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5 Potential Head Coach Candidates for the LSU Tigers

Potential Head Coach Candidates for the LSU Tigers

The LSU Tigers and Ed Orgeron have agreed to part ways following the 2021 season. They will now have a great job open for next season. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the LSU Tigers.

1. Jimbo Fisher

Jimbo is atop this list for quite a few reasons. He coached at LSU under Nick Saban and Les Miles. The athletic director who hired him at Texas A&M, Scott Woodward, is now employed at LSU. LSU isn’t afraid of opening the checkbook for a coach and on top of that, there is no buyout currently on his contract if he wishes to leave for another school. If Fisher wants to take the job, it is likely his.

Publicly, Fisher has already said he plans to coach for the rest of his contract at Texas A&M. What coaches say shouldn’t influence anyone at this point, especially because Fisher said the same thing when he left Florida State for Texas A&M. Fisher can recruit the south, has experience at LSU and a relationship with the AD. On the other hand, he is paid well at Texas A&M and has started to build that program up. He may have a tough decision to make.

2. James Franklin

The odds-on favorite to get the job is James Franklin right now. Franklin has had good success at Penn State and also has experience at Vanderbilt, where he made three bowl games in three seasons. His time at Vanderbilt included two nine-win seasons, which is something the team has not been able to do since. Franklin recruits well and could do very well at LSU given their great facilities.

The question for Franklin is whether he’d leave Penn State, where he already recruits well and has solid facilities, to go to LSU. The grass isn’t always greener. He’d have to go from a division in the Big Ten East where Ohio State is the top dog to the SEC West where Alabama and several other foes could give him problems.

3. Dave Aranda

Dave Aranda was a defensive coordinator for LSU who helped them win the National Championship in 2019. He has since moved on to become the coach of Baylor. In 2020 he won just two out of nine games. He already has turned things around this season by improving the Bears to a 6-1 record.

His time at LSU helps, but so too does his ability to be solid head coach. Aranda has familiarity recruiting at LSU and if he can be successful at Baylor, he should be able to be moderately successful at LSU. Whether the Tigers want to go with a defensive coach is up for question, but if they hire a solid offensive coordinator, the hire becomes a little easier.

4. Billy Napier

What Billy Napier has done at Louisiana is incredible. He has a record of 33-12 in three and a half seasons at the school. That includes two double-digit win seasons in the last two years. They are well on their way to another great season at 5-1. His sustained success should make him a candidate for several jobs this offseason.

Napier has been successful in the state of Louisiana already, which makes him appealing for the job. With so many more resources at his disposal at LSU, Napier could carry on that success. While he may not be the first choice for LSU, he certainly wouldn’t be a bad hire for the school given his track record.

5. Luke Fickell

The name that will be up for every job is Luke Fickell. He has completely turned around the program at Cincinnati and now has them in the hunt for a College Football Playoff hunt. The Bearcats won four games in his first year before he rattled off two straight double-digit win seasons. In 2020, Cincinnati likely would’ve reached the double-digit win mark, but played fewer games due to COVID.

With Fickell’s ability to build the program up quickly and then consistently produce results, he would be a good fit for LSU. He also recruits fairly well for Cincinnati. Fickell has turned down jobs before and has Ohio roots, but LSU may be too much to pass up for him. With Cincinnati moving to the Big 12 and his family being from Ohio, it may take more than expected to get him to come to the SEC.

 

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