Coaching stuff: Herman to Texas, Jimbo to LSU, and who to FSU?

Houston coach Tom Herman, left, and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino speak following anp NCAA college football game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, in Houston. Houston won 36-10. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Tom Herman’s latest victim. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Two of the 10 best jobs in the country are open, even if Texas hasn’t officially announced its parting with Charlie Strong. If Jimbo Fisher takes the LSU job this time — he was offered it last year, when the Tigers wound up changing their minds and keeping Les Miles — that would leave another prime spot vacant. This has the potential to be a dizzying November/December.

Texas is Tom Herman’s job to turn down. We’ve been saying and writing that for almost a year, but it has been true all along. He’s the best youngish coach in the country and maybe the third-best of any age. He balked on South Carolina last winter, but South Carolina is not Texas. Within the industry, the three best jobs in the nation are regarded as Texas, Florida and Ohio State.

(Since you asked: Alabama is a great job when a Paul Bryant or Nick Saban holds it, but how good was it for Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Mike Dubose and Mike Shula? Didn’t Dennis Franchione leave Tuscaloosa for Texas A&M?)

Charlie Strong is well-liked in the industry — and in Austin — but a Texas coach cannot lose to Kansas, which Strong just did. Note to self, but not only to self: Early-season results must be taken with a ton of salt. Remember the Longhorns’ opening victory over Notre Dame? Remember Joe Tessitore’s unbelievably overheated call — “Texas is back!” — on ABC? Between them, Texas and Notre Dame are 9-13.

There’s a chance — a slight one — that Texas A&M could dump Kevin Sumlin if the Aggies lose to LSU on Thanksgiving night, but 8-4 with a new quarterback mightn’t be a firing offense. (Then again, Mark Richt was 9-3 last year with a new quarterback.) The feeling during last year’s College Football Playoff was that Herman would soon be able to pick between Austin and College Station, but even if that occurs, that’s no real choice. Texas is the better job. Texas will always be the better job.

Herman is the big domino but not the key domino. That’s Fisher. If he wants the LSU job — it’s believed he does — he can have it. (Those Tigers were spared the mistake of keeping interim-coach-to-the-world Ed Orgeron on a permanent basis by the wretched loss to Florida.) But if it’s Jimbo to Baton Rouge, who’s the new man for FSU?

There’s no obvious candidate in the way that Fisher-to-LSU — he worked there under Saban — is obvious. North Carolina’s Larry Fedora and Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre — the latter will be the national coach of the year — are buzzy names as we speak, but they’re seen as possibilities for Baylor, not a place like FSU. (And if Fedora leaves Chapel Hill, that would open the door for Gene Chizik, who’s the Tar Heel defensive coordinator and who was fired at Auburn two years after winning a national title.)

As crazy as it sounds, there might be some sentiment in Tallahassee for Jeremy Pruitt, who has technically never been a collegiate head coach but who was the defensive coordinator on Florida State’s 2013 national championship team; who’s the DC on the nation’s No. 1 team now and who, over two years in Athens, was Georgia’s de facto co-head coach. There was speculation last season that he really wanted the Central Florida job that went to Scott Frost, who’d been Oregon’s offensive coordinator. Imagine if Pruitt stumps the band and hooks an even bigger job.

While on the topic of Florida coaches, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a word about the University of Florida’s latest head ball coach. Jim McElwain has won consecutive SEC East titles without much of an offense, which says a lot about the SEC East but also something about Jimmy Mac. If his recruiting holds up — and any Florida coach should be able to recruit — the Gators will well and truly be on to something.

Oh, and one thing more: The hidden hand of the agent Jimmy Sexton cannot be understated in any coaching decisions. He represents nearly every coach in the South. As much as we on the periphery might think we know what will happen, only Sexton knows for sure. Know how big a deal Scott Boras is in baseball? Sexton is a far bigger deal in college football. Far bigger, I say.

