After Les Miles was let go last week many thought the LSU football team would have problems getting motivated for the Missouri game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Orgeron had the team fired up and blew out Mizzou 42-7 at home. Without Leonard Fournette the LSU didn’t miss a beat putting up 634 total yards against a good Tiger’s defense that has been pretty tough all year. We all know Missouri is rebuilding and a win in Death Valley isn’t a lot ot brag about but it makes me wonder, how many games would Orgeron have to win to get the job next year?
Right now LSU is one of the most coveted jobs in the country. They are a perennial Top 25 team in a fertile recruiting ground where just about anyone could step in and have the Tigers in position to win a National Championship. Rumors have it that LSU is looking at some of the top coaches in the country for the vacancy like Tom Herman at Houston and Bobby Petrino at Louisville. But if Orgeron could continue to get things turned around would he even be considered by Joe Alleva, the LSU AD?
Orgeron is known as a brilliant recruiter and was instrumental in landing Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy at Miami and Michael Oher, Dexter McCluster and Mike Wallace at Ole Miss. He grew up in Louisiana and actually played at LSU as a freshman before transferring to Northwestern State. Coach O has recruited in the south and knows the ends and outs of the region from his time at Arkansas, Miami, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
I think there are a few ways that Orgeron gets the job next year. Right now LSU is 3-2 but only 2-1 in the SEC. The Tigers could still run the table in conference play and beat Alabama to win the SEC West and make the SEC Championship Game. LSU would have to beat Florida, Arkansas and Texas A&M on the road and take care of business against Alabama and Ole Miss at home. The Tigers could still lose a game in conference play as long as the beat Alabama and win the West as long as the Tide loses another game in SEC play like Texas A&M or Tennessee.
If LSU winds up winning out and makes the College Football Playoff as the SEC Champion I would think Orgeron would have to get the job.
Even if the Tigers lose to Bama but finish strong with some wins over Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss and another big opponent in a bowl game like Michigan State or Florida State Orgeron could get the job. The players are going to be pulling for him and you saw how LSU boosters and administration reacted to Miles when the players got behind him after the win against Texas A&M last year. The University could face a lot of pressure to keep him on.
Another scenario is that Tom Herman opts to stay at Houston and Petrino wants to coach Lamar Jackson at Louisville next year and LSU winds up with their third or fourth choice. Orgeron could then be the safe pick as long as he doesn’t lose more than one or two games this season.
At this point I would give Orgeron a 40% chance to keep the job. I don’t think he’s the favorite because the job will attract some big names but the season could play out favorably and other high profile jobs could come open attracting the top coaches.
Orgeron took over the interim head coach position for USC in 2013 and finished 6-2. Now he’s in the same scenario with 8 games left to play and he’s already 1-0. You have to think a 6-2 record competing in the insanely tough SEC West might be enough to get him the job.