Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU coach Ed Orgeron did not get much respect from Athlon Sports in the magazine's ranking of FBS coaches.

Bayou Bengal Briefing: Is Ed Orgeron really the 81st-best coach in the country?

Alex Hickey

Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with beat writer Alex Hickey. Today we wonder if Ed Orgeron is underrated, talk a little more LSU baseball, and commend Kramer Robertson for a sick burn.

LSU football: Ed Orgeron ranks No. 81 on coaching list

We are deep in the heart of the college football offseason, which means we are also deep in the heart of “publications making random lists to get people talking” season.

Athlon Sports did not disappoint when it comes to get us to talk. One of the better-known preseason magazines, Athlon has ranked every FBS coach from 1-130. No. 1 is no surprise — of course it’s Alabama’s Nick Saban.

But LSU coach Ed Orgeron, the man hired to shake Saban and the Crimson Tide from their pedestal atop the SEC West, doesn’t check in until No. 81 on the list. That places him at 13th in the league, ahead of only Mizzou’s Barry Odom.

But is Orgeron really that bad?

From Athlon’s perspective, yes. They are ranking coaches based on what they have done rather than what they might do, which is why first-year head coaches pretty much round out the bottom of the list. And Orgeron’s horrendous three-year tenure at Ole Miss (10-25) is what he is being judged on over his interim stints at Southern California (6-2) and LSU (6-2).

So based on his past, it makes sense that Coach O isn’t rated very highly. But by the time next year’s ratings come out, there’s a pretty good chance no one in the country will have skyrocketed more spots than Orgeron.

LSU baseball: Many people watched the Tigers

Want some numbers on just how many people watched LSU baseball at the College World Series? Even if you said no, here are those numbers:

  • The CWS Finals audience surpassed more than 2 million viewers for Game 2. It averaged a total live audience of 2,067,000 viewers, the most-watched second game in the best-of-3 format since 2012. The TV-only audience peaked at 2,620,000 viewers (9:45 p.m. – 10 p.m. CT).

  • Game 1 had a total live audience of 1,826,000 viewers, the best viewership for a finals opener since 2011.

  • The 16 CWS games averaged a total live audience of 1,120,000 viewers, the event’s highest since 2014 and up 56 percent from last year’s tournament.

  • Buoyed by LSU’s success, the New Orleans market was by far the highest-rated market throughout both the CWS Finals (19.3 average) and the entire series (8.9 rating). 

LSU baseball: Cole Freeman says goodbye

On Wednesday, pitcher Jared Poche wrote his farewell note to LSU fans.

Thursday, it was second baseman Cole Freeman’s turn. You can read what Freeman had to say here.

LSU recruiting: Tigers not giving up on QB pursuit

Justin Rogers, a 4-star quarterback from Shreveport, committed to TCU at the end of May. But that hasn’t stopped LSU from continuing its courtship.

Sam Spiegelman caught up with Rogers at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., and discussed LSU’s continued pursuit.

A Baton Rouge, uh, institution closes

Reggie’s, a bar in the off-campus Tigerland area, had its liquor license suspended after 37 underage patrons were issued citations in a sting operation conducted Monday night — perhaps not so coincidentally, the night of Game 1 of the CWS Finals.

Of those under-agers, seven were just 16 years old, making a Chuck E. Cheese a more appropriate place to gather than a bar. (We can’t help but wonder if McLovin was accepted as a valid form of identification).

And it turns out that there’s a very direct LSU sports connection to the closing.

Earlier in the week, Reggie’s tweeted out they don’t allow Kramer Robertson in their doors. Well needless to say, the former LSU shortstop had the last laugh.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Today in made-up holidays

Every day is a holiday. It’s just that most of them are totally made-up.

According to the National Day Calendar, June 30 is National Meteor Day. Of course, you can’t actually see meteors during daytime, so in reality you need to treat it as National Meteor Night.

And here’s how you can do that, per the website:

“Plan your night. Gather some friends together, a blanket and find a place far from the city lights on a cloudless night. Use #NationalMeteorWatchDay to share on social media.”

If cloudy conditions prevent your from seeing meteors, the 1993 action/comedy “The Meteor Man” is probably available on websites where movies are streamed.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.