The Tom Herman rumors went to another level on Thanksgiving night
As LSU played Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night, drama played out off the field, as multiple reports surfaced that the school was closing in on Houston coach Tom Herman as its next head coach.
ESPN.com reported that the school has zeroed in on Herman, and that he could be named as soon as Saturday. This, after a report from USA Today that the sides met in Houston on Thursday.
Immediately following the reports, LSU released a statement denying any decisions were being made with their coaching search:
Despite the statement, the news came at a shocking time, both as LSU was in the middle of a game against Texas A&M, and also because it casts a murky shadow over the Texas head coaching job. Herman was long thought to be the top candidate in Austin, if and when Charlie Strong was fired — and some conflicting reports Thursday said Herman remains in play there. The Longhorns face TCU on Friday (FS1, 3:30 p.m.) with Strong still at the helm … for now.
On top of that, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Houston has offered Herman a big raise to stay with the Cougars.
The LSU job opened in late September, following the Tigers’ last-second loss to Auburn, which dropped LSU to 2-2 and cost Les Miles his job. Most believed the next coach would ultimately be either Herman or Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, with interim head coach Ed Orgeron emerging as a candidate in recent weeks. However, with a loss last week to Florida, it seemed to end Orgeron’s candidacy for the job.
If the Tigers do land Herman, they are getting one of the bright young coaches in the entire sport of football. Herman is 22-3 overall since getting the Houston head coaching job at the beginning of last season, leading the Cougars to upset victories over Florida State in last year’s Peach Bowl, followed by wins over Top 10 teams Oklahoma and Louisville this year. He was the offensive coordinator during Ohio State’s national championship run in 2014.
If Herman goes to LSU, it would leave Texas in a precarious situation. Herman was believed to be the Longhorns' key target, if they fired Strong. But with the decision to not evaluate Strong until after the game with TCU, it has opened the door for LSU to get a deal done.
We’ll continue to update the situation as more details begin to unfold.
Contrary to report, Tom Herman didn't meet with #LSU yesterday..Nor did anyone who reps him.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 25, 2016
Statement from LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and University Administration pic.twitter.com/S5D30fvuzK
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 25, 2016