For the second time in as many years, LSU has lost its defensive coordinator to an SEC West rival. Last season, John Chavis left the Tigers to take the job at Texas A&M. Earlier this week, Auburn hired away Kevin Steele right after winning the Birmingham Bowl. Nola.com has compiled a list of candidates for the job that are reportedly on LSU's radar, and it features some fairly big name coaches, including former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and Clemson's Brent Venables.
Venables, Clemson's defensive coordinator, also was in the running to replace Chavis at LSU. He has a proven track record, but has been hard to move off of his perch at Clemson, where he has been for four seasons after being defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. Venables' limited ties to Les Miles' staff might work against him.
He has a history in Baton Rouge, serving as Les Miles' first defensive coordinator at LSU from 2005-07 before leaving to become Nebraska's head coach. There is some concern about Pelini's sometimes volatile personality and whether it would mesh with members of LSU's staff, but he has his share of supporters involved in the vetting process. He's currently head coach at Youngstown State after being fired by the Cornhuskers.
Venables has a very good thing going at Clemson, and Pelini may not want to leave his head coaching position at Youngstown State after just one season, but LSU fans should be happy with the level of coach the Tigers are reportedly pursuing.