Dec. 16, 2016
Can Tom Herman Bring Texas Football Back to the College Elite?
The 2016 season was quite the rollercoaster for Texas Longhorns fans. Knocking off Notre Dame in the opening game in a 50-47 double-overtime thriller, Texas was on top of the world. After dominating UTEP in a 41-7 victory, the Longhorns were 2-0 for the first time since 2012 and ranked #11 in the country. This was our year. Charlie Strong in his 3rd season was starting to look like he had turned the corner. Texas found it's next great QB in freshman Shane Buechele, the rushing attack was lead by a two headed monster in D'Onta Foreman and Chris Warren, and the defense looked as good as it has been in years. Then the bottom fell out on the Longhorns. The team would lose its next 3 games to Cal, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma. All very winnable games, the Longhorns just made stupid mistakes and lost to better coached teams. The Longhorns would win 3 of their next 4 including victories over Baylor and Texas Tech, and it had seemed that the season had been turned around. Texas was at 5-4 with West Virginia, Kansas, and TCU left, and there was a slim chance that Charlie could keep his job if he wins out the rest of the season and finishes 8-4.
After a heartbreaking loss to West Virginia, the Kansas Jayhawks put the final nail in the coffin of Charlie Strong's tenure at Texas. The Jayhawks defeated Texas for the first time since 1938. Yes, 1938. The last time Texas lost to Kansas, World War II was about to take place. There's no way you can come back from that. There's 3 things you're guaranteed as a Texas Longhorns fan, death, taxes, and beating the Kansas Jayhawks in football. After the loss to Kansas, numerous reports came out that the Longhorns had fired Charlie Strong. In the final game, the Longhorns were steamrolled by TCU 31-9. This was understandable, as the players had to play in wake of the news that their head coach and in many ways a father figure had been fired. With the loss the Longhorns finished the season 5-7, and as expected Texas fired Charlie Strong.
An emotional D'Onta Foreman leaves the field. pic.twitter.com/XjDsoA2N0G— Sports Night (@Sports_NightTX) November 26, 2016
The coaching search was a very quick process for the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns mourned a loss to TCU Friday night, and by Sunday morning had already found their next head coach. That man is former Houston head coach Tom Herman. Tom Herman was the hottest coach on the market and for good reason. In just two seasons, Herman turned Houston from a 2nd tier program to one of college football's elite. In those two seasons, Tom Herman posted a 22-4 record, and was able to land Ed Oliver in the 2016 recruiting class, the #2 ranked player in Texas, and #6 nationally ranked according to 247sports.com. Ed Oliver was one of the nations best players in his freshman season this year, and became a symbolization of Tom Herman's tenure at Houston. Tom Herman is now at his "dream job" on a 5 year contract that is very similar to what Charlie Strong received just 3 years ago.
Tom Herman inhabits a very young and talented Texas Longhorns that is built to make a run at the Big 12 championship and double digit wins. No team in college football started more freshman and sophomores last season than the Texas Longhorns. The youth of this team is going to mask the 2017 recruiting class that currently ranks 60th in the nation, and probably isn't going to have as big of a national signing day as the Longhorns saw with the 2016 class. There is still hope for the 2018 recruiting class. The Longhorns are in the race and considered favorites for many of the top prospects in Texas like BJ Foster, Joshua and Jordan Moore, Keondre Coburn, and Max Wright (according to 247 sports.)
I believe Tom Herman is the man that will bring Texas back to the top. He has inherited an amazing roster, and is a great recruiter that has built relationships with the Texas high school coaches. Tom Herman was the man that the boosters wanted and is built to be very successful. Let me know your thoughts on the Tom Herman hiring and the expectations for him at Texas by leaving a comment below and tweeting me @Texashomeboy1.