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Tom Herman promises "the hardest training camp in the history of college football."

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Tom Herman was hired away from Ohio State to replace Tony Levine, who was fired after posting a 21-17 overall record and a 15-10 mark in 2013 and 2014. That isn't normal for the coaching business.

But as the largest university in the largest city of America's largest talent-producing and football-mad state, Houston brought in Herman to take the next step as a football program, and to use the football program to take the next step as a university. There's a new stadium that must be filled. There's a new conference that must be won, a valuable bowl entry that must be claimed. Beyond the horizon, there's another shifting of the landscape that many believe is coming, and Houston wants to position itself as the primary choice to leap into a new stratosphere.

There's a lot to be won and with, again, a roster that won 16 games over the past two years, the winning must start now. With that in mind, Herman promised Cougar fans at a Touchdown Club of Houston meeting in nearby Pearland on Wednesday something that will surpass what happened 61 years prior and 300 miles to the west in Junction, Texas.

That's not to say Herman is all bluster and gusto. Working with its fifth offensive line coach in as many seasons, Herman admitted something most of his peers would not at this time of year.

The honesty of the second statement should make Cougars players brace for the reality of the first.