Urban Meyer's wife, Shelley, recently visited Austin to assess the real estate situation, Austonia has learned. Does that mean it's time for coaching legend Urban to ride into Austin and take the reins from his former assistant coach Tom Herman?
After a second consecutive season of missing the Big 12 Championship, Texas fans have been clamoring for the job of fourth year Head Coach Herman. Everything is bigger in Texas, including expectations.
Tom Herman We want you out right now. I have plenty of boxes to help you pack. Signed, All Longhorn fans… https://t.co/49XqRT22Th— Trent Giesen (@Trent Giesen)1606509372.0
Meyer in, Herman out
Herman joined the Longhorns in 2016 after taking the Houston Cougars to two bowl games, including winning the Peach Bowl in 2015. Texas fans loved Herman's pedagogy.
A former assistant to Meyer, Longhorn fans thought they finally found a coach that could pick up where former head coach Mack Brown left off. Herman had success calling plays for Ohio State and Houston, so the Texas fan base was expecting an offense that would keep them in the national conversion.
What fans did not expect was only one 10 win season four years in.
Meyer on the other hand is known for winning, and winning quickly. After winning two National Championships in five years at Florida with Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow—a player Sam Ehlinger has been compared to—Urban jumped ship to coach at Ohio State.
While there, Meyer added another championship to his collection in 2014. He never won fewer than 10 games in a season with the Buckeyes, including a 4-2 Bowl Game record. This is the success that many fans expected from Herman's time at Texas.
There are some contributing factors to Herman's failure. Head Coach Lincoln Riley's rise at Oklahoma has put a boot on the necks of the rest of the conference with Oklahoma winning the conference every year since Riley has taken over. Herman is 1-4 against Oklahoma in his time at Texas.
For comparison, Meyer at Ohio State had a perfect record against rival Michigan, 7-0.
It also didn't help that Herman had to rely so heavily on quarterback Sam Ehlinger due to injuries to other key players during his time at the helm.
Meyer had to deal with a similar problem when multiple starters went down and Ohio State had to play three different starting quarterbacks. The difference is that Ohio State won a National Championship that season.
Herman is not a bad coach. He’s middle tier at this point. This is gonna be a very unpopular take after that, but i… https://t.co/IgnfoETT2g— Will Baizer (@Will Baizer)1606511197.0
Then there was the Zack Smith controversy that ultimately cost Meyer his job at Ohio State and added confusion for Texas fans trying to figure out if and when Herman knew anything about the alleged abuse.
Herman's loss Friday adds to his track record of disappointing UT fans.
The likelihood of the replacement
Texas has a big choice ahead of them. Herman signed a two year extension after the Longhorns won 10 games and the Sugar Bowl over Georgia in 2018. The program would be stuck with a $15 million dollar bill as part of the buyout if they fired Herman after this season. While one of the richest public universities in the country could afford it, any time a program is signing a check that big it's through clenched teeth. But that might be what's necessary.
Programs like University of Southern California and Michigan, both with deep pockets of their own, are going to be hunting for a new head coach soon after both of their last hires have turned out to be duds. If Texas wants to win the race, they can't lag behind other competing schools.
Add into the equation that Meyer has been known to suffer from health conditions that have prevented him from finishing his contracts at his two previous coaching stops. At Florida, Meyer cited that he wanted to "spend more time with his family" after suffering from chest and heart issues, only a year after taking his "dream job" at Ohio State.
Meyer retired again from Ohio State in 2018 after being diagnosed with a non-life threatening cyst located on the membrane of his brain. It should be noted however, that at both coaching stops Meyer left the program dealing with some pretty large issues. At Florida, it was allegations of drug use among players and at Ohio State it was the allegations of domestic violence and assault among players and coaches alike.
This month, talk of bringing Meyer to UT's family grew, especially on social media. UT fans want Meyer over any other potential name.
FIRE HERMAN HIRE URBAN— Mike 🤘 (@Mike 🤘)1606677189.0
UT can't make the same mistake they made in 2013 when the program moved off of Brown. The program at the time was looking for direction and tried to reel in the biggest fish in the pond: Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.
While Saban was rumored to be looking for houses in the Austin area last year, he ultimately decided to take the raise from Alabama and won two more championships. Instead, Texas hired Head Coach Charlie Strong from Louisville which turned out to be one of the worst hires the program made with Strong finishing his time at Texas with a 16-21 record.
The thing most Longhorns fans are missing, however, is would Meyer want to leave his current job at Fox Sports where he has gained attention as being one of the best in studio analysts? Would Meyer want to recruit a state that already has political lines drawn? Where high school coaches direct their players to and away from certain schools and where other coaches like Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M, Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Nick Saban already have connections?
The problems at Texas won't go away with a snap of the fingers. If the Longhorns want to make a change, it's going to have to be decisive and fans are going to have to give the new coach something they didn't give the old one. Patience.
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