Two years after coaching LSU to the greatest season in college football history, Ed Orgeron is set to leave the Tigers at the end of this season. But Paul Finebaum knows that there's more to the story. Much more.
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">McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning today, Finebaum credited Coach O with handling the situation well. But he believes that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward arranged things this way make what would otherwise have been a contentious firing "a palatable way for him to exit."
Finebaum pointed out that despite the team's current struggles, Orgeron is still very popular in Louisiana. He feels that letting him go this way takes some of the heat off Woodward.
“I think Coach O handled it well... but if you fire me today and give me $17 million, I’ll come over and cut your grass. I don’t care,” Finebaum said. “It’s a show, that’s all it is, and it’s a show because Scott Woodward to get rid of Coach had to find a palatable way for him to exit. Knowing that he is very popular. Knowing that people in that state don’t care about all the reasons he was pushed out. They just care that he’s a product of south Louisiana. He talks the language, he won a national championship and he’s the LSU coach.
"And for that I give Woodward credit, it’s not easy to pull these types of things off. They did, it doesn’t mean anything. We know a lot of the truth now in reports, but fans don’t care about that, they only care, Cole and Greg, as you guys know, about what’s on the scoreboard, and Ed O won the last game that they saw him coach.”
Ed Orgeron is a Louisiana native and an LSU alum who served as the team's defensive line coach from 2015 to 2016 after decades of coaching experience across the country. He took over in 2016 after Les Miles was fired.
He went 25-9 with two bowl wins and three top 20 finishes in his first three seasons. Then 2019 came around.
Led by the highest scoring offense in college football history and Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow, LSU went undefeated. They won the SEC title and annihilating Oklahoma and Clemson in the CFP en route to a 15-0 perfect season.
But in 2020, the team regressed, going just 5-5.
And after a 3-3 start to the 2021 season, fans began to feel that Coach O's time was up.
He's still got a job, but only for the next few months.