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LSU DC Dave Aranda Reportedly 'Leading Candidate' For Big 12 Job

LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda during a game.

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 16: Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda of the LSU Tigers reacts during a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady is off to the Carolina Panthers, and the team lost a valuable graduate assistant to Old Dominion today. Now, the team is at risk of losing Dave Aranda, one of the country's top defensive coordinators.

Aranda is clearly interested in becoming a head coach. He was up for the Utah State job before it went to retread Gary Andersen, and was involved in the UNLV search this year.

New Panthers head coach Matt Rhule may now be indirectly responsible for LSU losing another major assistant. With Rhule gone, Aranda has reportedly emerged as the "leading candidate" for the job at Baylor.

Aranda has fielded one of the best defenses in college football, dating back to his tenure at Wisconsin. This year's defense dealt with injuries throughout the year, and gave up more points than your typical Aranda unit (though many came in garbage time). It more than proved itself on Monday, giving Clemson star Trevor Lawrence fits. Per the S&P+ metric, Aranda's LSU defenses from 2016-to-2018 ranked second, eighth, and fifth in the country. Wisconsin was 11th, 15th, and fourth in 2013-15 under Aranda. Baylor's breakout 2019 season under Rhule was led by its defense. That same unit has to replace nine starters from last year. Bringing in a coaching talent like Aranda could keep that identity moving forward, and Baylor has shown that it is willing to invest in its program. That could be key to landing one of the highest paid coordinators in the country. [

ESPN Sources: #LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is the leading candidate to become #Baylor’s next head coach. Deal could be done soon.

— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 16, 2020

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