in college football” is the guy who does the most with the least… not the one who has every conceivable advantage. And the “best program” for a particular coach is where he is happiest. Winning a National Championship at Houston or even guiding the UH Cougars to perennial Top 10 contending status would be a FAR greater accomplishment than being yet the next coach to win a championship at any of these 9 “best” schools. How much money does someone need to be happy? Herman is making $3 million a year at UH, and he is king of Houston, the fourth (soon to be third) largest city in the nation. Moreover, he has the attention of the college football world not just for what he has done, but where he has done it. As long as he keeps the Cougars winning he’ll be the toast of the sport and be able to continue to spread his “gospel of UH.” Once he moves on to the gilded land, he’ll be just another overpaid coach who the rest of his teaching peers at the university resent and that the “faithful” of that college will be hovering like vultures around waiting to throw him under the bus and hire the next “proven, young” head coach they couldn’t find themselves but had to steal from some other more creative school. At UH, Herman has a smaller but rabidly devoted and loyal, unspoiled following that is not going to turn on him if he has some down years. He is having a ball uplifting Cougar football while having an immensely positive impact on the entire Univ. of Houston, the Third Ward neighborhood, the city of Houston, and the entire college football scene. Why in the world would any sane person (already making $3 million per year) jilt his players, the fans, and the school that gave him his first chance as head coach, especially at a place with as many assets as the Univ. of Houston where he could conceivably win forever, just to jump for dollars at a place like UT or USC or Notre Dame that grind up “great” coaches and spit them out… even if they do win a national championship? How’d that championship work out for you Mack Brown? Look at Les Miles at LSU, nearly fired last year and on the hot-seat again after winning a national championship. How about the treatment Mark Richt got at Georgia? Who needs the stress and frustration of dealing with such fickle, disloyal, bratty boosters and impatient fans? A very wise man said, “The happiest man needs the least to be happy.” As a MENSA member, Tom Herman may well abide by this truth that is desperately needed in our society. The writer of this silly article? Well we can presume he’s not so much of a deep thinker.

  6. Bigjack says:

    Hey Garrett, go out and catch yourself a nasty disease buddy.

  7. Funny how the home town CBS media is the most discouraging when it comes to UH. You’re entitled to your negative stories, but I personally won’t be listening to 610 sports talk radio anymore.

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