Texas football: 4 best candidates to replace Tom Herman not named Urban Meyer

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James Franklin, Texas football

Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

If Texas football coach Tom Herman is fired, expect one of these four candidates to be the next head coach of the Longhorns.

Now that the flirtation with Urban Meyer is over, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte can either keep Tom Herman and avoid paying his $25 million buyout or he can pursue one of these leading four candidates for the Texas football job.

The former Texas graduate assistant has amassed 31 wins at Texas since becoming its leader in 2017. Herman has led the Longhorns to three consecutive winning seasons and capped each of the three campaigns with bowl game victories, including a 28-21 win over Georgia in the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

A disappointing 7-6 season in 2019, followed by this year’s record of 7-3, all of a sudden has many Longhorns fans and boosters wondering if a change in leadership is necessary.

The restlessness from fans is fair, given the Longhorns football program has always been labeled as one of the most historic and highly regarded programs in the sport’s history. Nonetheless, it’s equally fair to debate that Herman has won big games during his four-year tenure and has done enough to lead the Longhorns for at least another season.

But if Texas is ready to make a change, one of these four coaches could be the next to lead the Longhorns.

4. James Franklin, Penn State Head Coach

The rumors of James Franklin being on-the-move after the 2020 season have been swirling all season. Starting the season off to a disastrous 0-5 record didn’t make things easier on Franklin and the Nittany Lions either.

Ever since Franklin made the move from Nashville to Penn State six years ago, the rumors of him potentially being one of most coveted head coaches by programs with vacancies surface every offseason.

Penn State has always been a meaningful place for Franklin and his family, and it wouldn’t be far from the truth if the former East Stroudsburg University quarterback considers the Penn State Head Coaching gig a “dream job.”

Texas AD Chris Del Conte has hinted that Franklin would be at the top of his list to replace Herman at the end of the 2020 season. Now that Urban Meyer seems to be out of the running for a return to the sidelines, it might be time for Franklin to give the Texas football program a shot, just like he did before deciding on Penn State in 2014.

James Franklin is currently guaranteed at least $38.2 million over a six-year period that runs through the completion of the 2025 season. Franklin would also be owed a whopping buyout of $38.4 million this year. The likelihood of Penn State shifting gears and firing Franklin, one year removed from extending him through the 2025 season, is highly unlikely. A call from Texas can make things very interesting for both Franklin and the Nittany Lions.

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