Ed Orgeron won’t be getting much benefit of the doubt in his first full season as the head coach at LSU.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenburg named Orgeron as one of the first-year coaches who can make “no excuses” in 2017, projecting him to win at least nine games. Along with new Texas head coach Tom Herman and Charlie Strong at South Florida, Orgeron isn’t expected to get a pass if things don’t go well in Year 1.
Orgeron went 6-2 as LSU’s head coach last season after taking over for the fired Les Miles. His only two losses were a 10-0 defeat against Alabama and a 16-10 loss to SEC East champion Florida.
LSU hired Orgeron as head coach after the end of the regular season, removing the “interim” tag from his title. He hired new offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who is expected to provide a major upgrade for the Tigers on that side of the ball.
The Tigers have to replace some major pieces on defense though, including two first-round NFL draft picks in S Jamal Adams and CB Tre’Davious White. Also gone are linebackers Duke Riley and Kendell Beckwith and DT Davon Godchaux.
LSU’s non-conference schedule includes a season opener against BYU in Houston and home dates against Chattanooga, Syracuse and Troy. If the Tigers take those, they would need to go 5-3 in SEC play again to get to nine wins before the end of the regular season.