A quick look through the recruiting ranking analysis tells me Texas currently has roughly the 13th most talented roster, which should be good for more than 6-6. So UT fans are probably right to have some angst about year 1 under Herman. Taking over a 5-7 team and going 6-6 is technically improvement, but clearly the roster dearth left to Strong by Mack was no longer a prime factor. Strong rebuilt the roster but evidently couldn't get them to play like a good team, or wasn't given enough time. A coach who was legit ready for the position (probably) should've been able to hammer out at least 8 wins, maybe more like 9, in a transition year, in this league.
On the other hand.....devil's advocate....
Texas went 1-4 in one-score games. They gave away two games because their QB was a Grade A nincompoop. Ehlinger was the classic million dollar man and ten cent head guy. He thinks he can make the throw, so he takes these spectacular risks when all the team needed to do is play safe, and they win. Winning a close game is largely luck (though losing is not as much luck-based when you're stupid). But they could have just as easily gone 4-1 in those games, with no change in team quality, but now they're a 9-win team.
Myself, I'm more of a bottom line guy. Parcells had a point when he said you are what your record says you are. Mitigating factors be damned, the W/L is where I rest most of my cases. Herman didn't fail per se, but he didn't deliver on the hype and the salary UT handed him, and appears to need to realize some things....perhaps most especially about himself.
I was a big proponent of Herman, though it wasn't because he was a sure thing. That was never the argument. It's that he was the home run swing. The thing about swinging for the fences is that you're more likely to strike out. But I was all about the risk. Take the damn plunge. You're getting rid of a guy for a reason, don't play it safe. Step up to the bar and order a man's drink. And I'm not a huge fan of retreads that a lot of people consider "sure things." If he doesn't work out, he doesn't work out, but that's the risk you take when you choose to get on the carousel, and imo UT still demonstrated how to approach that situation regardless of the final result. I'd much rather gamble on an up-and-comer with some bullet points than the aforementioned retread.