LSU FOOTBALL COACHING HOT BOARD
LEADING CANDIDATES: Orgeron | Fisher | Herman
Ed Orgeron | LSU Interim Coach | Record: 19-28 | Age: 55
Bio: Orgeron is a former head coach at Ole Miss and while the on-field success didn't come in Orgeron's first run, he's always been one helluva recruiter. Full of energy, Orgeron moved on to the New Orleans Saints then Tennessee before settling at USC for for three years. After Lane Kiffin was fired by USC, Orgeron went 6-2 as interim coach, but was passed over for the job and was hired by LSU for the 2015 season. Orgeron was serving as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator before he was named interim coach after Les Miles was fired on Sept. 25.
Why Orgeron is a Candidate
LSU named Orgeron interim coach of the team and for Orgeron, this is a dream job. If Orgeron can tick off a few wins in a row and especially beat Alabama, LSU might not have as much of a choice in the matter. The Louisiana native made a lot of changes to his philosophy as a head coach and is cutting practice time, bringing new energy to the team and trying to make things fun again. If you get Orgeron the right offensive coordinator, he could be a solid CEO of a program.
Sept. 29 Latest: The latest we know is Orgeron will have a chance to earn the job, but he's starting off behind a bit as LSU wants Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman at the top of the list. Coach O has a shot though and he'll do his best to earn it.
Oct. 14 Latest: Orgeron missed a major opportunity this past weekend to improve his resume as the game against Florida was rescheduled to Nov. 19. That gives LSU a brutal five-game stretch. Sources continue to say that if Orgeron can beat Alabama, they'll likely give him the job. LSU might have to wait to see how he fares through the tough stretch now though.
Nov. 10 Latest: LSU's interim coach was dealt a blow by losing to Alabama, but people understand what Orgeron is working with offensively, which is not his staff and he can only make so many changes in-season. The love for Orgeron as next head coach has certainly cooled following the loss, but his biggest test is taking his show on the road to Arkansas. A win over the Razorbacks would go a long way, but without one, his chances nearly go away entirely. Former players have loved the way Orgeron has changed the culture and welcomed him back. Orgeron still remains a favorite among the public, but is a loss to Alabama going to completely cripple his chances?
Jimbo Fisher | FSU Head Coach | Record: 74-17 | Age: 50
Bio: Since taking over for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, Fisher is 71-15. After a recent divorce from his wife, sources indicate that he may be open to leaving Tallahassee for a fresh start. Fisher won a national championship at FSU in 2013 and had the Seminoles back in the College Playoffs last year. Fisher, a quarterbacks coach by trade, is 4-1 as a head coach in bowl games. Fisher is very familiar with Baton Rouge having won a national championship in 2003.
Why Fisher is a Candidate
The biggest quarterback guru on the list has developed a few first round draft picks in JaMarcus Russell, EJ Manuel, Christian Ponder and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. His offense has always adapted through the years and if he had more support at Florida State, there's no telling what he could have already accomplished. With LSU's facilities, his understanding of the state and offensive mind, there's no telling what Fisher could do at LSU. While he hasn't beaten Nick Saban as a head coach, the former Saban pupil would be a good bet to do it.
Sept. 29 Latest: Fisher is at the top of the list and expect LSU to back a big truck of money up to Fisher's house and make him say no. It'll be quiet until later in the season. Fisher also dismissed talk about going to LSU by saying, "I'm not talking about LSU," rather than denying he'd take the job.
Nov. 10 Latest: This season hasn't been what FSU has wanted, but Fisher could still win 10 games this season. That'd be six 10-win seasons in seven seasons in Tallahassee for Fisher. It's no secret LSU courted Fisher hard last year and things fell apart once things went public. With how quiet Joe Alleva is keeping things, the goal must be to impress Fisher enough to bring him in. That'd be a homerun hire even if Orgeron does what he needs to do down the stretch to earn the job. Fisher has won a national championship and even Orgeron might not fault LSU for bringing in a national championship winning head coach. Fisher will get an offer from LSU, but when is the question and will he take it?
