Will Muschamp has done a nice job of building a staff and starting the rebuild at South Carolina, but he was not the school's first choice. In fact, according to USA Today's Dan Wolken, SC was extremely close to landing the hottest name on the coaching market, until the Gamecocks hit rock bottom on the field. Houston's Tom Herman, on his way to a 13-1 record and a definitive Peach Bowl win over Florida State, was set to take the job, until South Carolina lost to The Citadel on November 21.
South Carolina, in fact, first targeted Houston’s Tom Herman and was so far down the road toward an agreement, according to two people familiar with the process, that the school’s administration had essentially shut its search process down.
Those same people, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity, said Herman’s mind changed after South Carolina lost to The Citadel on Nov. 21 and it became clear the next coach would have a massive rebuilding job on his hands. Herman decided to stay at Houston for a deal worth nearly $3 million per year and, presumably, wait for a more high-profile situation.
Gamecock fans are rallying behind Muschamp, as they should, but if Herman does turn into one of the great college football coaches, this one will sting.