The further removed we get from the 2019 college football season the more it appears that Ed Orgeron was at the right place at the right time rather than being some kind of remarkable head coach.
It’s been close to two years since Orgeron held up the national championship trophy inside the Superdome and since then his program has gone 5-6 with one embarrassment after another. The problem is, the embarrassments aren’t limited to only the football field—though there are plenty of those—but they’re occurring off the field and it’s getting to a point where the LSU administration won’t tolerate them much longer.
The latest gaffe came as Orgeron was walking into the Rose Bowl where he basically challenged a UCLA fan in his “sissy blue shirt” to a fight. That comment of course went viral and now UCLA is using his words to dunk on Orgeron and the LSU football program.
The sissy blue shirt comment came a day after Orgeron was photographed strolling Los Angeles with a woman. Now look I don’t care what Orgeron does with his personal life and nor should anybody. But when he’s had photos of himself in bed with a younger woman leak out, and photos of him poolside with a woman leak out, and another photo of him walking the streets of LA the day before a game leak out don’t you have to wonder does he not get how bad this looks or does he not care?
There’s plenty of off the field reasons for LSU to move on from Orgeron sooner than later but the on the field reasons are numerous too. How about the fact that the problems that killed LSU last season—bad offensive line play and poor defense chief among them—showed up again Saturday against UCLA? Or the fact that Orgeron, who was described as being the CEO of the football program and would hire only the finest of coordinators, has only gotten one hire right?
Orgeron hired Matt Canada heading into the 2017 season and fired him at season’s end. He whiffed on James Cregg as offensive line coach. He hired 70-year-old Jerry Sullivan to be his passing game coordinator and 80-year-old Pete Jenkins to be his defensive line coach. He hired Bo Pelini and admitted after the fact he didn’t interview him. And this year with his future as the LSU football coach riding on the hire, he picked Jake Peetz who has never called plays before—but at least he knows Joe Brady!— to be his offensive coordinator and Daronte Jones who hadn’t called defenses since 2008 and that was at the Division II level. Of course he wouldn’t have had to settle on Jones if he hadn’t embarrassed the program in December by going on radio and saying in not so subtle terms Marcus Freeman’s his top choice; and then when that blew up wasn’t aware of a clause in Ryan Nielsen’s contract that kept Nielsen from coming to LSU. And in fairness to Jones and Peetz it’s only been one game for both of them, but I’m sorry calling plays shouldn’t be a learn on the fly type of job, not for a program of LSU’s stature at least.
This would all be one thing if he were winning games. But he’s not, he’s losing far more than winning and each loss only embarrasses the program more. If Ed Orgeron is indeed the CEO of LSU football, then the company is losing value at an alarming rate and someone needs to step in before he bankrupts it.