Tom Herman is smart. Like, really smart. He’s the type of smart that’s obvious; the type of smart that comes across in pretty much everything he does and says.
This type of smart can be annoying. It can be snarky, pretentious. It’s not with Herman. He’s personable and just so damn likable that you’re okay with him making you feel insignificant because he’s that much more intelligent than you are.
I covered Herman for two years at Ohio State. He was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach then. His future was easy to foresee. I came away from every interview we had with him thinking, this guy is going to be a star, this guy is going to be an elite, national champion head coach one day.
This is the guy Georgia should hire.
It doesn’t look like they will, though. The Bulldogs, who are letting go of Mark Richt at the end of the season, appear to be set on hiring longtime Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Herman seems to be okay staying in Houston for another season, having reportedly agreed in principle to a new contract earlier today.
Georgia is making a mistake.
Athens, Ga. is a place for a star. This is an elite job – one of the best jobs in the country. Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples think it’s the best job. You can do everything there - recruit No. 1 classes, win the SEC, win national titles.
I have nothing against Smart. He’s learned under Nick Saban and has been a great defensive coordinator. He played at Georgia. He’ll recruit well and probably win a lot of games.
He’s not Herman, though.
Herman-to-Georgia is Urban Meyer-to-Florida all over again, save (hopefully) for the fallout.
Just look at what he’s done in one year at Houston. He’s been so freaking good that the Cougars are going to more than double his salary less than 12 months after hiring him.
Look at what Ohio State’s offense did the year after losing him. Meyer's team brought back nearly all of its offensive talent from a national title team and struggled for 90 percent of the season. It wouldn't have if Herman had still been in Columbus.
Look at how the Buckeyes’ current stars feel about him.
">@CoachTomHerman & Houston for that great team win over 19th ranked Navy. 11-1
— Cardale Jones (@CJ12_) November 27, 2015
— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott)
Big Herm with the W @CoachTomHerman
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) November 27, 2015
">November 27, 2015
This is the man you want leading your program, Georgia. He’s young (40). He’s a brilliant offensive mind. He can recruit in the South. (Remember that story of him getting stuck in Atlanta for 19 hours due to an ice storm while recruiting for Ohio State?)
">November 29, 2015
">November 29, 2015
Herman would flat-out kill it at Georgia. In my opinion, he’d leave for the Bulldogs’ job, too, if they came at him full-force. Herman’s surely happy at Houston and appears to be content staying there, for now, but Georgia is not a job he can pass up.
Don’t be dumb, Georgia.
Be smart. Hire Herman.