Arguably the biggest talking point from Week 13 of this very unusual college football season was another disappointing loss for Coach Tom Herman at Texas. The Horns had a chance to control their destiny in terms of reaching the Big 12 Championship Game but lost at home to Iowa State to fall to 5-3 and see their conference title dreams all but end. That has brought added speculation about Herman's status, and SportsLine has odds on whom the Texas coach to open 2021 will be.
"That's not for me to decide," Herman said after Friday's loss when asked whether he was the right person to lead Texas. "Where we have the program compared to where it was when we took over — the future is very bright. I feel great about the trajectory of our program."
Texas would owe Herman more than $15 million in a buyout if fired (that number is around $24 million when counting Herman's entire staff). That's obviously a significant number, especially in a pandemic where athletic departments across the nation are losing money with no/few fans in the stands at football games. But this is Texas, and that program prints money so the buyout likely would not be a factor. Current athletic director Chris Del Conte did not hire Herman.
It likely comes down to whether the school can do that much better. Herman is a solid 30-18 at Texas and has won all three bowl games. He also has done well recruiting, although the nation's top 2022 QB recruit, Quinn Ewers (from Southlake in the Lone Star State), recently decommitted from Texas and signed with Ohio State. That drove the Longhorns faithful nuts. Their team is just 7-7 in its past 14 Big 12 games.
Herman also missed out on legacy recruits and twins Tommy and James Brockermeyer, from Fort Worth, in the 2021 class. Tommy is ranked as the nation's No. 4 overall recruit and No. 1 overall offensive tackle by sister site 247Sports. Both committed to Alabama.
But it's back to Ohio State where we go because there seems to be a consensus by the media covering the Longhorns that if Urban Meyer would take the job, Herman is a goner. Herman was a former assistant under Meyer. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports wrote that Meyer is the "clear" target for Texas if the school decides to move on with Herman.
Keep in mind, though, that health concerns are part of the reason why Meyer stepped away from Florida and then Ohio State. It's a much tougher grind coaching college football with recruiting trips, etc., than in the NFL if he did want to return. Meyer is currently making a nice living as a Fox analyst.
Even as much money as the University of Texas has, it can't compete with, say, the Atlanta Falcons or New York Jets in terms of potential salary for Meyer. We think it's more likely that Meyer goes to the NFL if he chooses to coach again. The one college job he would take is Notre Dame, and Meyer has said as much.
The Horns are at Kansas State this Saturday and opened at -9.5 on the William Hill Sportsbook college football odds. If UT loses that, these coaching odds would change dramatically.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who will be the Texas football coach to open the 2021 season?
- Tom Herman +100
- Current NCAA coach/assistant +250
- Urban Meyer +500
- Current NFL coach/assistant +900
Who wins every NFL game this week? And which teams cover more than 50 percent of the time? Get picks here from the SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks.