Reports emerged Monday that LSU would be pursuing some of college football’s top coaches as it searches for Les Miles’ replacement. However, it seems that the candidates considered most likely to take the job may not be so excited about the opportunity.
Football Scoop’s Scott Roussel reported Thursday that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher and Houston head coach Tom Herman, widely considered the favorites to land win the job, aren’t guaranteed to want it.
Fisher was reportedly in talks with LSU before the failed attempt to oust Miles at the end of last season. Now Roussell reports that his interest in the job may have cooled off a little.
“The feel we get from speaking with folks in the profession,” Roussell said, “is that Jimbo might not feel the same way now (as he did in 2015); but this door doesn’t seem fully closed and LSU officials certainly don’t believe it is.”
Herman is believed by many to be the Tigers’ No. 1 choice. Roussell said LSU thinks the Cougars coach should be a strong candidate, but that “it does not necessarily appear that the feeling is reciprocal at this time.”
“As with Fisher, I’m not saying the door is closed,” Roussell said, “people always listen; but the feeling I get from speaking with those connected is that Herman might continue to consider other options (including remaining at Houston) before jumping to LSU.”
Herman is the top name on the national coaching scene right now, and some have speculated that he might take a head coaching position at USC or Texas, if either of those became available, before he would head to LSU.
There’s also the possibility that Herman stays at Houston. As Roussell noted, Herman’s contract has a $5 million bonus if the Cougars get invited to a Power 5 conference, and Houston is considered a favorite to join the Big 12 if the conference elects to expand. Houston donors have also pledged to “step up to the plate as needed to keep (Herman) happy at Houston,” according to Roussell.
“Point being, economics aren’t likely to drive Tom Herman’s next move in his career,” Roussell said. “He’s as hot as they come right now at Houston, (and) if economics are about the same, does it make sense to jump into a bit of an unknown, with a far more challenging schedule at LSU? No, no it doesn’t.”