In the college coaching world, everything boils down to potential openings at Michigan and Texas. So says Yahoo!Sports columnist Pete Thamel, who thinks that an already unusual offseason hinges on what these two prominent programs do at head coach.

And not only that, but that Texas isn’t hiding their ambition for one of the biggest names on the coaching market in former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

In fact, Thamel said that the Longhorns admiration for Meyer “has become an open secret.”

And the administrative and athletic department ambivalence toward Tom Herman is evident in the lack of public support he’s received. Texas has given every indication they want to find a way to upgrade, but they need to find a clean path to a replacement.

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The Longhorns are 5-3 having started the season at No. 14 in the AP Top 25 Poll. In their fourth season under Herman, they have just one season of double-digit wins during that stretch.

Meyer, who holds a career .854 winning percentage, is currently an analyst for FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network. He hasn’t coached since 2018 at Ohio State, where he closed out his historic seven-year run with the Buckeyes with a Rose Bowl win.

During those sevens in Columbus, he was 83-9 with a 5-2 record in bowl games. During his 17 years as a head coach, Meyer has 15 bowl appearances and 12 bowl wins.

He has yet to have a losing season as a head coach during his career.

Meyer is the big name for Texas and while the money is there to lure Meyer out of retirement, the Longhorns are a complete mess in recent years. But Thamel notes that the athletics department is in the process of upgrading facilities, something that might appeal to Meyer or a similar big name caught up in the allure of the program.

“The facilities are finally changing with a long overdue $175 million dollar South End Zone project. Texas has always had the money but hasn’t figured out the right way to spend it. Now it appears willing to overspend for an elite coach. But can the Longhorns find one?” Thamel writes.

“Texas AD Chris Del Conte’s play here appears to be shopping for Herman’s replacement and attempting to arrange something before having to make a public decision on Herman. This is a common tactic, but rarely do these shadow searches unfold under such scrutiny. The question will be if Texas strikes out — and Del Conte will aim Dabo-level high if Meyer passes as expected — how will everybody sputter forward and force smiles for Herman returning for a plank-walk season in 2021?”