Reader Comments 0

82 comments
Dungbeetle
Dungbeetle

Here's a thought...Nick Saban will be enticed by $10 million a year to move to Texas.  He has already brought championships to LSU and Alabama.  If he brings a championship to another team that is not even in the SEC, his legacy will grow even bigger.  There is nothing left for him to accomplish with the Crimson Tide.  At Alabama, his legacy is already huge.  But it would never replace that of Bear Bryant.  In Texas, they would give him anything he wanted.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Dungbeetle According to the talking heads at ESPN, he's already turned down a $1million offer from Texas when they hired Strong.


There is no "replacing Bear Bryant" or "Bobby Dodd" they were great in many ways other than coaching. Coaching today is far removed from their days and legacies are looked at differently. You don't replace one of a kind coaches, but would their methods work with today's athletes?

TOJacket
TOJacket

Well at least it's a job in the west...east is pitiful.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Get real sport. We have more teams ranked higher at the "end" of the season. SEC Least had every team ranked pre-season, lol...UGA was #9 the second week!!!....Good grief

Mulk
Mulk

You have to give Texas and LSU credit. They are not targeting  unproven head coaches. I don't think FSU will either. 

Michael2255
Michael2255

The biggest problem with college football is there are no owners.  Consequently every booster with a million dollars claims to be an owner and demands that things be done their way.  Also, since the team cannot be moved to another city, you get stuck with rich boosters for the entirety of their miserable lives.  There is only one Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and then my voice trails off.  There are only two legends out there dear boosters, get over it.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Michael2255 Meyer is a great coach, no doubt, but not in the same class as Saban. I can only make my case in regard to the number of coaches in college football that trained under Saban. Many have moved on to head coaching jobs. I don't know that much about Meyer but I can't recall any head coaches that trained under him. Under Saban those that come to mind are Fisher, McElwaine, Mushamp, & Smart. Of course Saban is a bit older.

Statman Brothers
Statman Brothers

Meyer's list of former assistants include current and former head coaches Tom Herman (Houston), Dan Mullen (Miss St), Charlie Strong (Louisville, Texas), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), DJ Durkin (Maryland), Steve Addazio (Temple, Boston College), Gary Andersen (Wisconsin, Oregon State), Tim Beckman (Toledo, Illinois), Doc Holliday (Marshall), Dan McCarney (North Texas), Everett Withers (James Madison, Texas State), Greg Brandon (Bowling Green), Brian Knorr (Ohio), Mike Sanford (UNLV, Indiana State), and Chris Ash (Rutgers).

Current OSU assistants Warriner, Beck, Schiano, and Fickell were all asked to interview for the Purdue job and are all being sought after by numerous schools.

By January, the Meyer tree will have likely have produced 19 head coaches in only 16 seasons.

You might want to work on your recollection...

whydoyouwannaknow
whydoyouwannaknow

I'm curious if Lane Kiffin's name will be thrown around again. Especially if Bama wins another national title.

TOJacket
TOJacket

That's who the dawgs should have got.....hot wife too!!

TideDawg
TideDawg

@whydoyouwannaknow I heard that he has an outside chance for the LSU job.....if no one else wants it. This will be his last year at Bama. He and Saban were at odds with each other earlier in the year. You don't get at odds with Saban.......ask some of the players that left. He demands that players and coaches do their jobs. I'll bet some of those player's butts are still smoking after the debacle  with U.T. Chattanooga. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

FSU ought to get Jeremy Pruitt so he can find a new wife?

bigmacondawg
bigmacondawg

I'll bet Paul Johnson gets all kind of offers from FSU

Mulk
Mulk

@bigmacondawg


At least, he IS a proven head coach unlike some other programs' hires.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Why isn't the Western Mi. coach in the mix?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TideDawg

Ditto.

Maybe it's because he comes off as a bit "overexcited."

dawg fan
dawg fan

McElwain is doing a very underrated job at Florida.  They aren't flashy but they've been consistent.  Seems like a good guy too.  I can't remember the last time Florida had a coach I didn't want to punch in the face. 

