(BATON ROUGE, La.) — On Sept. 24, Les Miles was fired from his head coaching position at LSU, leaving many pleased and some enraged. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was given the Interim Head Coach position for the rest of the 2016 season.
Almost everyone could tell that after Miles left, the Tigers appeared to be an overall better team under the direction of Orgeron. Most notably, new plays were implemented, keeping the Tigers from running the ball up the gut every single play. Orgeron has ended the regular season with a 5-2 record as the head coach of the Tigers. His two losses were to #1 ranked Alabama and a talented Florida squad.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva attempted to bring in a couple of big-name coaches during the end of the Tigers’ season. First, Aleva tried to snag Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. After Fisher supposedly demanded a contract of astronomical proportions, Alleva turned his attention to Houston head coach Tom Herman. Shortly after initial negotiations, however, LSU withdrew their offer, opting to go with their third option, the Cajun firecracker that goes by “Coach O.”
The primary reason why Alleva strived so hard to get a big-name head coach is the fact that LSU needs an offensively-minded man at the helm. Orgeron was pulled out of his defensive line coaching position to be the interim coach during the 2016 season. Defense was not a problem for the Tigers with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and Ed Orgeron in charge; it’s the offense that needs new and strong leadership.
Orgeron has the capability to lead the Tigers to an excellent 2017 season. RB Derrius Guice and QB Danny Etling will return to the Tigers’ offense, and OLB Arden Key will be returning to the defense, just to name a few. Orgeron will also have a very impressive 2017 recruiting class coming in next season.
So how can Orgeron harness the talent of the LSU offense to where everyone is happy? It’s simple. Orgeron needs a good offensive coordinator.
One of the positives to hiring Orgeron is that his contract will not cost nearly as much as a contract to Fisher or Herman. This means Alleva has a bigger ceiling to hire a high-priced offensive coordinator. Orgeron has been part of the college coaching scene for 32 years, including positions at LSU, USC, Tennessee, and Ole Miss, to name a few. Therefore, chances are Orgeron knows a ton of talented coaches fit for the offensive coordinator position.
Rumors say that one of the possibilities for offensive coordinator is Lane Kiffin, the current offensive coordinator at Alabama. Kiffin coached with Orgeron at both USC and Tennessee, and the coaches reportedly remain good friends.
“We’re going to look at recruiting the best offensive coordinator in football and bring him to LSU,” Orgeron told the Advocate. “I do believe that nowadays you have to run the spread offense. You have to have dual-threat quarterbacks that can run the ball and throw it. But you have to have somebody who knows how to run it.”
Beyond Kiffin, there really has not been any further speculation on who the next LSU offensive coordinator will be. LSU fans will just have to trust whomever Joe Alleva and Coach Orgeron pick to lead the Tigers’ offense in 2017.
Coach Orgeron’s character alone might have gotten him the job. He’s a homegrown Louisiana boy, and his accent proves it. So, can the man from Larose, La., lead the Tigers to the 2017 College Football Playoff? There’s no question that he has all of the resources and support to make it happen.