We’ve gotten a clearer picture of the situation as Texas in the days since that initial report. Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman says that the program hasn’t made a final decision on Tom Herman yet. If it can get Meyer “or someone else really good,” it doesn’t sound like there will be a debate, but if the candidate pool isn’t super impressive, Texas could hold on to Herman, if the season ends on a positive note.
If not Meyer, who may Texas target? We’ve seen some major names out there, and CBS Sports‘ Dennis Dodd has identified two big time head coaches at other Power Five programs that could fit the bill.
“If Meyer isn’t interested, look for the pecking order to start with Penn State’s James Franklin with Oregon’s Mario Cristobal next in line,” Dodd reports. He backs up reports that Herman could be fired after Saturday’s Kansas State game.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 4, 2020
Herman is 30-18 at Texas. After a very successful two year run at Houston, and national championship at the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, he seemed like a total slam dunk hire. He helped the Buckeyes establish a recruiting pipeline to Texas, and had worked for the Longhorns early in his career as an assistant coach.
Franklin is one of college football’s best recruiters. Penn State is having a nightmare season, but it has also been as adversely impacted by opt-outs and injuries as any major college football contender this season. The situation at Vanderbilt since his departure only enhances just how good a job he did there, and he’s helped make Penn State a true contender in the Big Ten again.
Cristobal is also a top recruiter, and has done a nice job in his second head coaching job at Oregon. He was previously the head coach at FIU, and spent years on staff at Alabama under Nick Saban.
5-3 Texas football faces Kansas State at noon on Saturday, in what sounds like it legitimately may be Tom Herman’s final game with the program. If Urban Meyer doesn’t want to return to coaching, it will be fascinating to see who else the Longhorns target.
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