COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The men trying to hire a new LSU football coach took advantage of location by meeting with Houston coach Tom Herman Thursday afternoon in the Houston area with the Tigers play at Texas A&M Thanksgiving night, according to members of the Tiger Athletic Foundation fund raising arm of the LSU athletic department.
"There was a group meet with Herman today in Houston," a TAF member said Thursday. "This is moving in Herman's direction."
LSU officials and/or those representing LSU officials' interests negotiated on Wednesday night with agent Jimmy Sexton, who represents Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher has been LSU athletic director Joe Alleva's top target since last November when Alleva attempted to fire then-coach Les Miles. After a 2-2 start this season, Alleva fired Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced them with interim head coach Ed Orgeron or interim offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger.
The No. 25 Tigers (6-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) and No. 22 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) were scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night to close the regular season. Orgeron has led LSU to a 4-2 record.
LSU was negotiating a salary in the neighborhood of $7 million with Fisher, who makes $5.2 million at Florida State. The No. 14 Seminoles (8-3) host No. 13 Florida (8-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday on ABC.
Herman, 41, is perhaps the hottest young coach in the country and has a strong offensive background like Fisher, 51. Herman's Houston Cougars are 9-2 overall this season and 5-2 in the American Athletic Conference. His team knocked off No. 4 Louisville, 36-10, last week. Houston was 13-1 and 7-1 last season. Herman has a strong LSU contact as he is old friends with LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who was the linebackers coach at California Lutheran from 1996-99 when Herman was a player there.
Herman was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Ohio State from 2012-14 and had the same title at Iowa State from 2009-11. He was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Rice in 2005 and '06. Herman is expected to keep Aranda if LSU is able to hire him.
Houston closes the regular season at noon Saturday at Memphis.
Coverage of LSU and commentary by Glenn Guilbeau supported by Hebert’s Town & Country Automobile Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 East Bert Kouns Loop. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram at http://hebertstandc.com/.)