Yes, yes. Everyone knows football in Texas is better than football in other states. It’s a culture thing. This has been noted.
But let’s leave science and reality out of it and start looking at other factors that could point to good things for the University of Texas and its new coach Tom Herman.
This: He was born in Ohio and coached football in the state of Ohio, which essentially increases his chances of one day becoming one of the greatest coaches in the history of football.
Facts? You want facts! There are facts.
Nick Saban is from Western Pennsylvania, but he went to college at Kent State University, where he played under hall of fame coach Don James. His teammates were Jack Lambert (the angriest man in football) and Gary Pinkel. Saban’s head coaching career began as the coach of the Toledo Rockets in the Mid-American Conference in 1990.
Speaking of Toledo, Urban Meyer was born in the great Northwestern Ohio city. He then went to school at the University of Cincinnati, coached at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School (home of the Bombers) and eventually was a graduate assistant at The Ohio State University. His coaching career started a few miles south of Toledo at Bowling Green University (which weirdly enough is the sister of school of Kent State University).
Meyer is at Ohio State now. Nick Saban is at Alabama. And one day these two will meet in the Thunderdome. That day could be next month.
Herman was born on the Westside of Cincinnati. You know who else was born on the Westside of Cincinnati? Try the king. The Hit King that is. Yep. Pete Rose. Herman still has family in the Queen City. Why is Cincinnati important to this story other than the fact that it’s the birthplace to Texas’ new head coach and the Hit King as well as being the home of the Underground Railroad Museum and chili so good your head will explode?
Well, Paul Brown, one of the three or four most important football coaches in the history of the sport, started a football team in Cincinnati, the Bengals, and one of his assistants was a guy named Bill Walsh, who coached in Cincinnati from 1968 to 1975. Walsh created the famed West Coast Offense and basically spawned an entire generation of NFL coaches from his 49er staff (he also won a bunch of Super Bowls).
Brown went to college at the University of Miami (Oh.) Which is where this really gets in the rabbit hole.
Miami is also known as the “Cradle of Coaches.” Woody Hayes (the man who made Ohio State “OHIO STATE”), Bo Schembechler (Michigan’s man wasn’t a “Michigan Man”), Weeb Ewbank (I guarantee you the Jets won a Super Bowl with him as the coach), Ara Parseghian (Stir up those echos Rudy!), Paul Dietzel, Red Blaik (both National coaches of the year winners at LSU and Army) and a Harbaugh (John, you know the guy who beat his brother in the Super Bowl?).
All graduates of one school in Oxford, Ohio.
Can this go on? HA. Of course it does.
Anyone know where John Heisman (yes, that Heisman) was born? Yes. That would be Cleveland, Ohio. His first coaching job was at Oberlin College in 1892. His next job was Buchtel College, which is now called The University of Akron.
Jon Gruden (Sandusky), Jim Tressel (Cleveland) and John’s brother Jim Harbaugh (Toledo) all entered this world on Buckeye soil. All are famous for winning football games, scowling, sweater vests and milk mustaches.
OK. OK. OK. You get it. But can Tom Herman win the Big 12? Well, to do so he’ll likely have to beat a member of Ohio football royalty.
Deep in the Northeast side of Ohio is a town called Youngstown. And in this town there’s a high school called Cardinal Mooney. Aside from this school producing former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, his brother Carl and NFL Hall of Famer and former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Eddie Debartolo Jr., it’s also where one Ron Stoops coached the defense and where all of his sons, Ron Jr., Mike, Mark and Bob went to school.
That’s right. Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops is an Ohioan.
So there is no real numerical facts to this story, and maybe it’s all one big coincidence. But at least history is on Texas’ “West Sider at Heart” coach’s side. And after three losing seasons, the Longhorns can use anything they can get.
Editor’s note: the writer of this blog post grew up on the Eastside of Cincinnati, is a graduate of Kent State University and once finished third in the Austin American-Statesman’s employee chili cook-off using his Cincinnati-style chili recipe.
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