Houston understands it has one of the hottest coaches in the country in Tom Herman and has gotten to work on a more enticing contract for the first-year coach.

The school's Board of Regents approved an increase to Herman's annual salary from $1.3 million to $3 million during a Thursday meeting. That's a competitive salary in the Pac-12, ACC or Big Ten, but would rank near the bottom of the Big 12 or SEC. However, that $3 million figure, according to Board of Regents chair Tilman Fertitta, is only a "starting point" for negotiations on a long-term deal. 

The Cougars are 10-0 and staring down a shot at both the American Athletic Conference title and a New Years Six bowl game bid. Athletic director Hunter Yurachek told reporters they wanted to let everybody -- including South Carolina, Missouri, Virginia Tech and more, I'm sure -- know that Houston is prepared to commit to Herman in a program-changing way. 

"We're going to make it really hard for him to choose to go to another institution," Yurachek said, via the Houston Chronicle, adding that it was important to send a statement that Houston "doesn't need to be a stepping stone for coaches but rather a destination."

Houston plays at UConn this weekend before putting the AAC West title on the line next week against Navy on Friday. 

Tom Herman will have Houston bidding against Power Five schools this offseason. (USASTI)