Why Tom Herman could be a candidate at virtually any school in the country

The title sounds ominous, but stay with the article or the podcast. Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman discussed Herman on this week’s podcast:

Why Tom Herman could be a candidate at virtually any school in the country

“What happens if Houston makes the playoff [this year], and he has Kyle Allen who is a former five-star quarterback coming in?” Feldman said. "[Also] they’re paying [Herman] good money. It’s not like he has to leave his first two years there. He could stay and wait it out and see what his options are.

“He’s at Houston. Houston is built to be a powerhouse in that AAC. As we mentioned, talent-wise, they have the best recruit in that conference by a mile (a kid named Ed Oliver) who’s going to be a freshman defensive lineman there. They have Kyle Allen sitting out. They have some really good skill talent. They have one of Baylor’s recruits who just transferred in who will be a freshman next year.”

I’ve said this all along. CTH will have a very interesting choice to make.

  1. Go to Texas, A&M, Alabama, Georgia, etc., where there will be unreal pressure to win and win now, and do it the way your boosters and old money want you to do it. Yes, he will have control over many aspects of the program. But if you think the big wigs at those schools are going let him be engaging on social media, creative with uniforms, get grills, etc., you’re crazy. They have an “image” for their schools that their head coach will have to project. Yes, you will have more resources, traditions, larger fan bases, bigger stadiums. It will be easier to recruit to those places. You will just have to do it on someone else’s terms.

  2. Stay at Houston, get paid marginally less, and create the program entirely the way you want it. Be the best college football coach on Twitter, engage in the players culture, cultivate the “family” environment that is so incredibly important to his coaching style. It is nearly a blank slate, with a brand new stadium, in an enormous market, with unparalleled talent all around, a president who “gets it”, and a board chair with a virtually endless supply of money. There has not been this sort of opportunity arise in college football at least since Howard Schnellenberger took over the Miami program in '79, maybe ever. We will be in a P5 league within 3 years, almost assuredly. Even if we’re not, continue to recruit this way, and he will play in a NY6 bowl every single year, with a CFP berth sprinkled in here and there.


Not really, though. There’s probably not a more image-conscious school than Michigan, and their head coach is a nutter. Likewise, Sumlin brought the whole “swag” thing to A&M, and, despite much protestation on the part of the fanbase, seems to be continuing to do so. Bielema at Arkansas has a bigger mouth than peak Rex Ryan had. There’s no case I can see anywhere of a coach being told to check his personality at the door.

If you legitimately expect us to go to a NY6 bowl every year, even with the best recruits in the G5, you’re likely setting yourself up for disappointment. Even just consistently winning the conference is going to be hard enough; expecting anything more than solid, consistent contention for the conference title and especially the G5 berth is more than a little pie-in-the sky. And to be clear, that goes for anyone, not just us.

If CTH leaves UH, it will not be for a mid-tier or lower tier P5 program. No South Carolina, no Purdue, no Baylor, no Oregon State, no Georgia Tech, etc.

CTH has it good, real good at UH. Great recruiting, administration and boosters who support him and building a culture that has his finger prints all over it. The blue blood programs will have the only chance of getting CTH to leave what he’s got at UH.

The biggies that could make it interesting for CTH:

Notre Dame
Ohio State
Texas A&M

On the first point: I agree on Harbaugh, but Sumlin has endured a great deal of pushback from the Aggie fan base on the “SWAG” stuff. Arkansas is not considered a traditional powerhouse, at least not in the last 3-4 decades, so I’m not sure they’re relevant to the point. They’ll take wins any way they can get them, whether their coach is a loudmouth or not.

On the second point: I do expect us to be a regular participant in NY6 games if we remain in the AAC. Miami won 9 of the first 13 Big East football championships for which they were eligible. I don’t see a reason why that’s unrealistic for Houston with this coaching staff and their on and off the field prowess. And given the current state of college football, whoever wins the AAC will be in a NY6 bowl 90% of the time.

Fun list of likely schools. From that list I would remove Notre Dame, he does not seem to fit that mold. I would remove LSU because I’m not sure he would enjoy that type of fan base.

actually LSU is the one that scares me the most…perhaps,the recent issues in Baton Rouge will taint that possibility for awhile

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