As the college football season begins to draw to an end, LSU is getting closer and closer to having to make a decision about who will be the school’s head coach.
Since firing Les Miles in September several candidates have been linked to the job. Some of them have been able to help their stock while some of the coaches haven’t helped theirs.
Let’s take a look at where some of the candidates stand and whether they are trending up or down for the LSU job.
Ed Orgeron, LSU’s interim coach: Stock up
Coach O has done a great job of repairing the LSU offense. With the exception of the Alabama game, the Tigers have registered at least 450 yards of offense in every game. The Tigers also ended a two-game losing streak to Arkansas as Derrius Guice and company thrashed the Razorbacks 38-10.
Under Orgeron, the Tigers are 4-1 and have games against Florida and Texas A&M left. The Tigers have an excellent chance of finishing 6-1 with Orgeron. The Alabama game, a 10-0 shutout loss, still sticks out on the resume but given how the Crimson Tide have played this season it isn’t the worst loss in the world. If Orgeron continues to win, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva is going to have to have a really great reason as to why Orgeron wouldn’t become the next head coach.
Tom Herman, Houston’s head coach: Stock up
Even with two losses, Herman figures to be the top candidate. He’s coached all over the country and has shown he can recruit, even at a place like Houston. Houston’s President Renu Khator told the Houston Chronicle before Saturday’s game on Tom Herman, “We love him. We’ll try and hang on to him. I think he’s committed.”
The only reason Herman may not end up at LSU is because LSU may not be his top choice. Given that Charlie Strong and Texas lost again on Saturday, there is a chance that job becomes open. It’s unknown what Herman prefers but the Longhorns don’t have to play in the SEC West every year.
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State’s head coach: Stock down
Make no mistake, LSU fans would be thrilled if Fisher was their coach next year. But given how Florida State has looked this year—7-3 with losses to Clemson, North Carolina and Louisville—Fisher isn’t the hot name he once was.
Last year Fisher was the clear front runner to replace Miles before Miles was able to save his job. If Herman doesn’t take the job and Orgeron wins out, Orgeron would probably be the second choice, with Fisher coming in third.
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s head coach: Stock up
Holgorsen is an outside the box name. He’s helped guide West Virginia to an 8-1 record and the Mountaineers have the best defense in the Big 12. Holgorsen has shown he can win in a variety of ways, whether it be with an uptempo offense or a team that can slow it down.
There have been reports of Holgorsen not getting along with administration at West Virginia, which could be why he might opt to leave. Holgorsen is a disciple of the Mike Leach Air Raid which hasn’t really been seen in the SEC. It could make for an intersting fit given LSU’s potential talent.
Lane Kiffin, Alabama offensive coordinator: Stock down
Kiffin has done nothing to hurt his own candidacy for the job. But there have been some external factors that work against Kiffin.
First the success of Orgeron hurts the chances of Kiffin. Since Orgeron has emerged as a real candidate, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to pass on Orgeron for Kiffin. Then there is the success, or lack thereof, for Kirby Smart at Georgia
Like Kiffin potentially would, Smart left Alabama to become a head coach at another SEC power. While Smart is a first time head coach, his first year in Athens hasn’t gone to plan. And with Herman and Fisher still likely ahead of him, the former USC head coach doesn’t make a lot of sense at this time.