Tom Herman | Houston Head Coach | Record: 20-3 | Age: 41
Bio: Herman got his first break at Rice as an offensive coordinator. He would then coach at Iowa State in that same capacity until joining the Buckeyes as a quarterbacks coach and coordinator under Urban Meyer. After helping Ohio State to a national title, Herman was awarded the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. Herman headed to Houston where he is 17-1 and has developed Greg Ward into one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country.
Why Herman is a Candidate
Herman is one of the brightest offensive minds in the country as well. He's about as hot of a candidate as you can get right now too. The success he's had at Houston will have a lot of people calling for him from big-time programs. He took JT Barrett and made him a All-Big 12 caliber quarterback and when he went down, Cardale Jones stepped in to lead Ohio State to the national championship. LSU is looking for an explosive offense to come to town. Herman brings just that.
Sept. 29 Latest: Herman is right behind Fisher on the list and will also get a truck full of money to come to Baton Rouge. If Houston doesn't get in the Big 12, this will only fuel speculation that Herman will head to Baton Rouge. The Houston coach also denied this week that he or his agent has spoken with LSU. Sources did tell Tiger Blitz that LSU had reached out to his agent to gauge his interest.
Oct. 14 Latest: Big news out of Herman's camp. A source close to Herman told Tiger Blitz that all roads don't necessarily lead to Texas for Herman. The second-year coach for Houston has been watching the situation in Austin unfold closely and there's a couple things he doesn't like. Herman is a ball coach and while he would do some of the handshaking and events required of the Longhorns' coach, he's not keen on it. It takes away from recruiting and the team and that's certainly something that takes time at UT especially with the amount of big-money donors. The same can be said about the time commitment for the Longhorn Network. A second note is that Herman doesn't think Charlie Strong is getting a fair shake and when compared side-by-side to the situation at LSU, where Les Miles probably could have been let go three years ago (he thinks), the administration stuck by him until they possibly couldn't any longer. The source said, right now, if it was $6M from Texas a year and $6M from LSU a year, he's probably headed to Baton Rouge. Herman has a lot of respect for the leash that the LSU administration gave Miles and also wouldn't have to do the same amount of extra work on the non-football side of things at LSU.
Nov. 10 Latest: It's looking like Clay Helton and Charlie Strong might actually hold on at USC and Texas respectively. There's still a long way to go though on both jobs and rumors are Herman is sealed to Texas. That being said, with LSU losing to Alabama, Joe Alleva can now seriously take a look at Herman. Houston hasn't been the same team since dropping games to Navy and SMU, but Herman is still highly regarded throughout the industry. Like our last update said, Herman could pick LSU over Texas if the money was even. We'll see if that holds true if Herman gets an offer from LSU to come over. There's a good chance Herman still ends up at Texas after this year though.
Other Candidates for LSU:
Hugh Freeze | Ole Miss Head Coach | Record: 48-26 | Age: 47
Bio: Freeze was hired by Ole Miss after serving as Arkansas State's head coach for one year, where he took the Red Wolves to a 10-3 record. Since taking over Ole Miss, the Rebels have improved every year Freeze has been in Oxford. Last year, the Rebels beat Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl last year. Freeze took over a two-win team and has it rolling in Oxford.
Why Freeze is a Candidate
Freeze has been uber successful at Ole Miss is one of the few candidates to have beaten Nick Saban. That's gotta stand for something. Chad Kelly has become one of, if not the best quarterback in the SEC. Freeze's up-tempo attack would be a welcome sight in Baton Rouge. There's something about Ole Miss that will always keep it below the likes of LSU. If the money was right and with sanctions potentially looming, the time is now for Freeze to bolt.
Sept. 29 Latest: With the season in full tilt, this is a wait and see approach and Freeze would like any movement way under the radar. Freeze would be a quiet hire and be a star for the LSU fans. There's interest on LSU's side I'd imagine, but it'd be a silent moving deal.
Nov. 10 Latest: While Freeze has tried to get his name out there for the LSU job, with things trending the way they are in Oxford, it'd be hard for LSU to consider Freeze for the job.
