Reports surfaced on Sunday that Les Miles was fired after 12 years in charge as LSU head coach. Ed Orgeron has been named as the interim head coach until the end of the season while they search for a long term replacement. The Tigers are the first Power Five program to be searching for a new head coach this season.
Despite it only being week four, there is likely to be speculation surrounding who the replacement will be, and here are some of the top candidates. If LSU is left in a position where its top candidates decide to stay where they are then the likes of Larry Fedora or Mike Gundy might be viable options. But given the money, prestige and recruiting potential at LSU, it’s likely they will land a top level coach. Here are three intriguing candidates to become the LSU head coach.
The success that Tom Herman has achieved as head coach at Houston means he will be linked with every blue chip job going forward. He’s already proved that last year’s 13-1 season wasn’t a fluke with a win over Oklahoma and a strong start to the season in 2016.
It’s incredibly likely that Herman will be top of the list of candidates for LSU, but it may come down to whether he wants to move at this time. Houston has a program that is looking to join a Power Five conference and is making improvements to its stadium. The question is whether Tom Herman wants to stay long term while Houston tries to move its way into the power five or see if LSU has his opportunity to move to an elite program.
A more controversial suggestion given his troubled history but an experienced coach who will have learned from previous mistakes at big programs. The lure with Petrino is that he’s an excellent coach of the offense, which he has shown with the rise of quarterback in Lamar Jackson at Louisville. He’s also experienced in the SEC, a major plus for the Tigers.
The baggage that potentially comes with Bobby Petrino means he’s unlikely to be the first choice, but there’s no doubting his record as a head coach.
Not the most obvious candidate given, because he’s currently head coach of the Houston Texans, but Jason La Canfora reported in October last year that O’Brien had some interest in the Maryland job. The Texans are currently at the top of their division, so circumstances may have change before such a move. O’Brien is a prime candidate to return to the college game if this job doesn’t work out.
Given his performance at Penn State during the worst of their sanctions, he would merit serious consideration by the Tigers. He produced some of the best play from struggling quarterback Christian Hackenberg, which would appeal to a team that has been mired by mediocre play recent years by its quarterbacks.