Coach O is beloved in Baton Rouge and rightfully so. From the personality, to the recruiting ability and the success on the field, what isn’t to love? But Coach Orgeron has had a similar affect on teams in the past and it always ends the same.
Going back to his time with Ole Miss or USC and it was a promising start, solid recruiting and a disappointing finish. Coach O came in to 2018 on the hot seat but after a few big wins he was able to lose the narrative. Unfortunately with a slip up to Florida, falling flat against Bama and a seven overtime loss to Texas A&M, LSU finished the regular season at 9-3. It was salvaged as a good season with a bowl win over UCF.
A 10 win season and a bowl win would make most scoff at putting a coach on the hot seat. The problem is LSU needs to take the next step and I’m not sure if they are capable.
Les Miles was a solid coach but couldn’t get LSU to stay atop the SEC. Winning a National Championship in 2007 was great but he only won the SEC twice in his 12 years at LSU. This and some down seasons were enough to get him run out of town.
Now Orgeron needs to get LSU to the next level and he has to do it in the best conference in college football. LSU also doesn’t have the luxury to play a cupcake schedule like Alabama. 2019 has LSU playing at Texas out of conference and the regular line up of SEC powers. This is a team that could 7-5 just as easily as 10-2 in 2019.
Coach O also doesn’t have an excuse anymore because he has been leading LSU since the Les Miles firing in 2016. He has his players and his system in place after building them up over the last few years.
This isn’t to say that it is playoff or bust for Coach O and the Tigers but he has more pressure than ever before. LSU has proven that they want results and expect a high level of success. Coach O has proven that he is beloved but also a middle of the pack coach.
As great as the sound bites and recruiting videos are, Coach O needs to contend for an SEC title. With Texas A&M and Florida on the rise and Alabama and Georgia already National powers, LSU can’t take a step back. LSU is already right there, another few upset losses and Coach Orgeron’s seat could get awfully warm in Baton Rouge.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. I have covered college football since 2017, wrote for Saturday Tailgate and Fansided. Covering all things Big 12 from recruiting to opinions on the best conference in college football.