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Tom Herman Media Honeymoon Is Over, Part II

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It’s open season on Tom Herman.

Texas v Maryland Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Mac Engel’s column in the Fort Worth Star Telegram is further evidence that the media honeymoon with Herman is done one season and a game into his tenure.

And it’s getting a lot more personal.

I’m not sure what’s happening in the off-the-record debriefs, or if the media just deeply resents being publicly embarrassed for not knowing football very well when they try to ask game specific questions and Herman challenges them on coverages or formations (which also reveals some issues with Herman, he can handle that more gracefully), or if this is just spite for Herman’s general demeanor, but Mac Engel isn’t a Herman fan:

If it makes you feel any better about your own job, Tom Herman’s compensation increased by $250,000 this year.

When he was hired away from Houston, Herman was made the sixth-highest paid coach in the nation with a five-year, $28.75 million base package from Texas; included in that contract is a $250,000 increase every year.

Also, please don’t forget that winning the highly coveted Texas Bowl over SEC power Missouri last year netted Coach Herman $75,000. Worth noting UT won that game mostly because of its punter.

Sorry, Tommy Boy, you earned this. All of it. And I’m not talking about the money, because no one earns checks of that size; they steal those.

No coach in recent memory thrust out his chest, strutted, smacked that bubblegum, scowled and tried to intimidate the masses while acting as if he owned the place without having done a thing on this level more than Tommy Boy Herman.

Weird is in the process of being priced out in Austin, but Karma maintains its residency at DKR Stadium.

Texas is going to pay the head coach at Texas a lot of money. It’s not Herman’s job to say no. Head coaching compensation is what it is. Engel is strumming envy strings and it’s a transparent rhetorical ploy to get the reader on board.

I think readers might have gathered that I am not happy with this staff’s preparation against Maryland. Herman needs a heavy dose of introspection, but the same observations made about his demeanor without the petty Tommy Boy motif or paycheck shots would be more impactful. And not seem so petty.

Herman is in his second season in Austin, and Bevo looks the same as it did under Charlie Strong. Under John Mackovic. Under David McWillliams. Under Fred Akers.

In the modern era, two people made Texas special: Mack and DKR. The rest were guys stealing those burnt orange checks, and playing plenty of golf.

Tommy Boy has plenty of time remaining to reverse things, and is due such a large sum that AD Chris Del Conte could fend off angry boosters from forcing him to fire his football coach.

Tommy Boy is another tough guy coach who looks and sounds the part, but in the end we realize there are only a few men on this planet who can win at this job.

The Tommy Boy thing is wearying, right?

Fred Akers has a frequently mischaracterized legacy, despite offenses most charitably described as regrettable. Akers was 86-31-2 against some of the most ambitious schedules in Texas history. He also faced stronger currents of factional infighting more intense than any coach in Longhorn history and 1980s SWC cheating that existed on a historic scale. Once Fred lost his footing, there was no regaining it, but the idea that he didn’t experience some real success at Texas is inane.

Charlie Strong was a failure here. Not for lack of work. And not because he hit the links too much. David McWilliams is a good guy who failed at his job. I’m not sure I’d characterize him as a thief. John Mackovic, whatever you think of him, wasn’t one of college football’s sociopathic users.

This is particularly small-minded writing dressed up as “real talk.”

Mac Engel is an adjunct journalism professor at TCU. I’d like to say that surprises me, but it doesn’t.

Imagine one of his students reading this and thinking it models effective rhetoric.