When many people think Thanksgiving, they think turkey and food comas. When I think Thanksgiving my mind often turns to the football games tuned in after the bird has been cooked. Thanksgiving weekend in college football is rivalry week, and never fails to disappoint. This past weekend was no exception.
For the third year in a row, The LSU Tigers and The Texas A&M Aggies played Thursday night. The Tigers defeated the Aggies 54-39. Texas A&M quarterback, Trevor Knight returned to the field against the Tigers only to leave the game with a worrisome hit to the knee. Derrius Guice broke LSU's single-season rushing yard record, already broken once this year by Leonard Fournette, with 285 rushing yards and four touchdowns. But, the biggest LSU headline of the week might have been the hiring of a new head coach. The Tigers parted way with head coach Les Miles in September after a disappointing loss to Auburn. Offensive coordinator Ed Ogeron stepped up as the interim coach, creating a 5-2 record for himself. Going into the week, there were rumors spreading regarding the Tiger's interest in University of Houston's Tom Herman and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher. But, the morning after the win over the Aggies, the Tigers announced that they would be offering the position to Ogeron, giving the Louisiana born and raised football player and coach a chance to get results on the biggest stage of college football: the SEC.
The University of Houston's football team played American Athletic Conference rival, Memphis on Saturday. Despite their #20 ranking, the Cougars fell to the Tigers 44-48, leaving them in third place in their division. The hype around the Cougars this week followed closely the movements of coach, Tom Herman. Both LSU and Texas expressed their interest in the up-and-coming coach after sub-par performances this season. When asked by press the morning of the Memphis game, Herman denied any rumors of his movement. Sunday, Texas announced that they would be welcoming Herman to their program as a replacement for Charlie Strong who had been let go Friday.
LSU had also been courting Herman towards the end of the week: it is unclear whether the decision was made by the university or Herman to not select him as the Tiger's new coach. But, in the end the Tigers chose a man who has been working to become the coach at LSU for much of his career. Having dabbled in SEC play at Mississippi State, along with holding positions at powerhouses such as USC and Miami, Ogeron's resume speaks for itself, and will hopefully reflect in the next few years of Tiger football.
In my opinion, Herman is a risky hire for Texas. He is a young coach who has created a name for himself in a small window of time at a school that no one would have considered the powerhouse that it now is five years ago. But, his team has struggled this year. Walking away 5-3 in a struggling American conference, with a loss to SMU (who is not even bowl eligible this year,) some may begin to wonder: if Herman cannot keep his team cool in the American, how will he survive in the Big 12? Only time will tell: maybe Herman will be the secret to bringing Texas back to its former glory or maybe in two years he will be another Charlie Strong.