HOUSTON — Hours after news broke on Sept. 25 of LSU firing Les Miles, Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek’s phone buzzed furiously.

Reporters tried to reach Yurachek — the man who has the unenviable task of trying to retain college football’s hottest head coach, Tom Herman — seeking to confirm a report that LSU reached out to Herman’s agent.

Yurachek didn’t take the calls, but before the night was over, Herman was standing at the northwest corner of TDECU Stadium after the Cougars’ practice, answering reporters’ questions about whether he had been contacted by the Tigers.

The calendar hadn’t yet turned to October, but LSU’s decision to part ways with Miles after four games set the rumor mill churning about the second-year coach’s future. Welcome to college football coaching searches in 2016.

“You guys like talking about things,” Herman said. “It’s your job to talk about things. And it’s my job to make sure a bunch of 18- to 22 year-olds play really hard on game day and execute really well. It really doesn’t creep into our lives very much.”

The chatter won’t stop anytime soon, particularly with the struggles ongoing at Texas and USC and the heat on their incumbent coaches. The more success Houston has — and the more vacancies that pop up at perennial power programs — the more intense the discussion surrounding Herman’s future will become.



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