Ed Orgeron met with LSU officials Friday, and the Tigers will hire Orgeron as their head coach if they can’t land Houston’s Tom Herman, according to reports.
Ed Orgeron isn’t LSU’s first choice, but at least he’s still in the running.
According to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, the Tigers’ “clear back-up plan” is to hire Orgeron as head coach if they can’t reach a deal with Houston’s Tom Herman. It’s been reported that LSU has been in negotiations with Herman, but Herman shot down those rumors prior to Houston’s 48-44 loss to Memphis on Friday.
It’s not secret that Herman is LSU’s top choice, but Orgeron reportedly met with athletic director Joe Alleva on Friday, with Orgeron emerging as the next-best option. Orgeron replaced Les Miles as interim head coach following LSU’s loss to Auburn on Sept. 24 and guided the Tigers to a 5-2 finish to the regular season. LSU players voiced their support for Orgeron after Thursday’s 54-39 win over Texas A&M, chanting “Keep Coach O” in the locker room.
Despite Orgeron’s success in his brief stint guiding the Tigers following Miles’ firing, LSU has searched outside the program for its next head coach. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher reportedly turned down an offer that would pay him $6.8 million annually prior to the Tigers’ pursuit of Herman, who is at the top of Texas’ wish list as well if it were to fire Charlie Strong.
Herman is 22-4 in two seasons at Houston, including a victory over Fisher’s Seminoles in last year’s Peach Bowl. The Cougars sport wins over Oklahoma and Louisville this season, but they’ve also lost to Navy, SMU and Memphis to take them out of the running for the American Athletic Conference championship and a Cotton Bowl bid.
Despite those defeats, Herman remains a hot commodity due to his innovative offensive mind, something Miles lacked and led to his demise at LSU.