On Friday night, Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong had one final chance to prove to athletic director Mike Perrin, boosters and Longhorns fans that he should remain head coach beyond this season. Unfortunately, Strong couldn’t get the job done as the Longhorns lost 31-9 to the TCU Horned Frogs and ended their season at 5-7.
This is the third consecutive losing season for the Longhorns under Strong and the loss to TCU led Perrin to fire Charlie on Saturday morning. Almost immediately after news broke that Strong was being fired, numerous reports came out that his successor had already been chosen and his name is Tom Herman, the head coach of the Houston Cougars.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 26, 2016
Back on October 24, the Inquisitr reported that a deal that would make Herman the head coach of the Longhorns was “all but official.” While Herman was always considered the favorite to land the Texas job, things weren’t quite as clear over the last couple of weeks as Perrin began wavering on whether or not he was actually going to cut ties with Charlie Strong.
The uncertainty surrounding the availability of the Texas job led Herman to begin speaking with the LSU Tigers about their opening at head coach. Things progressed far enough between Herman and the Tigers that a report broke on Thanksgiving night that Tom was headed to LSU and a contract would be finalized on Saturday morning.
— Chip Brown (@ChipBrownHD) November 25, 2016
Following last Saturday’s loss to Florida, Alleva, school president F. King Alexander and members of the Board of Supervisors got together to discuss who the top pick should be to replace Les Miles who was fired back on September 25. The group collectively decided that Herman would be the No. 1 target over Florida State head coach, and former LSU offensive coordinator, Jimbo Fisher.
Herman was allegedly “elated” and “surprised it was him over (Jimbo) Fisher.” At the time, LSU was convinced that there was a better than average chance that Charlie Strong would be retained as the head coach of the Longhorns, but that all changed when Texas lost to the Kansas Jayhawks last Saturday night.
That loss forced LSU into making the offer to Herman in an effort to finalize an agreement prior to the Longhorns getting a chance to talk to the Houston Cougars head coach. Tom Herman supposedly told LSU that “he wanted to compete in the best conference in the country,” and that he was turned off by the “politics” at Texas.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 26, 2016
That all changed on Friday night when LSU athletic director Joe Alleva pulled his offer to Tom Herman to become head coach of the LSU Tigers after Alleva said that Herman “backtracked on an oral agreement” to take the job, according to Gridiron Now.
The website reports that Herman’s agent, Trace Armstrong, called Alleva on Friday night to tell him that Tom wanted to hear Texas out before making a final decision. This reportedly enraged Alleva, who pulled the contract offer which was rumored to be worth “north of five (million per year).”
Tom Herman will now take over a team that has gone 5-7, 6-7, and 5-7 over the last three seasons, but he will have no shortage of resources at Texas and inherits a team that is young and full of four and five-star prospects including quarterback Shane Buechele and linebacker Malik Jefferson.
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) November 26, 2016
One thing to keep an eye on is whether the Longhorns will allow Herman to bring offensive coordinator Major Applewhite with him to Texas. Applewhite quarterbacked the Longhorns from 1998-2001, but he is mentioned in a pending lawsuit by former Texas track coach Bev Kearney who claims she was unfairly terminated for an inappropriate relationship with a student years earlier.
Applewhite is mentioned specifically in the suit by Kearney’s lawyers who allege that he was provided preferential treatment amid the same set of circumstances. Major admitted to having a relationship with a student trainer in 2009 while he was an assistant head coach and running backs coach under Mack Brown, but it wasn’t made public til years later.
According to CBS Sports, the lawsuit will almost assuredly prevent Texas from allowing Major Applewhite to return to the school as a coach which will make finding an offensive coordinator one of Tom Herman’s first duties as head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
[Featured Image by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images]