No other program in college football makes more money than the University of Texas. Despite their colors being burnt orange and white, green is the color that controls the football program. Money is power. Of course, there is a saying that money cannot buy happiness, but what if it can?
The Texas Longhorns have everything a football coach needs to succeed. From superior football facilities to an unlimited budget, Texas has what most coaches would dream of having. Yet over the last decade, money has not been the issue. Texas has spent a lot of money throughout the years and has anyone in Austin been happy with the results on the football field?
When you make an investment, there are two things that can happen. You can either make money or lose money. Think of college football coaches as an investment. Schools throw millions of dollars for coaches to win and they either meet expectations or fall short.
Tom Herman is an investment. And unfortunately for athletic director Chris Del Conte and school president Jay Hartzell, he is an expensive investment that has not delivered what was promised.
Since taking over in 2017, Tom Herman 30-18 at Texas. And after Friday’s loss to Iowa State, the Longhorns will once again be sitting at home watching the Big 12 championship game instead of playing in it.
Texas did make a Big 12 championship game two years ago in Tom Herman’s second season as head coach, but since then, it has been a bumpy road, to say the least. Since the famous Sam Ehlinger “We’re back” saying at the Sugar Bowl, Texas is 13-8 overall with a 9-7 conference record. The only thing Texas was “back” to was irrelevance.
No matter how bad Texas is on the football field, kids still want to come to Austin to play football. From 2018 to 2020, Texas has reeled in three top ten recruiting classes. Yet despite all that talent coming in, the results have not changed in the win column.
The lack of player development has been shocking. And Iowa State running back Breece Hall described Texas perfectly when his team defeated the Longhorns last Friday. He said the game was “Five-star culture versus five-star players.”
That quote should have hit Texas fans right in the heart because it was true. Texas has five-star athletes but a one-star culture. And the man in charge of that culture is Tom Herman, who is making over five million dollars to do a little with a lot around him.
Now Texas is at a point where things around the program may become a problem due to the lack of success on the field. With new stadium renovations still going on, donors and boosters will be called upon to hand over those checks. But now do they think twice before signing that check with Tom Herman in charge of the football program?
Everything around Tom Herman is starting to crumble. His team had high expectations this season that will not be met. Playing for one conference title in four years will not cut it at Texas. Being 1-4 against Oklahoma does not help either. And in case you don’t know, recruiting is starting to slip as kids are starting to think twice before choosing Texas due to the uncertainty of Tom Herman’s job. The Longhorns already lost the number one quarterback in the 2022 class and how many more will do the same?
At some point, people need to realize that Tom Herman will not get Texas back to national relevance. He has fired his staff once already, getting a brand new offensive and defensive coordinator and when that does not work, there is only one man left standing.
Tom Herman is a good coach. He helped Ohio State win national title during his time as an offensive coordinator and he lifted Houston up to places they have never been before. But being good at Texas is not good enough. You need to be great. Losing to your rival over and over and failing to even reach conference championship games are well below the standard at Texas. Texas is in a better place than before Tom Herman arrived four years ago, but I do not believe Texas will get to where they want to be with Tom Herman leading the way.
Chris Del Conte and Jay Hartzell have over 15 million reasons to keep Tom Herman because that is how much he would be owed if they fire him after the season. But if Texas truly has deep pockets, now is the time to show the world just how deep they are. The time is now to cut bait and chase after the biggest fish in the pond. It is time for Texas to put their money where their mouth is.
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