The consensus among many fans and even some decision-makers at LSU seems to be that interim head coach Ed Orgeron is the favorite to win the head coaching job in Baton Rouge, especially if he beats Alabama this weekend.
ESPN’s Trevor Matich said Thursday on The Paul Finebaum Show, however, that he doesn’t agree with that sentiment.
“I do not agree that if he wins this game against Alabama, or even if he wins out, that he should be given the job because of that,” Matich said. “Because winning and managing the game week as an interim coach is important, but it’s only one small part of being a head coach and building and sustaining a successful program.”
Matich pointed to other high profile coaches like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney as examples of coaches who do other things besides game week preparation well. He said that things like implementing culture and dealing with boosters are other critical skills for a head coach to have.
“These things are all important that have nothing to do with managing game week,” Matich said. “These are things that LSU should demand of Ed Orgeron, that he prove to them, that he sell them, that he can do at the highest level. Not just manage the weekly game-to-game process, which he’s doing a very good job of right now.”
Orgeron is 3-0 since taking over as head coach, with wins over Missouri, Southern Mississippi and Ole Miss. Saturday will be his first game against a Power 5 team with a winning record.
Matich did praise what Oregeron has done since taking over for the fired Les Miles.
“I think he’s been fantastic,” he said. “He does what he’s done in the past as an interim coach. He infuses enthusiasm. He believes in the players, and the players know that. And they respond to him.”
Later in the show, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports joined Finebaum. Here’s what he had to say about Orgeron’s chances of getting the full-time nod:
“I think he has a real shot of getting this job and I thought that for a little while now for a couple reasons here. I think he plays real well in Baton Rogue, better than he did at USC. I think he fits better there.
“Guys know that if he’s the head coach, he will recruit his butt off and they will be very formidable compared to whoever they try to hire. Let’s say he goes 6-1 on this stretch, and they lose to Alabama, but they’re competitive. I think that still bodes pretty well for him if they’re competitive in this game, go through their stretch, and make it 6-1 because who else are they going to get?
“If Texas pulls the plug on Charlie Strong, I would think they go for Tom Herman. And is LSU going to get Jimbo Fisher away from FSU? I’m not so sure of that. Then, whoever looks at this job, the LSU vacancy, has to ask themselves: Who am I answering to?
“Is Joe Alleva on solid ground? You know, the politics that Les Miles got wrapped up in, that’s messy. I’m not sure that a coach with a lot of clout is going to jump into that without knowing the future of those above him, because that’s really messy.”