With a number of head coaching vacancies now filled, LSU will have a chance to a land a big time name as their offensive coordinator.
And per The Advocate‘s Ross Dellenger, the Tigers and head coach Ed Orgeron are down to four candidates. Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is the favorite for the job per Dellenger, but three other candidates have been “deeply vetted”. The three are Pitt offensive coordinator Matt Canada, former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and Alabama offensive analyst Steve Sarkisian.
Kiffin was rumored to be in the running for a number of jobs, including Houston, USF and Florida Atlantic. Houston hired former Alabama offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, while USF hired former Texas head coach Charlie Strong.
Alabama coach Nick Saban has stated he would like to see Kiffin become a head coach, but hasn’t said anything concrete about Kiffin staying on through the playoff. Kiffin has been the offensive coordinator at Alabama for the past three seasons. The Crimson Tide went undefeated this year and had the SEC’s highest scoring offense despite starting freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Canada is his first season at Pittsburgh and the Panthers had a number of impressive performances. Pitt scored 43 points against No. 2 Clemson in a win, 42 points in a win against No. 5 Penn State and 76 points in a game against Syracuse. Per Dellenger, Canada is a “serious candidate” if Kiffin passes on the job. Canada has previously worked at NC State, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois and Indiana as an offensive coordinator.
Helfrich helped recruit and develop Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota at Oregon. He also put together a number of impressive offenses, but was fired after Oregon went 4-8 this year.
Sarkisian also has head coaching experience at USC and Washington. USC hired Sarkisian over Orgeron after the school fired Kiffin.
LSU had previously extended Dave Aranda to continue to be its defensive coordinator. The extension reportedly made Aranda the highest-paid coordinator in all of college football. Kiffin has been linked to the LSU job since Orgeron was hired.
LSU takes on Louisville in the Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31 in Orlando, Fla.