Flashback to 2013, and Ed Orgeron was in the same situation.
He was named interim head coach at Southern Cal following the firing of Lane Kiffin on the tarmac of LAX, and led the Trojans to a 6-2 record during in the regular season, including a 20-17 win over Stanford.
Orgeron seemed like a likely candidate to permanently take over at Southern Cal, and USC players were lobbying hard to keep him.The Louisiana native was passed up for then-Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, and Orgeron resigned from the Trojans.
It’s now 2016, and Orgeron has to prove once again he is the man for the job at LSU following the firing of Les Miles last week.
Does Orgeron believe he deserves the head coaching job in Baton Rouge? He answered the question the Paul Finebaum Show Monday.
“Well we are going to see. I feel like there is some support in the administration,” Orgeron said. “I’m from Louisiana, but also understand the pressure to win games at LSU. We have to win games. And I think if we do win games, I’m going to have a fair shot at being the head coach here.”
Orgeron was provided no magic number. No, ‘Win this game, and the job is yours’ offers were made. He was told to “get this team in order,” and that he had the full support of the administration.
The first installment of the ‘Coach O’ era was a success, and the Tigers finished a tumultuous week with a 42-7 win over Missouri last Saturday.
“Being from Louisiana and being able to represent the people of Louisiana, a chance to coach at a great school like LSU and win the first game meant a lot for us,” Orgeron said. “It helps the players believe the system and believe in themselves. Give them a little confidence. Now on to Week 2”
Orgeron is now tasked with leading his team into The Swamp, and taking on Florida at noon ET this Saturday. It’s the first of a brutal stretch to end the season that also includes Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M.
Should he get through that stretch in good fashion, the Tom Herman and Jimbo Fisher murmurs may begin to dissipate.
“We need to win some games and beat Florida first,” Orgeron said. “I do believe if we have success I will have a fair shot.”