Herman, next Messiah up, arrives in Austin
New coach to work for scale
Tom Herman newly anointed Christ of the UT/State Capitol tackle football team will work for about the same money that other headmen of power five conference teams earn. Herman will earn a reported $5mil per anum, a figure that could be considered scale in this day and age of fast guns, big bucks, and midnight purges in college football.
He now joins an elite club where the highest paid member, Jim Harbaugh of Michigan, is awarded $9mil per year; Nick Saban, Alabama, is paid $6.9mil per year; Urban Meyer, Ohio State $6mil; Bob Stoops, OU $ 5.5mil; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State $5.2 mil; Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M $5mil; Gus Malzahn, Auburn $4.7mil; Hugh Freeze, Mississippi $4.7; and Kirk Ferentz, Iowa $4.5.
Strong ‘Horns, shorn ‘Horns
Charlie Strong, must have seen his life pass before him in a road game against Kansas two weeks ago. Then what few shreds of hope that were left flew away in Austin Thanksgiving weekend against TCU. He was making $5.2mil per year. So with three years on the job, Charlie can take his salary plus a $10million dollar buy-out (a total of just over $25 mil) and walk away.
UT powers ran out of patience after the Kansas and TCU losses, in neither one of which did the ‘Horns seem present. The argument for Strong was that he was only three years into the job, his first class of recruits will be seniors next year, and he should have been given one more year to make it work.
Wazoo, CU and USF mentors received clemency
Mike Leach of Wazoo had losing records his first three years on the job, as did Mike MacIntyre of Colorado and Willie Taggart of South Florida. All won this year, the fourth year for each, and all will get bowl games. MacIntyre and CU are playing for the PAC12 conference championship.
Chris Peterson, in only his third year at Washington, has the Huskies in the PAC12 conference playoff and contending for the Final Four. That’s what the elite fathers demand—instant success or it’s off with their heads.
UT fathers proved to have a low threshold of discontent and Strong was given the gate after only three seasons. He joins Fred Akers, David McWilliams, John Mackovic and Mack Brown who suffered similar fates in the current era of UT tackle football and tackle politics.
The new Messiah
Now comes Tom Herman who will be richly rewarded for his efforts, but who undoubtedly knows that he’s getting into bed with one of the most demanding and meddling group of administrators and fat cats in the country. Someday he, too, will take the money and run.
2017 pre-bubble watch
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M, c’mon down! Dismal late-season finishes in the post-Johnny Football era for the Farmers has the wolf eyeing Sumlin as next season’s first course if the Cadets don’t challenge Alabama and LSU in the SEC West.
Ags open with a challenging road game at UCLA in 2017, then host play-for-pay pigeons Nichols State and UL-Lafayette. There is also a late-season non-con game with New Mexico, which may be a little more challenging than some of the FCS cup cakes most SEC squads schedule for late-season scrimmages.
In the past two years, A&M has lost 4 of 7 and 5 of 7 in the last half of those seasons. They have not beaten LSU in the Sumlin era and only beat Alabama once in that time.
Word is that Ag alums lust for glory and are growing impatient.
So what’s the point in conference championship games?
Five Power Conferences will convene playoff games this weekend; however, there is no guarantee that the winners will be invited to college football’s big dance, the Final Four. The BCS “committee” still insists on rating teams according to their own criteria.
So why have these conference playoffs? The answer to this dilemma is easy: At least an eight-team playoff. That way the Power Five conference champs—whomever they may be no matter what their record—plus three other squads, presumably contenders like Ohio State and Michigan, the latter two of which the media has been infatuated with all these months but who are examples of media queens who somehow weren’t good enough to make it to their own final conference round. They could be included plus at least one mid-major, which this year would be undefeated Western Michigan.
DDT sez: Expand the playoff bracket to eight or drop the conference championship games.
Cinderella livesOne of the biggest surprises of the year, in addition to the rebirth of Colorado as a legitimate contender, is the record turned in by Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have had losing seasons in 19 or the past 20 years, with one of the lowest home attendance figures in DivOne College football. But this season under coach Chris Creighton, EMU posted a 7-5 record and is going bowling. The Eagles will meet Old Dominion in the Bahamas Bowl. Creighton was 1-11 and 2-10 in his first two years at EMU but this year turned it around in what has become expected of DivOne college football coaches.
The envelope, please
As the coaching carousel gears up for another round of intrigue, DDT offers humble and sometimes deadly accurate insight as to who some of the best candidates are at Baylor, Houston and Oregon.
Baylor: Mike Singletary. The former BU All-American and disciple of Grant Teaff would connect the Bears to what glory they enjoyed in the past. He has coached at six NFL teams and knows the drill.
Wrong: BU hired Matt Ruhle from Temple.
Houston: Major Applewhite. The Major has bounced around from Texas to Syracuse to Rice to Alabama to Texas to Houston. Time to see if he’s head coaching material.
Right: The Major will get his shot.
Les Miles has also been mentioned for the job and might be a good fit.
The Hat has disappeared and evidently won't be coaching next year.
Oregon is in for a long rebuilding process. They haven't played D in years and are infatuated with high-speed running offenses, which ultimately lose out to teams who play D.
Best choices for the Ducks: Fleck, Harsin, Mullen.
P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan, the wonder boy, who has cultivated a high media profile and was, at one time, the youngest head coach at a DivOne football team.
Nope: Fleck was staying at WMU or so we thought, but the knives of midnight came out at Minnesota, and Fleck is taking that job.
Brian Harsin, Boise State. Following in the footsteps of Chris Peterson, Harsin has maintained credibility in Idaho and will someday get a Power Five job.
Nope again: Harsin will continue to labor on the blue turf.
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State. Mullen has done as well as can be expected in Starksville but knows he will never challenge Alabama and LSU in the SEC West. Time to get out of town ahead of the posse in the rapidly declining post Dak Prescott era at Mississippi State.
Another nope: Mullen will remain in Starksville but will enter the 2017 campaign on the bubble.
Update: Oregon hired Willie Taggart away from South Florida.
And interestlingly enough, USF replaced him with Charlie Strong, who DDT sez will do well there.