LSU FOOTBALL COACHING HOT BOARD
LEADING CANDIDATES: Orgeron | Fisher | Herman | Shaw | Freeze
Ed Orgeron | LSU Interim Coach | Record: 17-27 | 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.
Jimbo Fisher | FSU Head Coach | Record: 71-15 | 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.
Tom Herman | Houston Head Coach | Record: 17-1 | 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.
David Shaw | Stanford Head Coach | Record: 57-14 | Age: 44
Bio: Shaw has two Rose Bowl wins in three appearances and a Fiesta Bowl win to tout on his resume. Shaw has two 12-win seasons as well. From 2007-2010, Shaw was Stanford's offensive coordinator when Andrew Luck was in school.
Why Shaw is a Candidate
Stanford wins the way LSU should be winning — with a great running back and solid defense. Stanford uses its personnel better than just about anyone in the country. LSU fans looking for a coach to come in and toss it around the yard will not find that from Shaw, but Stanford's offense is multiple and does a good job getting the right matchups. With LSU's recruiting base and keeping the defensive staff in place, Shaw could really blossom in Baton Rouge.
Sept. 29 Latest: Not much on Shaw outside of one source saying Shaw would be on the list of coaches considered. Whether there's interest from Shaw's end in the SEC pressure cooker, is another thing.
Oct. 14 Latest: Stanford got blown out by Washington State. That's really all you need to know. Stanford's offense has looked terribly lately too. That's something you can't sell to LSU folks. He's on the cusp of completely falling off the list.
Hugh Freeze | Ole Miss Head Coach | Record: 46-23 | 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.
Other Candidates for LSU:
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.
Bobby Petrino | Louisville Head Coach | Record: 104-39 | 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.
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.
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.