Raise your hand if you think LSU will be the last big job to be filled. It is guaranteed now that USC was able to land Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma and Florida locked up Louisiana’s Billy Napier.
Whether it matters or not will depend on who LSU gets it from. Whether the Tigers are connected to the former Sooners coach – or how far the two sides have progressed in negotiations (if any) – may never be known. But there was a feeling that the show had to start over in some sense.
It’s been 43 days since Ed Orgeron was fired. There are 16 days left until the early signing phase begins. As such, it’s fair to assume sports director Scott Woodward is in some sort of scramble mode. Riley off the board. Yes By Cincinnati Luke Fickell or State of Iowa Matt Campbell ever interested?
The situation now shows that LSU is waiting for a coach in College football Playoff competition or potentially a word NFL. That means LSU will likely have to wait until January to make that kind of move. Will Notre Dame Cathedral Brian Kelly Considering Moving To The SEC? Can the hiring hold up until then? Is there any “whale” that satisfies Woodward’s intention to “go big”?
Take a look at our list of LSU 2.0 trainer candidates.
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Coach: There’s never a bad time to take advantage of a contract extension, employee pay raise, or facility upgrade. CBS Sports reported Monday that Kelly has been targeted by LSU. If the foregoing is Kelly’s driving force, good or bad for him. He is certainly underpaid (relatively) after being the most winning coach in Notre Dame history and once again being beaten by FIighting Ireland in the College Football Playoff chase. As long as Woodward if shooting for the moon, Kelly’s name must be here.
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M coach: Fisher remains to be considered until this search is concluded. He has explicitly stated twice that he will stay at Texas A&M, but it’s not over until it’s over. A pre-season contract extension with the Aggies is fully guaranteed at an average of $9.5 million, but Woodward is close to Fisher, who wouldn’t owe Texas A&M a dime if he went on his own. The Aggies won’t want to hear this, but LSU is a better job, and Fisher had a relationship there when he won the national championship under Nick Saban in 2003.
Bill O’Brien, Alabama attack coordinator: This job could fall into Obie’s hands. Successful University (Penn State) and the NFL coach (Houston Texans) raised his profile during the half season in Alabama. Midfielder Bryce Young will almost certainly go to New York for the Heisman Trophy. He’s 1st in SEC scoring (42.7 points per game) and touchdown (66). O’Brien is having a great comeback year after being fired by the Texans. If bigger college names come to mind, O’Brien would be a worthwhile employee.
Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach: Hey, he did it once; why not? It’s one thing, though, to leave Tennessee for USC. What about dropping one SEC West plan for another? Kiffin survived the trip back to Tennessee – barely – where he was one and finished. A move to LSU might be more outrageous considering it would be in the division. Here’s how the negotiations went quickly: Kiffin promises Spencer Rattler will arrive via the transfer portal. Things got a lot more complicated when Kiffin’s name emerged in Oklahoma.
Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars coach: Perhaps this does nothing more than elicit a disclaimer from Urb in his next press conference. And let’s not forget that sports director poll was conducted at the start of the season when almost 3/4 AD said they wouldn’t hire Meyer. “Not in a million years,” one mentioned the coach’s famous baggage. But the list of college coaches who have been successful in the NFL is short, and Jags is 2-9 in Meyer’s first season. The man who knows the SEC. Because of that, he knows LSU. He also has nearly his entire coaching staff from his two-time national championship in Florida either already recruited or available if he wants to get back into the college game. Meyer would qualify as that NFL “whale” hire.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State coach: Campbell was just evasive enough to suggest that he’s not fully committed to returning to Iowa State. He started referring to himself in the third person in an interview with Subscribe to Des Moines last weekend. “So far, Matt Campbell hasn’t spoken to anyone.” When asked what he said to the rookies, Campbell told Register, “It’s not even a remote chat [about leaving]. “After what we just witnessed with Riley, never say never.
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati Coach: If moving to Los Angeles for an Ohio native with six kids is a problem, think about Fickell going to LSU. If “it just makes more sense” in the SEC, it actually means more in LSU. Look, Fickell is a long-running name, but can a frustrated fan base even dream of that? You should believe the guy can coach. But Fickell’s future seems to come down to two scenarios: keep winning and build and wait for the Big 12 in Cincinnati or fill another unique hole. Any suitor may have to wait until the second week of January if Cincinnati joins the CFP.
Matt Rhule, coach of the Carolina Panthers: If Rhule (10-18 in the NFL) becomes disillusioned with the pro game less than two years later, LSU would be a logical landing spot. Remember, less than two years ago, Baylor was an overtime loss to Oklahoma to miss the College Rugby Round. Rhule is a master rebuilder. All sections have been located at LSU.
Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers strike coordinator: The risk is that Brady has never been a head coach. Not even close, really. During that magical 2019 season, Brady shared the call-to-play mission with Steve Ensminger. He got the job after two seasons as an attacking assistant for the New Orleans Saints, and now he’s in his second season with the Panthers. Is he too young at 32? It doesn’t matter if Brady gets traction among the Tiger Nation. Think David Lee Roth returning to Van Halen. Sammy Hagar didn’t finish it.
Dave Aranda, Baylor Coach: CBS Sports reported last week that LSU’s former defensive coordinator is expected to sign the extension as soon as next week. If not, at least Aranda must be present in the conversation. While quarterback Joe Burrow and crew are setting offensive records, Aranda coaches freshmen All-American fullback Derek Stingley Jr., American Safeguard Grant Delpit and defender Jacob Phillips (SEC leader in problem-solving). Aranda is one of the brightest defensive minds in the game, but is his personality right for the job?