LSU football and Clemson have a major similarity that’s led to success

LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

LSU football and Clemson took a similar path to success.

LSU football and Clemson have some major similarities that have led to the success of both programs.

The most obvious similarity is the fact that both programs hired interim head coaches to be their permanent head coaches. Those respective decisions eventually led to a national championship win (in the case of Clemson, two national championship wins).

There’s another major similarity between the programs, too. And it’s one that I believe is directly responsible for the success both programs have experienced.

Chad Morris and Joe Brady.

Morris and Brady were both responsible for offensive overhauls at Clemson and LSU. Those overhauls are the moment both programs went from pretty good to elite.

And both hires were risks.

LSU football and Clemson went out on a limb

When Dabo Swinney hired Morris after the 2010 season, he was a virtual unknown. Morris had spent only one season at the collegiate level (at Tulsa). His previous 15 years of football experience was as a head coach at the high school level in Texas.

Swinney, however, knew his offense needed an upgrade after going 6-7 in 2010.

Hiring Morris paid off. Clemson hasn’t won fewer than 10 games since Swinney brought Morris to Clemson. And even though Morris left Clemson just before the program appeared in the national championship game in 2015, his influence was still felt. In fact, it’s Morris’s offensive system that remains at Clemson to this day.

Something similar is happening at LSU.

Ed Orgeron brought Joe Brady, an unknown analyst with the New Orleans Saints, to Baton Rouge in 2019 to upgrade LSU’s offense.

And it worked.

LSU’s record-breaking offense in 2019 helped the Tigers achieve a 15-0 record and claim the program’s third national championship this century.

After one year, however, Brady left LSU to become an offensive coordinator in the NFL (with the Carolina Panthers).

But his influence will still be felt in Baton Rouge.

Coach O brought Scott Linehan in to replace Brady as the Tigers’ passing game coordinator earlier this year.

Orgeron has been adamant that Linehan is going to build on what LSU already has.

In other words, Brady’s influence on the offense will remain at LSU. Probably for years to come.

I’m sure there are LSU fans who are concerned about Brady’s departure and whether or not the Tigers’ offense can sustain the success they found last year without him.

But Clemson’s ability to continue their offensive success without Morris is proof that LSU can do it without Brady.

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Coach O has hit all the right buttons so far. I have no doubt he’ll continue to make smart decisions that benefit the Tigers.