Terrill Weil

Fallout from LSU's loss to Florida impacts coaching search and eventually, recruiting class

There was a lot to digest following LSU's near comeback win over Florida. The Tigers now fall to 6-4 on the year with little to play for in College Station on Thanksgiving, but how did the loss to the Gators impact the coaching search and recruiting? Tiger Blitz has a premium take on where things stand.

The loss to Florida played out how it played out on the field with costly turnovers, miscues and a final play ran the wrong way that cost the Tigers their shot at the Sugar Bowl and likely, Ed Orgeron the full-time job as head coach. Tiger Blitz dives into what the loss could mean in terms of the coaching search and the ripple effect it could have on recruiting.

1. Uncertainty now clouds coaching search.

Arguably the worst part of this loss for LSU is the uncertainty that now clouds LSU's coaching search. Going into the game, Orgeron was the favorite to win the job if the Tigers won out or even lost to Texas A&M on Thanksgiving. Now, with a loss to Florida at home and in the fashion LSU did it, that's all changed. While a win (would likely need to be a blowout) at Texas A&M could give Orgeron enough to get the job with a great interview and if he has coaches in place that impresses LSU decision makers, that's unlikely. That uncertainty will have recruits setting up visits more than ever. LSU has to move quickly on a hire though. It's time for Joe Alleva to step up and make a big hire, something that he might not have had to if Orgeron would have won out.

2. Who does LSU go and get as head coach?

If it's not Orgeron, which is very unlikely now, the No. 1 candidate has to be Jimbo Fisher. LSU can pay assistants like FSU cannot, has facilities in place, which FSU does not, but will it be enough? You know LSU can back the truck up for him, but with his family situation in flux and his special needs child in a good situation in Tallahassee, that's something he'll have to weigh against a job that will allow him to pursue national championships every year. After Fisher, LSU should target Tom Herman. Even though Texas (and potentially Texas A&M) figure to be players, can LSU put together a package that impresses him enough to take the job?

Others to watch would be Mike Macintyre at Colorado, who has Colorado on the verge of a Rose Bowl appearance, has turned around two programs in San Jose State and Colorado. He's proven he can lead a Power Five program to success. Utah's Kyle Whittingham could garner some interest as Utah has done very well under him and in a tough place to have success. Another coach that has had success in the SEC is James Franklin. While he is a Pennsylvania guy, could the lure of getting back to the SEC be enough? All of these options haven't been linked to LSU officially, but with great assistants, they could build off their success elsewhere and take LSU to the next level. Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State is another I'd take a look at as it's been rumored the past couple seasons that Gundy has been trying to get out of his alma mater. Lots of questions here, but this will be a national search and there are plenty that would be great fits at LSU.

3. You've got to forget about recruiting when making this hire.

What? That's right. When you make a hire like this for a top five job, you've got to accept that the current recruiting class might get neglected in making it. If this takes longer than you'd like and goes into the first week of December, you might see some commits go elsewhere especially if they're early enrollees. This hire is much more important than the 2017 recruiting class for the Tigers. If you make the wrong hire or make one too quickly just to make it, what good does that do? Take a deep breath. Recruiting will be just fine for LSU for the most part. It's still a top five job and a top five recruiting destination. 

4. What recruits are we most worried about?

No. 1 is Austin Deculus. If you're Deculus, you're now looking at the entire offensive staff potentially being replaced if Ed Orgeron isn't the head coach including offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, who Deculus said is a key to his recruitment. Now, a new staff on offense, especially Jimbo Fisher would keep Dameyune Craig I'd imagine. That would help keep the defensive line commits from Mobile, Ala. like Justin Thomas and Neil Farrell in place potentially. Deculus could be a big loss for LSU though if a new staff doesn't include Grimes. After that, it all depends on what the new staff does with the defensive staff. Dave Aranda and Corey Raymond figure to stay in place, but after that, it's a mystery. If Raymond stays, LSU defensive back commits figure to stay in place. After that, Lowell Narcisse is one to watch as he took an official visit to Memphis and hiring a coach like Jimbo Fisher would be big for him in terms of development, but would Fisher see him as a piece to his offense? That's the question.


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