Herman, LSU reportedly near deal; TCU game may decide Strong’s future

Houston coach Tom Herman, left, and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino speak after the Cougars upset the Cardinals on Nov. 17. Houston won 36-10.
Houston coach Tom Herman, left, and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino speak after the Cougars upset the Cardinals on Nov. 17. Houston won 36-10. AP

Texas football coach Charlie Strong may indeed be coaching to keep his job with a big win against TCU on Friday afternoon after two media reports linked Houston coach Tom Herman to the LSU job.

Sources told ESPN that LSU could have a deal in place as early as Saturday with Herman.

Another source, however, told ESPN that Herman hasn’t ruled out an offern from Texas.

USA Today reported that Herman met with LSU officials in Houston on Thanksgiving.

According to ESPN, Texas President Gregory Fenves’ preference has been to keep Strong, sources told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. ESPN reported that the odds of Strong returning are expected to increase dramatically if Herman is no longer available.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Herman, a former graduate assistant at Texas, was thought to be a solid candidate for the Longhorns when the school moved on from Strong.

The American-Statesman reported Sunday, a day after Texas lost to Kansas in overtime, that UT administrators, including Fenves, had decided to fire Strong, who is 16-20 in three seasons as Longhorns head coach.

The Longhorns need a victory over TCU (2:30 p.m. Friday, FS1) to finish 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game. The Horned Frogs (5-5) need at least one more win in their last two games to be bowl eligible.

On Thursday, a university source told the American-Statesman that Strong still has a chance to save his job with a blowout win over TCU on Friday. The Horns are slight favorites at home.

The Houston Chronicle, meanwhile, reported that University of Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek met with the agent for Tom Herman this week and offered extension that includes seven-figure increase in total compensation.

LSU is denying it has made a decision on who will be its next head coach.

The Associated Press reported that the school tweeted two statements in the second half of the 25th-ranked Tigers’ game at No. 22 Texas A&M on Thursday night. The first one said that there were a lot of “unsubstantiated rumors” about their coaching search and that the school wouldn’t comment on the search.

Minutes later the school tweeted a statement from vice chancellor and athletic director Joe Alleva and university administration that said: “Contrary to media reports, there has been no decision made on who will be the next football coach at LSU. [Interim] coach [Ed] Orgeron has done a great job of leading this team since taking over in late September and we are pulling hard for the Tigers tonight against Texas A&M. As we stated earlier, we are going to take our time and make sure we select the right person to lead our football program.”

Orgeron took over when Les Miles was fired in September.

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