Wow, a pic of Coach O smiling!
Ever since Les Miles was fired from LSU after starting his 2016 season 2-2 with losses to Wisconsin and Auburn, Ed Orgeron has been the ring leader in Louisiana. When LSU announced that Ed Orgeron was stepping in as the interim head coach, I thought to myself that it would strictly be a temporary job for him through the rest of the season. Coach O’s record from when he was the Head Coach at Ole Miss was less than pleasing. During his 2005-07 seasons he only found 2 wins against above 500 teams and ended with a record of 10-25. He was let go in 2007. He seemed to be a big fan of Lane Kiffin. After just one season with the Saints as their Defensive Line coach, Orgeron followed Kiffin to Tennessee to do basically the same job that he was doing in the NFL. When Kiffin left to go back to USC in 2009 to be their head coach (after Pete Carroll left in tto become the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks), Orgeron followed him there as well. In 2013, Lane Kiffin was released by USC and Clay Helton stepped in as interim head coach. After this announcement, due to his expectation that USC would make him the interim head coach and then was overlooked, left USC. In 2015, Les Miles added Coach O to his coaching staff at LSU, making him his defensive line coach. This landed him the interim job when Coach Miles was let go in 2016. After this decision by LSU’s athletic department, Coach O lead this team to finish the last 8 games of the season at 6-2; along with a bowl win against #15 Louisville in the Citrus Bowl. Things were going unexpectedly well. At the end of the season, Ed Orgeron had proved to Joe Avella,LSU’s athletic director, that he deserved a shot at the head coaching position. The fan base was more than excited to have Coach O calling the shots down in Death Valley. Ever since he took the spot light at LSU, people all around the country have fallen in love with his hilarious rajun cajun personality, his coaching philosophy, and his ability to win big games. With all the excitement around Louisiana after the hiring of Coach O, there was also a lot of high expectations hanging over his head.
I tend to forget the history of good coaches that have been at LSU before Les Miles. I forget that Nick Saban won a national championship at LSU. I mean, heck, I even forgot that Nick Saban coached there before going to Miami to coach the Dolphins. Not to exclude Pat Dietzel, who made the program one of the best in history until Saban arrived on campus. Some people say he’s the Nick Saban of the 1960’s but I don’t know if I would go that far. He did win a national title and two SEC titles as well as posting the only perfect season in LSU history. Cool stats. Also, Charles McClendon was at LSU for 18 seasons and consistently produced solid teams but they never achieved what was expected. When Nick Saban took over the program in November of 1999, he had some cleaning up to do. In just his 4th season with LSU, he won a National Championship.
All that to say, Ed Orgeron has a lot to live up for this football program and so far he’s doing heck of a job. In his first season as head coach in 2017 , he found 9 wins. His key wins that season included #21 Florida and #10 Auburn. He had a few bad loses that include a 21-24 loss to Troy which knocked them out of the AP Top 25 until they beat Auburn later on in the season. They finished that season at 9-4 and as the #18 team in the country. This season, The Tigers are 6-1 and will be welcoming #1 Alabama after their bye week on November 3rd. LSU is known for being hard to beat in night games inside Death Valley. Alabama leads this rivalry 52–25–5. This will perhaps be Coach O’s biggest test. I am a firm believer that anyone who can recruit Dwayne The Rock Johnson to play for them can do anything, including beat Tua and The Tide on November 3rd in Death Valley. Let’s hope that next Saturday is a “great day in Tiger football, and a great day in Coach O’s life.”