I woke up Saturday to the news that former Texas head coach Tom Herman was fired, and after much thought, came to one conclusion. What happened to Herman was a damn shame. What Texas did is a damn shame. The school president is a damn shame. A mere WEEK’S after informing Herman he would return for a fifth season and, after signing fourteen players on early signing day, they fire him.
Don’t give me the “oh it’s Texas, they’re better than this.” To those I ask this, what does Texas football mean? I’ll tell you. Not a damn thing. If we’re being honest, it hasn’t meant a damn thing since Colt McCoy took his last snap. Texas is just a name. Just like Michigan, Miami, Florida State, Nebraska, and to some extent USC. See, here’s the thing, it’s a new era of college football. One where four to six teams have a stranglehold on the top. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Notre Dame. Look at the playoffs. Look at the NFL drafts. Look at signing day.
See, for people who say, “we’re insert name of washed-up blue blood program,” that means nothing. What you did in the past means nothing in the present. What your program SHOULD BE means nothing. See, your program hires guys expecting immediate success because you’re so and so. What gets lost in the shuffle is the process.
Clemson didn’t become Clemson overnight. In Dabo Sweeny’s first two and a half years on the job, he went 4-3, 9-5, 6-7. But you know what? Clemson stayed with him, and look what happened. The great Nick Saben went 7-6, SEVEN AND SIX his first year at Alabama. Hell, it almost ended 6-7 as they nearly blew a 30-0 half-time lead in the bowl. They even lost to LOUISIANA MONROE that year. Thankfully he inherited a roster with solid talent, something I can’t say Herman did.
By no means am I a Herman bandwagoner. I do know he is a fine football coach, who has had success at every stop, even at Texas. 4-0 in bowls. Thirty-two wins in four years. He even had Texas on the doorstep of a Big 12 Conference Championship for the first time in NINE YEARS. He had the program going in the right direction. I said this after Texas fired Charlie Strong, and I’ll say it again, everything takes time. Not everybody can be an OU or Ohio State. Go from one winning coach to another. For starters, those are two of the best young head coaches in the nation. Third, the winning foundation was there. Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer left them great programs. Charlie didn’t do that for Tom, and Mack Brown didn’t do that for Charlie.
The same goes for the other fallen names. All are to blame. Michigan for forcing Lloyd Carr out after one upset only to never return to greatness. Nebraska for firing Bo Pelini after three straight nine-win seasons only to bottom out under Mike Riley. Miami for firing Larry Coker after one seven-win season never to regain what they once had. Florida State and USC get a pass as the previous coaches left the cupboard bare (Pete Carroll with sanctions, Jimbo Fisher with an awful offense).
I wish Steve Sarkisian well. By all accounts, he’s turned his life around and deserves this job from his work as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and past success at Washington and USC. A good Texas is good for the Big 12. I hope he gets more than three to four years. I hope they don’t expect him to be Saban 2.0. I hope leadership doesn’t lie to his face. I hope this time in 2025, I’m not waking up to the news of his firing, thinking to myself, what a damn shame.