Tom Herman ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 31: Head Coach Tom Herman of the Houston Cougars celebrates after the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl against the Florida State Seminoles at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Tom Herman to South Carolina — it seemed like a match made in college football heaven. Yet, it never happened and the Gamecocks instead went the former Florida head coach route and hired Will Muschamp.

According to a report by USA Today Sports, Herman to the Gamecocks was so far down the road that at one point in the process, South Carolina actually shut down its search.

So, how did the Gamecocks not land easily the hottest head coaching name in non-Power 5 coaching? It appears a loss to The Citadel late in the season was the straw that broke the back of Herman’s move to Columbia.

Those same people, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity, said Herman’s mind changed after South Carolina lost to The Citadel on Nov. 21 and it became clear the next coach would have a massive rebuilding job on his hands.

One can’t really blame Herman, as he has a very good thing going at Houston. Not only is he now making nearly $3 million per year, but the Cougars finished 13-1 on the season and beat Florida State 38-24 in the Peach Bowl on New Years Eve.

Turning that kind of situation down to join a team in need of a serious overhaul? It wasn’t like the money was going to be that much different or Herman wouldn’t have a crack at a different position with much more cache behind it in the future either.

As for South Carolina, it was put on the back foot after Herman stayed in H-town. It tried to swing for the fences with names like Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez, but missed on both.

Instead, it ended up with a coach who is happy to be back in the driver’s seat so quickly after being fired by Florida.

[USA Today]

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!