Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron have emerged as strong candidates in the school's search to replace Les Miles as head football coach, sources with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday...
Other names being considered by LSU are North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Houston coach Tom Herman. Fedora's reps have been contacted by LSU, according to sources.
Naturally, this report set off a wave of speculation in the LSU and Florida State fan bases, and led to Fisher issuing the following statement:
I did [see the report] when I walked out of a meeting, had no idea. But here’s the thing: I’m not going to talk about any jobs. I love being at Florida State. I plan on being here and I’m just getting ready for Syracuse. That’s the last thing I’m going to say on that. No offense to anybody or anything else, that’s just what I’m going to do. I love being here.
Pretty standard for a coach in his position, and certainly nothing Earth-shattering. It did, however, lead to a few sources to reach out to yours truly regarding a few things that I thought I would share:
- Yes, LSU, through intermediaries, has reached out to Fisher and Herman about this job — that should be of no surprise, as they are among the most obvious of candidates. Other coaches have also reached out to LSU as well.
- There is no offer in place to anybody. None. Nothing in principle, nothing verbal, nothing with a hand-shake, nada. And anybody that is saying otherwise is being fed a load of bullshit. Talking to agents — or even just friends of agents — means a very, very wide variety of things.
- Joe Alleva is keeping a very, very small council on this situation. Members of the LSU Board of Supervisors, like Scott Ballard and Blake Chatelain and a couple of other advisors. They are, however, just that. This will be Alleva’s call, because again, it’s his butt on the line if the hire doesn’t work out.
- A number of boosters, former players and other stake-holders are very enamored with Fisher and bringing him in, and they are talking. A lot. In my opinion, that is in hopes of creating pressure on Alleva, much as some of last year’s leaks were regarding Les Miles.
- However, if, at the moment, LSU has a coach — Ed Orgeron. And I feel comfortable in calling him the favorite to get this job. If LSU wins these next two games, and especially if that helps them clinch a spot in the Sugar Bowl, Orgeron will be LSU’s next head coach.
- As of today (and again, this hire isn’t being made today), Orgeron would be considered something of a fall-back option if Fisher decides to stay at Florida State (a possibility) or Herman believes he can get the Texas job (an even bigger possibility). LSU will not hire Larry Fedora or Mike Gundy — Orgeron would certainly get the job before either name, or any other candidate. But two more wins, and a plan to hire a successful offensive coordinator will likely land him the job. And Orgeron has received calls from several strong coaches, and given Alleva a list of names he’d consider. I’ll put together a list of those names when the time is right.
- That does mean a likely demotion for Steve Ensminger after a bowl game — he would be fine with that, as working at LSU, in Baton Rouge, where he is from, is more important. He’s also near retirement age.
Much like recruiting, things can and will change quickly in any sort of coaching search. But as of now, I feel confident in how things stand.
We’ll do our best to stay on top of what happens.