In speaking with sources connected to Tom Herman throughout the past hours, days, weeks and months, it’s clear Herman believes he can win national championships at LSU, Texas or Houston. The money all three will offer him is great, but it won’t separate one over the others. As he said earlier this week, Herman spent most of his career making peanuts anyway.
What this week boils down to, then, will be relationships. That refers to the people he’ll be working with on his staff on a day-to-day basis, and the people within the athletics department and the university with whom he’ll be working.
The relationships Herman enjoys currently at Houston — with AD Hunter Yuracheck, U of H president Renu Khator and U of H board chairman Tillman Fertitta — are outstanding. Houston provides Herman the freedom and control to run the program as he sees fit, and that arrangement has worked out fabulously for both sides. We understand Houston is going to bump his best-in-class salary to the $5 million range and make his staff salary pool competitive with Power 5 programs as well.
Texas is expected to come to the table with a competitive offer, but the term we keep hearing Herman seeks is “Saban-like control.” There will not be a negotiation; the Longhorns will meet the terms Herman asks or the coach will not come to Austin.
LSU has said they’ll provide that Saban-like control, but sources tell us there is concern about the relationship aspect there. Sources connected to Herman tell us the coach and his representatives were very upset at last night’s leak and the manner in which it went public.
Herman will speak with Joe Alleva tomorrow. The question there: can LSU’s athletics director sell him on the relationship with him and his staff?
At the end of the day, it’s going be about relationships.