1. In your piece on where LSU moves forward from here, you didn't seem terribly confident in LSU's leadership. What, specifically, should worry LSU fans regarding this hiring process?
Coaches from across the country saw the failed attempt at a coup last year and it left a very bad taste in most people’s mouths. Coaches understand that coaches get fired. They don’t understand doing a great leader the way LSU did (or attempted to; and then did). Fire him if you want; but don’t leak it and then not get the support and then leave him hanging in the wind while you sit back in the dark and hope and pray you can get it done…and then fail. Every single thing about it made LSU’s administration appear weak & ineffective. Over the past year I’ve spoken with many, if not most, of the likely candidates for the job. Each knows I live in Baton Rouge. Each has made some sort of reference to LSU’s administration being less than great.
2. You mentioned a number of big names that you believe LSU will pursue, or at least inquire about. Do you think that's a smart play?
The information I relayed in that piece is what those who have spoken with Alleva and his committee, or as he calls them, his “advisors” told me LSU intends to do. I have no issue with them seeking out the best, at the very least to get their input into the process. I, personally, would have done that over the off-season so I would be more prepared to make the hire; but this is where they are. When I asked an insider if they already feel they have their man, his response was, “Oh, they are very confident that Jimbo will come if offered; but I’m not so sure that is the case.”
3. Do you believe that Ed Orgeron will be given serious consideration for the job?
I 100-percent believe that Ed is in a position to earn the job. I, based on my conversations with those who have spoken with Joe and his advisors, don’t believe LSU wants that to happen; but I do firmly believe that if Ed can make a very strong run, which would include beating at least 4 of 5 remaining ranked SEC opponents, that Ed would be given very serious consideration for the job. I’d love to see that happen. It’s make me happy to see good people succeed.
4. You also mentioned Jimmy Sexton's influence on this process. Could you expound on that a little more for people who don't quite understand?
Jimmy’s influence on the coaching landscape is impossible to deny. He has a special ability to get into the ears and minds of decision makers and steer them towards what he believes will be most beneficial to their program; and not surprisingly that often includes hiring some of his clients. Jedi. Master.
5. If you were an LSU fan monitoring this process, what news and rumors would you look for as good or bad signs?
Consistent leaks would be a very bad sign. Too many people involved in the process would be a very bad sign (also leads to the leaks). Having the uncertainty of future coaching staff linger would be a bad thing (specifically as it relates to recruits).
6. Care to venture a guess as to how this search might play out?
Too early to tell. Hopefully Ed can guide the Tigers to a perfect finish and we don’t have to have this conversation again.