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Tom Herman turned down South Carolina job because the Gamecocks lost to The Citadel

Well, at least we know why...

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Will Muschamp is still settling into his post as the South Carolina Gamecocks head football coach. And after a recruiting class that was hardly at the top of the SEC but still held its own, considering Steve Spurrier's exit in the middle of the season, there's at least some hope that 2016 will be much better than 2015's debacle.

That was a season that included a loss to in-state FCS program The Citadel. And as it turns out, that loss may have cost the Gamecocks their first choice on their head coaching list. USA Today's Dan Wolken came out with a piece on Sunday that shone a little light on the coaching search — and the apparent reason that front-runner and current Houston head man Tom Herman pulled his name out of the hat after the search was all but done.

South Carolina, in fact, first targeted Houston’s Tom Herman and was so far down the road toward an agreement, according to two people familiar with the process, that the school’s administration had essentially shut its search process down. 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. Herman decided to stay at Houston for a deal worth nearly $3 million per year and, presumably, wait for a more high-profile situation.

Granted, Herman's antics (i.e. getting diamond-plated grills on his teeth and smashing fax machines after National Signing Day) have made him somewhat of a viral star. But, on the other hand, this has the looks of a man who couldn't swallow his pride and take a job at a receding SEC school that is — no disrespect to Houston and the AAC — located in a conference that is...well...on a much higher profile than the AAC. Best of luck, Tom.