Is It Time for Texas to Move on From Tom Herman?

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: Tom Herman on the hot seat, Iowa basketball's bad beat and more.
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Hot Seat

With a loss to Iowa State on Saturday, Texas was eliminated from contention for a Big 12 Championship appearance and is now 76–60 overall since 2010, barely in the top half of the FBS over that time. While Tom Herman is only responsible for 18 of those 60 losses (part of his 30-18 overall record in four-plus years), the $5.8-million coach is also responsible for failing to develop the Longhorns into something more than a middling program.

“That's not for me to decide,” Herman said after the game when asked about his future at Texas. “I feel like where we have the program right now compared to where it was when we took over, the future is very bright.

“We've won a lot of big games in our time here. [Texas] didn't win the conference championship two years ago when we made the game, played for an opportunity to go to that game today and lost in the last couple of minutes. But I feel great about the trajectory of our program and where we're headed, and the things that are on the horizon.”

Herman is right; the program has improved since Charlie Strong’s disastrous three-year run, though that’s hardly the point for the nation’s 11th-highest paid coach. The point: Herman believes elimination from Big 12 title contention in the third-to-last regular-season game is good. That’s good for Kansas, not for Texas.

When asked if Herman and his staff are getting the most out of their players or if coaching is the problem, Sam Ehlinger said, “That’s the million dollar question everybody’s trying to figure out the last 10 years.” Only Ehlinger knows exactly what he meant but it was clearly not a vote of confidence for the fourth-year head coach.

After signing a five-year, $29-million contract in late 2016, Herman signed a two-year extension after winning 10 games in 2018. The extension added more than $10 million in guaranteed money to the final two years of his deal, which calls for a $15 million buyout if fired after this season.

Other potential hot seat and coaching change notes in college football: South Carolina has interviewed three candidates for their coaching vacancy … One Virginia Tech writer says Justin Fuente isn’t on the hot seat … Luke Fickell and Matt Campbell could be in play at Michigan if they fire Jim Harbaugh … Utah State’s search features a deep pool of local candidates … And Scott Frost isn’t going anywhere but here’s a breakdown of his gigantic buyout.

Iowa’s Bad Beat

Iowa basketball entered Friday’s game against Southern as a 28-point home favorite. The Hawkeyes led by 23 at halftime and 34 in the final minute before the Jaguars closed the game to 30 points, 103-73, on two free throws with 34 seconds remaining.

After Iowa’s intentional shot-clock violation, Southern inbounded the ball with four seconds remaining. And this happened:

NBA Notes

One hundred and twenty-seven days after the final game of the 2016–17 NBA season (Game 5 of the NBA Finals), the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors opened their respective 2017–18 seasons. It was the shortest offseason for any teams in NBA history...until the most unusual season in NBA history led to the shortest (and longest) offseason in NBA history.

Just 72 days after Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals, the 72-game 2020–21 season is scheduled to begin. But for players on teams that weren’t invited to the bubble, the offseason will be the longest ever. Dozens of players will go nearly 300 days between games. How might the unusual offseason affect the NBA season? And who are the winners and losers of the offseason thus far?

Other NBA notes: Updated NBA Finals odds … Ranking the five worst signings of free agency … The Celtics tried to trade Kemba Walker for a top-five pick in the 2020 draft … Most fascinating players in new places.

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