GTBob
GTBob

@dawg fan Florida isn't all that great. They just happen to play in the SEC East where the competition is laughable.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@dawg fan: "I can't remember the last time Florida had a coach I didn't want to punch in the face."

________________

That's probably because there's never been a time. Closest to decent might've been Ron Zook.

TOJacket
TOJacket

21 of 27........can't blame ya for wanting to punch something?

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

Must really suck to have to invoke another teams record huh? How they done against tech during those 27?

MrEdsBrain
MrEdsBrain

LSU, Texas, and FSU should scour the message boards and media opinion columns in looking for their next football coaches. It's time to start hiring those sitting on the sidelines and in the stands who believe they know how to run a major football program. If Donald Trump can be president, DerekGator can be the head coach of a major college football program.

DerekGator
DerekGator

I can't fathom how Charlie Strong could fail so miserably at Texas?  Looking at your recruits, your money, your facilities and then looking at your schedule, you start the season with 8 wins and only have 4 games that are competitive. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

@DerekGator It seems there are more responsibilities at Texas than just coaching. According to the talking heads on ESPN for the kind of money they are willing to pay, a coach has to answer to a lot of big contributors. Strong probably could handle the coaching but not the other obligations that go with that job. Accordingly, they may have a hard time getting a coach to accept all of those distractions.

BigIrishMike
BigIrishMike

Have heard from a good source that the AD at Ga Southern is as good as gone after the football season. Terrible coaching and lack of results when your best running back is unable to make a 3 and 1. This AD did the hiring when he went against the recommendation. Maybe both will be gone.

LSU does not get Fisher why not go off the board and get Mark Pelini now at Youngstown State. He has head coaching experience at Nebraska and Youngstown. He has that program back into the playoffs.His hook,  he was DC when they won the National Championship. He is certainly not boring.

GTBob
GTBob

Leaving FSU for LSU right now would probably be one of the dumbest decisions in the history of college football. Lets see if Jimbo takes the bait.

DerekGator
DerekGator

@GTBob :  some people want to play in the major leagues, not the minors. 

GTBob
GTBob

@DerekGator lol. Give me a break. Alabama and the 13 dwarves? What an argument for why you should leave a great program with great recent results.

Dawggie
Dawggie

@GTBob I agree GTBob, why on earth would anyone want to move to the SECWest to play the Saban/Bama juggernaut every single year? 

Josh Snow
Josh Snow

U stupid.. TheThey pretty much got the same record. Only difference is we in the SEC dumbass. Sec wayyyy harderr than florida st. Conference

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@GTBob Would be no better than a lateral move. Jimbo ought to wait for saban to retire and then move to Bammer.

whydoyouwannaknow
whydoyouwannaknow

@GTBob @DerekGator $$$$$$$$$$$. I can't even count the dollars LSU will throw at Jimbo. But a lot of pressure (as already stated by others here) will come with that boat-load of cash.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DerekGator

That "minors" coach at FSU has beaten your overrated blowhards five of the past six years.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Calling people names "lying hypocrite".....you're so tough Mrs. Landers.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Lol....Bob you really need to post more often.

Likewise
Likewise

Winning the ACC puts a team in the playoff.  Why go to the SEC where you play Alabama every year. 

Mulk
Mulk

@Likewise


Because Saban will not be there forever. Besides, it might be easier in the SEC than beating Clemson, especially after Nick is gone.

DerekGator
DerekGator

@Likewise You don't get to be that level of coach with the mindset of calculating the easiest path.  To coach at that level, you have to think that you can beat the best.

GTBob
GTBob

@DerekGator Yep. And that mindset has gotten how many SEC coaches fired recently?

GTBob
GTBob

@Mulk After Nick is gone there is a chance that Dabo could replace him. Back to square one.

Mulk
Mulk

@GTBob


Are you crazy? And, have to face Kirby Smart every year in Atlanta? "Whoa, don't throw me in the briar patch....

DerekGator
DerekGator

@GTBob @DerekGator Better to have played and lost than to have never played in the big leagues.  Also, the buyout when you fail doesn't suck.