I hated covering recruiting for a number of reasons, but a big reason is that it’s a lot like a coaching search: there are constantly evolving developments.
The loss opens the door to a pool of candidates – led by Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher – and ends a potential plan to quickly name Orgeron the school’s new leader, the source confirmed. Orgeron, a 55-year-old who’s now 10-4 in interim roles at Southern Cal and LSU, remains a viable candidate for the full-time position, the source confirmed.
He’s expected to meet with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on Friday following the Tigers’ regular season finale on Thanksgiving night at Texas A&M, where he’ll lay out a long-term plan that likely includes hiring a proven guru as offensive coordinator. Orgeron and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin remain close friends.
Ross Dellenger’s source wasn’t quite as strident on Orgeron as mine was, which, maybe that’s with some more distance from the loss on Saturday. But that’s not a complete surprise.
As for that last part, I’d heard a few times that Kiffin was on Orgeron’s list of possible OC candidates, but it seemed unlikely to me, given that Nick Saban’s never been in the habit of letting valuable assistants leave for lateral moves. But then, I was told this week that Kiffin’s contract will be up in December, and there is some interest there, should Orgeron get the job.
Leaders don’t expect this to be an extended process, as the university makes an aggressive run, starting Saturday night, at who’s considered the leader, Fisher. Florida State hosts Florida in a game that kicks off at 7 p.m. CT.
Money is not expected to be a significant issue for LSU. The school is paying Miles $9.6 million over the next six years. Fisher is set to make $5.1 million this year and has a buyout of $5 million. His contract, signed in January 2015, runs through the 2022 season.
LSU has competition on the coaching search trail. Texas decided Sunday to fire coach Charlie Strong, The Austin American-Statesman reported. Jobs at Notre Dame and Orgeron could also come open.
Speaking of Notre Dame, our friend Scott Roussel at Football Scoop added this tidbit regarding Notre Dame:
At FootballScoop we hear that Jimbo is the target; but thereafter we hear Tom Herman is not pushing for this one; but hear Brian Kelly would entertain the phone call and could ultimately wind up being the choice. Sources tell FootballScoop LSU officials are telling representatives of coaches that they want this search done within days of LSU’s final game. We’ll keep you posted.
The timeline gives Orgeron an advantage, especially if Texas or Oregon show interest in Fisher. I’m told that Alleva thinks enough of Orgeron to still consider him a fallback option, although that will be a lot easier to sell to other powerbrokers if the Tigers can take care of business versus Texas A&M on Thursday.
In closing, let me add something Scott told me last year regarding the Fisher rumor: until ink is on paper there is absolutely no such thing as a done deal. No matter what anybody says.