Editor’s note: Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. We will post a gambling guide at some point, probably after OD’ing on turkey. I want to take a second to thank everyone for making this site a huge success. We are on track to top 200,000 page views by the end of 2016. Thanks for reading and keep telling your friends about us.
The Tom Herman rumor mill is going to be churning at full force over the next couple weeks. The University of Houston coach is the hottest name out there, and will remain so until he takes another job. He has been linked to everything and everyone for almost a year, but now that the season is almost over, it’s going to reach a fever pitch.
I have been around a lot of coaches in my day. I had the opportunity to host a luncheon with the coach last summer and spend a little time talking with him. In person, he is everything you would have thought. Herman is a terrific coach. He is also a smart, thoughtful, good man. He is accessible. And despite what others would have you believe, he is honest. He is the kind of coach I would want my kid playing for. Wherever he goes he will be a huge success, and UH fans should thank him for the magic and wish him the best if indeed that happens.
If he does leave, it won’t be for money. Tillman Fertitta made that clear. But if he does go, no one should fault him.
One thing people forget in coaching searches is that families are involved, too. Spouses. Children. In many cases they have already been uprooted several times due to the nomadic nature of the business. Wherever a coach goes, the family is going to be a big part of that decision, or at least should be.
Also, a job may look better on the surface, but as Kevin Sumlin once told us on air, it is different interviewing for a big job. There are dozens of “bosses” in big money boosters and sometimes you don’t even know who is making the decision. A lot of things can happen during the process, too. A booster can scare someone off unintentionally. A rift over an assistant coach hire can develop. It’s never easy, which is why these guys have agents to do a lot of the legwork.
The hardest thing in life — for any of us — is to find a place where we are truly appreciated, fairly compensated and given the leeway and support to do things the way we want. I am lucky enough to be in that position; it took a lot of years to get here, but the reality is there are few jobs like that in any business.
That puts the coach in a really good spot. He has a place like that now, a place where he has proven he can win and accomplish amazing things. He can afford to make sure the next job is the right job where he has the same situation on a bigger level. Some damned good coaches — Gary Patterson and Chris Petersen come to mind — stayed at “lesser” schools no matter how often the big dogs came calling. Petersen finally left to take the job at Washington, where he has been a huge success. But there were other higher profile jobs he could have taken. Washington was the perfect situation he was looking for. Patterson is still a rock star in Ft. Worth, and no one questions why he stayed.
It’s all about fit, comfort and support. Will that be at Texas? Quite possibly. That is where the smart money is right now and the Longhorns certainly seem to want him. LSU? Maybe. Florida State if LSU lands Jimbo Fisher? Possibly maybe. You will hear all of those and probably more. Did we mention Oregon? And yes, maybe even staying where he is will be an option. For Herman — as with anyone — it should be about being in the best situation.
And money of course. Apparently that will not be a factor here. A lot of other things will be. It’s good to be Tom Herman, because he has options. Good to potentially great ones.
Whatever that option is, he is going to be successful.
As for UH? This has become the premier job among non-power fives. They have options on staff in Todd Orlando and Major Applewhite, and will have no problem luring hot prospects should they go outside. It is simply too early to tell, because as of today they still have a head coach.
Tomorrow? Who knows?
Speaking of coach Herman…During his live coaching show, ESPN was scrolling on the TV overhead. What was the topic? Herman leaving, of course.
On to our three shame bells of the week:
E-Astros: The Astros have done a lot right over the past few years. In fact, they are the one team in the city that could legitimately compete for a title this year. Add a couple more significant pieces, and they might even be World Series favorites. So it may not be fair to bang on them too much.
But they have also had some colossal missteps. Mark Appel over Kris Bryant is going to be a black eye for a long time. Botching their No. 1 overall pick with Brady Aiken the next year and not signing him (that might work out since it turned into Alex Bregman the following year). And finally, paying Jon Singleton. Once their top prospect, Singleton batted .202 last season in Triple A. The prior years he bombed in the majors but always killed it in the minors. The simple truth is Singleton is a bust. The Astros paid him on a longterm deal, hoping he would work out and they would have a star player on an affordable salary for a long time. Instead they have a guy that cleared waivers because no one wanted him.
Every team makes mistakes, especially when it comes to prospects, because after all, they are prospects until they do it on the major league level. Singleton was the key piece in the Hunter Pence trade. Current GM Jeff Luhnow did not make that deal, but he did sign Singleton to his current contract. Much like the player himself, this was a swing and a miss.
Shame bell 1.
Baylor’s gonna Baylor: If you were an associate AD at Baylor, you would probably want to make sure you avoid the spotlight for anything untoward. This guy did the exact opposite. Make no mistake, the so-called “journalist” had no business taking a picture with a player on the field. I get that standards have fallen since my days in the business, but that’s high school crap. Still, you can’t get physical with someone.
Shame bell No. 2
Really guys? Apparently Texans fans are upset over this video showing refs fist-bumping Raiders players before the game. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with this. It’s basically the old “let’s have a good game, fellas” bit. Yeah the Texans got jobbed on some calls, but to try to make this the Zapruder film is a bit silly.
It sucks losing a game where your team played well and was on the wrong end of some calls. But let it go, people.
Shame bell No. 3
Speaking of the Texans….J.J. Watt came out of hiding with a letter on the Player’s Tribune. We had plenty to say about this on the show yesterday, which you can check out here. I love J.J. the player, and he is by all accounts a good dude, but my goodness stop with the teen angst drama queen bit.
Some Game of Thrones news, just because: Like a lot of you, I am digesting every Thrones story I can get right now. This shoots down a popular Sansa rumor…(mild spoiler alert).
Yet another squirrel attack: I’m telling you, the squirrel menace has replaced the evil clown menace. It is real. Just ask this guy. Although to quote Airplane! “Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
In honor of coach Herman:
“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.”
— Chris Rock