The Texas Longhorns football team has lost four of it’s last six football games, one of those wins was an uninspiring two point victory over Kansas in a shootout, and a three point win over Kansas State. As a result, the Longhorns are now 6-5, with no shot at a Big 12 championship or New Year’s Six bowl game. Compared to the feeling about the Longhorns at this time last year, this is a huge step back for the football program that showed such promise after defeating Georgia in last years Sugar bowl.
Tom Herman is at the forefront of the Longhorns regression. Great head coaches don’t take four or more years to turn blue-blood programs into perennial contenders, and since 2019 (year three) is a wasted season, it will be at least year four of Tom Herman’s tenure before the Longhorns can compete for a national title. What does a “great coach” look like? In 2011, Ohio State was 6-7. Then Urban Meyer arrived, and the 2012 Ohio State team went 12-0, and never won less than 11 games for the next seven years. No regression, no patterns of up and down seasons, no question marks as to whether or not Ohio State was back. Just consistent dominance.
It’s safe to say, as of now, Herman is not a great coach (not that he can’t become one). He is surviving off of the equity he built at Houston, where he had a head coaching record of 22-4 with two bowl wins. That equity propelled him into the head coaching position at his alma mater, Texas, with high hopes and expectations that he has fallen well short of given how this season has turned out.
Herman has an uncommon advantage over most college football programs, with a quarterback who is in his third season as a starter with his program. Yet, the offense is predictable, unimaginative, and stagnant. The guy across the Red River who has Herman’s number, Lincoln Riley, has had a different starting quarterback in each of the last three seasons and has had more success.
Based on the university of Texas’ location, history, and school prestige, there is no reason this program isn’t looked at in the same light as the Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State programs. Right now, Texas is a long way from being in that conversation, and it falls directly on Tom Herman’s shoulders to bring them into it.