Art Briles | Former Baylor Head Coach | Record: 99-65 | Age: 60
Bio: The Baylor head coach has had success just about everywhere he's been. At Houston, Briles had the Cougaras rolling and took over at Baylor and built the program from the ground up with Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. The Bears have always ranked at the top of the country in offense, regularly averaging over 550 yards and 45 points per game. If the Tigers want offense, the disgraced coach will bring it. That being said, Briles was removed as coach due to the school's mishandling of sexual assault cases involving football players.
Why Briles is a Candidate
It's pretty simple. Sources told Tiger Blitz that representatives for LSU have already reached out to Briles' agent, Jimmy Sexton, to gauge interest in the job. That doesn't mean it will happen, but he's the most available coach in the country since he's a "free agent." Briles comes with a ton of a baggage and a likely media firestorm, but he can coach some offensive football.
Sept. 29 Latest: Briles will coach next year somewhere. LSU will make its run at Fisher, Herman and others and then revisit Briles if Alleva strikes out on some candidates.
Nov. 10 Latest: With more and more coming out about Baylor during this season, Briles is hotter than ever for a college to touch. Maybe someone will take a chance as a coordinator, but it's tough to imagine any college bringing him in without a perfect situation and plenty of support staff to watch over him.
Bobby Petrino | Louisville Head Coach | Record: 108-40 | Age: 55
Bio: Petrino is at Louisville, where he's got a huge buyout and has the Cardinals up high in the polls with Heisman candidate Lamar Jackson running the show. The former Arkansas coach has a little bit of baggage, but that was a while ago and hasn't been brought up as of late.
Why Petrino is a Candidate
One source close to the search told Scout not to expect Petrino to get consideration. Many around the search don't like Petrino from previous discussions before the team hired Les Miles. He's an outside shot because he's a well-respected offensive mind and if the school has to work far down the list, there's a chance the school has to take a look at him.
Nov. 14 Latest: Sources continue to tell us that Petrino will not be considered for the job. Petrino did not impress last time around in interviews and LSU fans would not embrace him. It continues to be a no-way narrative that we hear regarding Petrino.
Lane Kiffin | Alabama Off. Coordinator | Record: 35-21 | Age: 41
Bio: Kiffin has had success everywhere as an offensive coordinator. He's been able to develop quarterbacks including being involved with Matt Leinart's run to the Heisman Trophy at USC, but struggled as a head coach at Tennessee, USC and for the Oakland Raiders. He was a bit of a journeyman for a while, but seems to have settled in well at Alabama, developing Jake Coker, Blake Sims and AJ McCarron at quarterback.
Why Kiffin is a Candidate
Why not hire Nick Saban's offensive coordinator to come beat him at his own game? Kiffin's contract is up and he'd work very well with Ed Orgeron and the rest of the defensive staff already in place. Sources have told Tiger Blitz that Kffiin won't be in the mix for the position though. If Orgeron got the job though, you can bet Kiffin will get a call from Coach O to become the offensive coordinator for the Tigers. What a storyline that'd be for the 2017 Bama-LSU matchup.
Nov. 14 Latest: One source told Tiger Blitz that Kiffin is the candidate LSU would bring in for Orgeron's offensive coordinator, if hired as full-time coach. Kiffin isn't an option for the head coaching job for LSU as the administration doesn't feel like he'd be accepted and his lack of success as a head coach is a major detractor. That being said, LSU would love him as offensive coordinator under Orgeron, even if it took a minute to accept him into the Tiger family.
Nick Saban: Saban is 64 and you can't imagine he'll be coaching until he's even 70. Not because he won't last, but that he'll eventually be satisfied with heading to the lake.
Urban Meyer: Meyer left the pressure cooker of the SEC to head to Ohio State where he's had plenty of success including a national championship. He's proven he can win at Ohio State and in the BIG. Why would he leave that?
Greg Schiano: Short answer. Schiano is not a candidate. He's interested though. That's why he's listed.
David Shaw: Stanford has been really bad this season. Before the season, maybe LSU would have taken a look, but now, it's tough to imagine Shaw even getting a look.