The world of college football, especially for ambitious programs like LSU, works fast. Les Miles was fired? Well, on to the next one who can hopefully bring back to national power level as quickly as possible. The first two names on the list are Tom Herman of Houston and Art Briles of unemployed U, but that’s more speculation than anything. For now, Ed Orgeron is the interim head coach.
But what about a long term solution? Orgeron was the defensive line coach who got promoted, who has coached at USC rather well when stepping up for the same reason instead of Lane Kiffin, and failed miserably when he had three years at Ole Miss. Orgeron knows he’s not getting picked up beyond this season, but it’s his way of putting his name and face out there, hoping that once this season is over he’ll get a shot at head coaching some team, somewhere.
Herman, who is 17-1 as a head coach since taking over Houston in 2015, seems to be the hottest name for everyone. He did extremely well from 2012 to 2014 under Urban Meyer at Ohio State, and the Cougars have been terrific with him at the helm, finishing ranked #8 last season after winning the American conference and beating Florida State in the Peach Bowl. As far as connections go, Herman was born in Cincinnati, but played his college football (wide receiver) at Cal Lutheran.
Right now, it’s hard to see Herman leaving Houston, a program with incredible potential, and investing A LOT of money into its athletics department, hoping to become a Power 5 school (joining the Big 12, hoping to at least) as soon as possible. Even an undefeated Houston team will find it difficult to make the college football playoff, so becoming a P5 team is vital for the school’s success, and in order to keep Herman, who has the big boys calling him. It’s worth mentioning that Herman has said he hasn’t been contacted by LSU.
The second major name on the list is Briles, but that should come with an asterisk. Briles feels HE was wronged somehow after the whole Baylor sexual assault scandal and after staying quiet for a short while, is trying to legitimize his way into college football once again. Without anything substantial against him, it’s hard to see him staying out of head coaching for long, especially considering how successful he’s been in his last five seasons with the Bears: Four 10 wins or more seasons, winning the Big 12 twice, although losing in both major bowl games he coached them in.
Other names that might come up? Jimbo Fisher for some reason keeps being mentioned in connection with LSU and USC every once in a while. He did coach at LSU from 2000 to 2006 as a quarterbacks coach, but considering how successful the Seminoles have been since he took the job, including winning the ACC three times and the national championship once, not to mention it’s easier in ACC than in the division Alabama are, he doesn’t seem like a likely candidate right now.
LSU want championship again, like they had in 2003 and 2007 with Saban & Miles. However, competing with the Crimson Tide and others has been difficult in recent years, maybe for the sole reason of failing to nail the quarterback position the right way. LSU haven’t won the conference since 2011, and that’s the expectation in Baton Rouge. As this season develops and other coaches become less happy with their position, we might know more about who’ll become LSU’s next head coach.