Texas Football: Should Longhorns pursue Urban Meyer?

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

It is nearing time for the Texas football program to consider their top candidates if a coaching search were to be necessary next year?

This is a difficult stretch for the Texas football program, there’s no question about it. Head Texas football coach Tom Herman is struggling to get traction with his team more so than most would anticipate this fall coming off a solid double-digit win 2018 season. Herman has this Texas squad sitting with a record of 6-5 (4-4 Big 12) with only one regular season game remaining.

The Texas Longhorns football program only has the Texas Tech Red Raiders remaining for the regular season, and likely a spot in a mid-tier bowl game in the postseason. It looks as if the best case scenario for the Longhorns this season would be demolishing Texas Tech and then landing in the Camping World Bowl (Alamo Bowl is possible but pretty improbable).

In all likelihood, Texas will find themselves in the Texas Bowl or the Liberty Bowl this year.

Entering the 2019 regular season, the Longhorns had a realistic expectation of winning at least nine games and getting back to the Big 12 Championship Game. Instead, the Longhorns currently sit in fifth place in the Big 12 standings and were almost upset by the Kansas Jayhawks for the second consecutive season.

Really the only admirable wins so far this season came over the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Kansas State Wildcats. The Longhorns other four wins came over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Rice Owls, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Kansas. And the losses to the TCU Horned Frogs and Iowa State Cyclones were really hard to swallow.

How much fault of this season should be put on individual players and how much should be put on Herman and this coaching staff?

As Herman likes to say, the “buck stops” with him. There is a definite fault on him in play calling and personnel usage. The coordinators faulting is blame that falls on his shoulders too. But injuries piling up and catching bad luck at times, like the losses to Iowa State and partly against the LSU Tigers, can’t be blamed on him.

Junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger has not played well of late, and neither has the entire offensive line and secondary. Youth, inexperience, and frequent injuries in the trenches and in the defensive backfield really amounted to a bad season for those position groups through and through.

However, if the circumstances get any worse under Herman this season, Texas athletic director Chris del Conte might be forced to explore other options. A full on coaching search would not be called for immediately. But knowing what’s out there is important to putting all possible solutions on the table to right the ship for the football program.

The grand prize in any coaching search right now would have to be the former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach and three-time National Champion Urban Meyer. Carrying a career head coaching record of 187-32, Meyer would be a gem find if any blue blood program could haul him out of retirement for next season.

Meyer was the head coach over Herman when he was the offensive coordinator at Ohio State. And Meyer registered a sparkling record of 83-9 during his tenure at Ohio State. Meanwhile, Herman has a rather mediocre record of 23-15 in his third year on the Forty Acres.

It appears that Meyer is also feeling an itch since his college football coaching tenure ended last season. He handed off the reigns to former Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day as the head coach at the end of last season. But Meyer reportedly finds each day without coaching a “struggle”.

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The common school of thought holds it that if the Dallas Cowboys get rid of Jason Garrett or the USC Trojans finally let Clay Helton go, those would be the favorite landing spots for Meyer. Whichever team manages to pull him from his current position as a college football analyst with Fox Sports would potentially be be getting a goldmine. That is if anyone is able to pull off such a feat.