You still want him, LSU? How about, you, Texas?
Over the past couple of months if not longer, Tom Herman has been ticketed for the latter. Over the last 24 hours, it’s been the former zeroing in on the Houston head coach.
“I’m not going to talk about any other job except the one I go right now and these kids,” Herman said of the rumors in an interview prior to the Memphis game this afternoon. “There’s nothing to handle except beating Memphis.”
And therein lay the problem this Black Friday.
Playing very much like a team distracted by the whirlwind of speculation, the Cougars were down 34-17 to the Tigers at halftime and seemingly headed nowhere. A 20-point run from the start of the third quarter through the halfway point of the fourth, however, gave UH its first lead of the game at 37-34. The teams then traded touchdowns on their next possessions, leaving the Cougars up 44-41 with under a minute and a half remaining.
That proved to be too much time as quarterback Riley Ferguson directed a six-play, 82-yard drive that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown pass with just :19 left in the game. Ferguson’s counterpart, Greg Ward Jr. (47-66-489-4-1), could do nothing with the few remaining the ticks on the clocks, sealing the Tigers’ wild 48-44 win.
The Cougars’ loss comes eight days after UH’s dismantling of then-No. 5 Louisville, a win that once again propelled Herman’s name to the top of coaching food chain.
After beginning the season 5-0 and climbing to as high as No. 6 in the rankings, the Cougars have now lost three of their last seven games to close out Herman’s second regular season with the football program.
One of those losses came to an SMU team that’s below .500, and came by a whopping 18 points for good measure. That, plus this loss, continued an unsettling trend for Herman’s Cougars.
If Houston doesnt come back and win, this will be 4th loss to unranked, double-digit underdog in last 2 years (UConn, Navy, SMU). #HookEm
— Matt Hayes (@MattHayesCFB) November 25, 2016
Following that loss to the Mustangs, it was reported that Texas had cooled on Herman as a potential replacement for Charlie Strong should the third-year coach be dismissed. Whether this loss will have a similar chilling effect in the eyes of Texas or LSU remains to be seen.