Report: Tom Herman Set To Become New Head Coach at Houston (Updated)

tom herman

As reported by Fox Sports, Ohio State’s quarterback guru and offensive coordinator Tom Herman is set to become the new head coach of the Houston Cougars. From Bruce Feldman’s report:

The 39-year-old Herman has solid Texas ties. He served as a graduate assistant on Mack Brown’s UT staff in the late 90s and worked across town from Houston as Rice’s OC from 2007-08, where the Owls set more than 40 school records. He has been instrumental in landing some plum Texas recruits for the Buckeyes in his three seasons on staff, including Barrett.

Herman’s rep is such that when Houston president Renu Khator tweeted out on Friday, “If you have an opinion about next UH Football Coach, now is the time to tell us,” the overwhelming reaction she got back were calls for the Buckeyes OC.

It’s not a surprising move considering Herman has been one of the hottest names on the coaching market in recent weeks. This season has really raised his stock after transforming Braxton Miller’s replacement J.T. Barrett into one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Not only that, but he also well prepared Cardale Jones and the Buckeye offense for the Big Ten Championship game on short notice after Barrett went down with an injury too. The Buckeyes of course destroyed Wisconsin 59-0 and was the huge win they needed to make the very first college football playoffs at the FBS level.

There is no word yet on whether Herman will stay with the Buckeyes during their playoff run. Regardless I think I speak for everyone in Buckeye Nation in wishing Tom Herman and his family the best of luck in Houston.

UPDATE: According to Pat Forde of Yahoo, Tom Herman will stay with the Buckeyes through the college football playoffs.

The 2014 B1G Championship: A Game Of Blackjack?

“Rain Man, let’s play some cards…”

In the aftermath of Ohio State’s 42-28 victory in THE GAME, the speculation among Ohio State fans, as well as the national media, was this burning question – how could Ohio State possibly expect to win the 2014 B1G Championship without star quarterback J.T. Barrett?

The speculation is not without merit. After all, Barrett was the leader of the Ohio State offense, and a possible Heisman Trophy candidate. Backup quarterback Cardale Jones has played sparingly throughout his Ohio State career, and will be making his first career start against one of the top defenses in college football when the Buckeyes face the Wisconsin Badgers.

More importantly, Ohio State’s defense has not played well down the November stretch run. Against Michigan State, Minnesota, and Indiana, all with talented running backs, Ohio State gave up substantial yardage on the ground. But against Michigan’s Drake Johnson, the Wolverines’ third-string running back, giving up 74 yards, only added fuel to the fire of concern. Now Ohio State will be facing Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon (2230 yards) and Corey Clement (830 yards). Oof.

Here are the three areas I will be focused upon as Ohio State and Wisconsin kick it off at 8pm EST on FOX…

1. The Ohio State Rush Defense Against The Wisconsin Offense: If Ohio State cannot slow down Wisconsin’s running game, it will be all over for the Buckeyes. Co-defensive coordinators Luke Fickell and Chris Ash must figure out a way to slow down Wisconsin’s Gordon and Clement. Look for Ohio State to put eight men in the box, leaving the cornerbacks on an island with Wisconsin’s receivers one on one. It is a daring and risky strategy, but it may need to be done to keep Ohio State in the game defensively. Rotating interior defensive linemen will be critical to keep Ohio State’s defensive linemen from tiring out. A cause for concern will be if Wisconsin can continually line up on first down, then on second down hear, “2nd and 3.”. That could spell doom for the Buckeyes if Wisconsin is in perpetual short yardage plays throughout most of the night.

