Clay Travis considers LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s seat to be the hottest in the SEC entering the 2018 season.
Speaking to SEC Country on Monday, the Outkick the Coverage analyst said Orgeron is in danger of losing his job if the Tigers struggle this fall. Travis also gave three possible replacements — Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin and former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
“I think LSU, by far, is going to find itself in the most tenuous position,” Travis told SEC Country. “And If I were running LSU, at the end of this year if it goes as I’m anticipating and LSU goes 8-4-ish, then I think there are three great coaches out there that would win at a really high level at LSU. And off the top of my head, I don’t know whether they would be willing to make the move, but I think Bobby Petrino, Lane Kiffin and — one name that may surprise people — Hugh Freeze are all sitting out there that I think would be dynamic on the offensive side of the ball and be a lot more successful than LSU has been so far under Coach O.”
Orgeron is 15-6 in his time with the Tigers, which includes a 6-2 mark as LSU’s interim coach in 2016 after Les Miles was fired. No doubt, Orgeron must figure out how to make his program an SEC West contender, and sparking the Tigers offense under new coordinator Steve Ensminger will be a big part of that effort.
Travis isn’t the only analyst to consider Orgeron to be on shaky ground entering 2018. Two months ago, SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum told SEC Country that the LSU coach is on the SEC’s hottest seat.
“I’m not a believer in Ed Orgeron or the direction of LSU,” Travis said. “I think they’re going to lose a little bit of a step every year as long as he’s in charge there. It wouldn’t shock me if he’s on the chopping block at the end of this year, because I think the gap between LSU and Alabama — which I really think is what LSU fans measure themselves on — is going to grow every year a little bit more.”
This fall will go a long way in determining Orgeron’s job security — or lack thereof — with the Tigers.
With so much coaching turnover in the SEC after the 2017 season (five new coaches are in place), it will be hard to find many coaches who are in difficult positions. But this early before the 2018 campaign, the pick of Orgeron looks like a smart one when considering hot-seat situations.
Beyond Orgeron, you must admit that it would be intriguing to see either Freeze, Petrino (former Arkansas coach) and Kiffin (former Alabama offensive coordinator and Tennessee coach) back in the SEC. Keep your eyes on Baton Rouge throughout the year.