Can Texas turn it around like Notre Dame? Tom Herman meeting with Brian Kelly to find out

Is this the year that Texas is finally back? If it happens, coach Tom Herman will have to find a way to rebound from a disappointing 8-5 season in 2019 — one year after topping Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. 

How does he plan on doing it? Talking to his peers who have been in similar situations appears to be on the agenda. 

Herman is meeting with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on Thursday in South Bend, Indiana, according to a report from 247Sports. The two leaders of high-profile programs will discuss a variety of topics, including how Notre Dame rebounded from a disastrous 4-8 season in 2016 to post an unblemished regular season and berth in the College Football Playoff two years later. 

Kelly wasn’t necessarily on the “hot seat” following that one miserable season. But he was under pressure to get things turned around quickly to avoid that seat heating up quickly during the 2017 season. Herman is in a similar predicament. The fourth-year coach of the Longhorns was billed to be the offensive genius that could finally get Texas back into the national title picture after two successful seasons leading the Houston program. Instead, the Longhorns have been wildly inconsistent — including last year when they dropped three of their final five games with one being a 37-27 loss to a TCU team that finished 5-7.

Can Herman get it done? Quarterback Sam Ehlinger chose to return to Austin instead of entering the NFL Draft. The rising senior threw for 3,663 yards and 32 touchdowns, ran for 663 yards and seven touchdowns, and was the unquestioned leader of the team in 2019. The running back corps should be in good hands with Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson, and the defense should improve after undergoing massive turnover prior to last season.

If Kelly can provide the right guidance, Herman has the roster and the resources to turn things around for a program that has been desperate to return to the national scene for the first time since losing the BCS National Championship Game to Alabama after the 2009 season.

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