2. Ohio State Cannot Be Conservative On Offense: Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer made a statement about new starter Cardale Jones – “It’s his show, he’s got the keys to the car,”… Coach Meyer and Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman will be working overtime on how to best tweak the offense for Jones heading into this game, focusing upon the areas and plays that Jones handles best. If Ohio State tries to simply run the ball, down after down, predictably and conservatively, Ohio State will lose this game. A possible strategy with Jones on passing plays could involve a moving pocket, using quarterback waggles and bootlegs that will allow Jones to get out of the pocket and hit an open man, or simply run for positive yardage if nothing is open. Again, Ohio State needs to focus upon what the offense can do with Jones at the helm, and emphasize that getting the ball into the various Buckeye playmakers is the way to win this game offensively. Letting Jones play with no holds barred can only boost Jones, and the team’s, collective confidence. And that leads me to…

3. Winning The Psychological Battle: Ohio State is in great shape here. At his customary press conference on December 1st, Coach Meyer was audibly surprised that Ohio State was the listed underdog to Wisconsin. For a master motivator such as Coach Meyer, the media simply gave Coach Meyer one more button to push on his team. Coach Meyer can truly play up the disrespect angle of the national media, and should have his team ready to go at a fevered pitch when the game begins. And if Ohio State wins over Wisconsin, my guess is Coach Meyer will look into the television cameras, pointing out how Jones did what was needed in only six days of preparation; how much better would Jones be able to play with nearly a month’s worth of preparation, as in preparation for The College Football Playoff?

Prediction: Up above, I used a blackjack reference, as I believe this game will be relatively low-scoring, as well as I believe the first team to hit 21 points will win. It won’t come easy, and it may not be enough to impress The College Football Playoff committee, but I see it Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 17.

In Case You Missed It

OSU LogoIn case you missed it is Men of the Scarlet and Gray’s semi-weekly look at items that would interest the casual and hard-core Ohio State fan, be they news items, interesting blog posts or funny memes you probably saw on Reddit last week. It’s all here and it’s all for you. Have a tip that should be included in the next ICYMI? Send it our way!

I fell into a funk this past week, so I must atone for this lapse in activity by bringing you one of the best ICYMIs of all time. I hope I can do it.

A CALL FOR HELP: I received an email recently from Kiya Sabet and they asked if I could reach out to you, our smart and attractive readers to see if you could help. Here is what they sent me (and yes, I’m leaving that butt-kissing first line in there):

I am writing you today to express first what an excellent site you have and second to let you know that myself and a couple of partners are in the process of developing a documentary commemorating the 2002 season and National championship of OSU. What we are looking for and hope to work with, is we need non-standard footage OSU figures particularly Clarett and Tressel. By non-standard I mean anything shot from fan perspective, coach’s box, in and around Columbus of players and anything you feel would be fitting to this sort of project including still photos. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you. If you have any questions I can be reached at or 813-995-3467.

If you have anything that could support these guys in their endeavors, please contact them directly.

UNC TO THE BIG sixTEeN? Retweeted by pretty much everyone yesterday, Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports tweeted:

MotSaG’s own Kade has been emailing me for months saying this is going to happen, with me usually replying that I only want UNC if they bring Georgia Tech and the triple option with them. I don’t know if this will happen and I don’t even know if I care at this point, but it’s clear that Jim Delany is out there, manipulating the rest of the college sports world into doing his bidding.

THE CUPCAKES SERVED THEIR PURPOSE. I think for most Ohio State fans in general, this was a long time coming:

“The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said during his monthly radio show on Madison’s WIBA-AM. “It’s not very appealing …

“So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools.”

WOODY HAYES. The Woody Hayes statue has been reverently erected outside the Woody Hayes Athletic center, proud of what he sees.

Speaking of Woody Hayes, here’s the Woody Show after beating Michigan in 1975. Amazing.

And more Woody Hayes.

THE LONG ROAD BACK.They posted this last week, but Chris Holloway’s interview with Quinn Pitcock over at the Buckeye Empire is worth a read

BASKETBALL RECRUITING. Brandon Castel over at the O-Zone has a round-up of how Thad Matta’s 2014 class is shaping up and it has the potential to be a strong one, something Matta definitely needs.

HE’S OURS. ALL OURS. Tom Herman was named the Big Ten’s best recruiter by

The job that Herman, Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, did by going to Texas and grabbing three of the state’s top 20-ranked prospects, including five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell — Texas’ No. 1 ranked prospect — gets the nod as this year’s most impressive feat.

ETC: Ryan DAMN Shazier… UGH even when he’s describing The Rivalry, he calls us “Ohio”. That’s Dirty Pool, Denard.