Don’t count out Coach O just yet

Champions again! Tarpons, Lady Tarpons, win district titles
November 8, 2016
Blanchard making progress after fall
November 8, 2016
Champions again! Tarpons, Lady Tarpons, win district titles
November 8, 2016
Blanchard making progress after fall
November 8, 2016

Let me start out this column by stating something that may ruffle some feathers, but which is actually a very popular opinion among folks who closely follow LSU athletics.

I have absolutely no faith in Tigers Athletic Director Joe Alleva.

I don’t trust the guy’s judgment. If asking me to make a list, I’d rank him among the worst athletic directors in the SEC – if not in the entire country.

The dude is terrible. Just about all of his coaching hires have been questionable, and that’s not even mentioning that time he hired a softball coach from Alabama, announced him to the media, then lost him back to the Crimson Tide the very next day.

I don’t trust him to hire my alma mater’s new head football coach. I don’t trust him to come up with a plan to make the LSU football team successful for the next decade.

Honestly, after seeing how poorly he handled the Les Miles situation last fall, I’m not even sure that I would trust him to babysit my dog.

So with that said, I am very nervous about the upcoming weeks as the Tigers approach the end of the 2016 season and begin to rev up their search for a full-time replacement for Les Miles.

There are some pretty big fish in the tank, yes.

But I don’t trust Alleva to snag them.

Because of that, I say the Tigers future plans ought to be to fry the fish that’s already in the boat. Keep Ed Orgeron and give him a chance to thrive in a position he’s wanted his whole life.

I like Coach O.

I’m biased, of course, because he’s a native of Larose and is a graduate of South Lafourche, just like I am.

But I think if one looks at the entire scenario objectively and with an open mind, it’s not unreasonable to see a world where he can have some pretty big success if given the chance to coach the purple and gold.

For starters, Orgeron is an outstanding recruiter.

That’s not debatable.

If Coach O is the full-time LSU head coach, the Tigers will always get the best players in Louisiana, and they’ll even poach a handful of other top guys from around the country.

With those players, the Tigers will be in a position to be dominant – like they were in the first three games of Coach O’s tenure.

But I also like Orgeron because he’s cheap.

He’s not a championship-winning coach … at least not yet.

LSU will be able to hire him at a price far cheaper than it was paying for Les Miles, which is a plus because the school would be able to use all of the excess money to field an all-star offensive coaching staff that would be able to give the fans the wide-open, spread-out attack they have been craving for years.

Heck, offer Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin a salary he can’t refuse and dare him to say no. He already has a strong friendship with Orgeron, which is a plus. And surely, he doesn’t like being treated like dirt by Nick Saban all season, right?

If Kiffin says no, find someone else. There will be any number of young, aggressive offensive minds willing to come be to the LSU offense what Kiffin has been to Alabama.

Oh yeah, and Coach O would keep defensive coordinator Dave Aranda around, too, which is a huge coup in and of itself.

The LSU defense has been in beast mode all season – a unit that is absolutely dominant at every position.

Aranda has a lot to do with that. The Tigers are rarely out of position, and they seem to have a spot-on game plan for every, single opponent.

Just ask Alabama.

They score 40-50 points on everyone. But against LSU, they got 10 points, and only because the Tigers defense wore down due to the team’s lack of offense.

So, with all of that having been said, I am very comfortable with Orgeron as the man who leads LSU into the future.

Sure, there are other options, and sure, there are people who can come into Baton Rouge and have success.

But do we really trust Alleva to get them and give them the resources they need to be successful?

Maybe, maybe not.

And even once they get here, would they be guaranteed to beat Alabama, which is reportedly what administration wants?

Yeah, good luck with that.

Losing to Alabama isn’t an LSU problem. It’s a problem for everyone in the country.

That’s not Coach O’s fault. Give him a shot.

Let him fulfill his dream job and lead the Tigers.

One team. One heartbeat.


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