LSU Football Head Coach Ed Orgeron will not return to LSU in 2022. A mutual agreement between the school and the coach to part ways was announced on Sunday. Following a 49-42 upset win over then No. 20 Florida, Tigers athletic director Scott Woodward has decided to move in a different direction for next season. Orgeron will finish out the 2021 season as the head man in Baton Rouge, though.
Ed Orgeron Will Not Return to LSU in 2022
The move to replace Orgeron comes after the program has started the 2021 season with a 4-3 record. The Tigers are 9-8 overall since winning the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2019. Overall, LSU is 49-17 and 30-14 in SEC play under Orgeron. He was named the full-time head coach following the 2016 season after he took over for Les Miles.
In that time, LSU has seen success, including the aforementioned National Championship two seasons ago. However, the hires that Orgeron has made in terms of coordinators after the title season have been questionable at best. Orgeron has been on the hot seat since last season’s 5-5 finish. In 2021, the Tigers started the year ranked No. 16. But the team lost at UCLA in Week One before rebounding against McNeese State and Central Michigan. LSU defeated Mississippi State to get to 3-1 on the season. Then a 24-19 loss to Auburn two weeks ago brought up the rumors again. After the Tigers lost by 21 points to Kentucky on October 9, the rumors really began to swirl once again.
The win over Florida saved Orgeron’s job for the season. Had the Tigers lost on Saturday, the team could have a new head coach entering this week against Ole Miss. Nevertheless, LSU pulled out a needed victory and Orgeron will remain through the season. Reports indicate Orgeron will receive the entire $17 million buyout from the athletic department to part ways with the program. While he is the second highest paid coach in the country, the amount of the buyout is in the middle of the pack for the 30 highest paid coaches. All season, there have been potential candidates listed to replace the Tigers’ head man.
Where It Went Wrong for Orgeron
In 2020, LSU hired Bo Pelini to be the defensive coordinator for a second time. That hire was the wrong decision from the get-go. The Tigers had a historically bad defense and the offense wasn’t much better. With the departures of Joe Brady and Dave Aranda, the Tigers had a tough time in 2020. This season was not much different from the first few games. The team struggled on defense and the offense had trouble running the ball and blocking up front. Orgeron hired Jake Peetz and Daronte Jones to lead the offense and defense this year. It took six games for LSU to run the ball effectively and get the offensive line blocking well.
Being two seasons removed from a title, LSU has yet to find their true rhythm. To add to the mix, the Tigers are 2-2 in SEC play currently and are looking at a potential 7-5 record at best. After an abysmal 2020, that record won’t hold well with the athletic administration. While the fan base thought Orgeron was the right hire five years ago, that may not have been the case now. Sure, the National Championship run was historic. But the other struggles the Tigers have had since then have sent the program in a downward spiral. Ed Orgeron is not responsible for it all, but a lot of it falls on him.