Friend of the site Scott Roussel of FootballScoop.com posted a first take on some of the reported candidates for LSU’s coaching vacancy:
As we wrote, don’t assume Ed Orgeron won’t work his way into the job; but should that not happen, sources told FootballScoop at the time that LSU “during the initial, exploratory phase, through representatives, planned to gauge the interest of some of the top coaches in college football, including Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Bob Stoops, Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman.” Today, sources tell us those initial checks, through representatives, have already occurred (for at least four of the five).
Neither Saban (who publicly expressed his disappointment with how LSU’s administration handled this situation with Les) nor Meyer have any interest in leaving their current situations for LSU and their representatives have ensured that is known we are told.
Naturally, Roussel led off with the two names that most consider the consensus top choices, Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman. He doesn’t consider the outlook on either particularly rosy.
...sources told FootballScoop that Jimbo was awfully close to being ready to say yes had Alleva pulled the plug on Les in 2015. The feel we get from speaking with folks in the profession is that Jimbo might not feel the same way now...
Sources connected with the University of Houston tell FootballScoop the Fertitta family, along with other donors, have pledged to both the university and to Herman that they will step up to the plate as needed to keep him happy at Houston.
Roussel acknowledges that neither doors would be considered closed, but still a less than positive assessment.
He does, however, bring up two other candidates that I don’t believe any of the ATVS staff gave much thought to:
The feeling I get from speaking with those in the profession is that this is a long shot; but there aren’t many better than Bob Stoops. If I were an LSU fan, I’d be disappointed if our leadership didn’t at the very least inquire.
and Brian Kelly.
Although under contract, I wonder if Notre Dame’s administration would allow Kelly to speak with LSU…a potential win-win situation. LSU fans, donors and administration would love to beat their chest that they were able to hire away Notre Dame’s coach. Kelly’s offense puts up points. If LSU were to pair that with Dave Aranda’s defense, look out. For Kelly, it takes him off the brutal national recruiting footprint which wears on you, allowing him to focus more time on coaching and developing talent.
I have to admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of Kelly, between his sideline meltdowns and the way he handled the Declan Sullivan accident. That said, he’s been the most consistently successful coach at Notre Dame since Lou Holtz, and has definitely struck me as somebody that could do better outside of that job’s constraints. And if it is true that administration forced the firing of defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder last Sunday, then the clock is likely ticking for Kelly himself. Coaches known for having an attitude are markedly less popular when they’re 1-3.
There’s eight more weeks of this, and I would encourage everybody to steel themselves against overreaction to any report. That said, Roussel is as connected as any insider you’re going to hear from on this front. So reports like these are definite food for thought.