Update: A lot has been written about Houston coach Tom Herman and where he might end up in the coaching carousel involving LSU and Texas. What hasn't been shared is what Herman has to say about all of this -- until now, that is. Speaking to Cole Cubelic before Friday's game against Memphis, Herman offered a simple response about the rumors...
Spoke to Tom Herman pregame in Memphis concerning reports of other coaching vacancies...— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) November 25, 2016
"Honestly, don't believe anything you read"
Of course, if we're to take Herman's advice, should we not believe this? Sometimes the jokes write themselves, folks.
Early word out of Louisiana indicated that LSU was planning to start pursuing Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher "aggressively" the moment that the Seminoles wrapped up their regular season Saturday night against Florida. Things changed quickly on Thanksgiving with reports that LSU met with Houston coach Tom Herman, rumored to be the frontrunner for the Texas job, on Thursday.
ESPN's Chris Low is among the multiple reporters indicating that Herman is now the leading candidate for LSU and "a deal could be in place by Saturday." USA Today's Glenn Guilbeau, citing a member of the Tiger Athletic Foundation fundraising group, reported Thursday that the coaching search is "moving in Herman's direction."
According to Guilbeau, LSU officials "or those representing LSU officials' interest" negotiated with Jimbo Fisher's agent, Jimmy Sexton, on Wednesday night and then moved on to Herman on Thursday. Sexton represents a number of big-name coaches in addition to Fisher.
LSU officially made it known that it has not made a deal with any candidate, Herman included, via a statement during Thursday's game against Texas A&M.
"There are a lot of unsubstantiated rumors about LSU's coaching search. We will not comment on this speculation and are currently focused on our game against Texas A&M. There is a process in place for the search, and we will take our time to make sure the best decision is made for the future of the program."
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva later his thoughts a bit later.
"Contrary to media reports, there has been no decision made on who will be the next football coach at LSU. [Interim coach Ed] Orgeron has done a great job of leading this team since taking over in late September and we are pulling hard for the Tigers tonight against Texas A&M. As we stated earlier, we are going to take our time and make sure we select the right person to lead our football program."
Houston is set to play at Memphis on Friday while LSU is in action on Thursday night at Texas A&M.
According to the USA Today report, LSU officials took advantage of the proximity of Thursday night's game to gauge Herman's interest, and after those meetings the LSU search is now focused on Herman not Fisher.
Another connection that could bring Herman to LSU? The presence of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, a friend of Herman's who is expected to be retained should Herman take the job.
Interim coach Ed Orgeron is expected to have a chance to present his plan for the future in an interview opportunity after the Tigers' regular season finale on Thursday.