LSU football might need to make a few coaching changes after the 2020 season.
Part of being a great head coach is having a great staff. No one knows that better than LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron.
One of the main reasons the Tigers were able to win a national championship in 2019 was the great staff that Coach O assembled (and retained).
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda wasn’t a perfect fit with Orgeron, but he was able to put a defense on the field that did enough to complement LSU’s incredible offense.
And speaking of the offense, Orgeron’s decision to hire Joe Brady as the Tigers’ passing game coordinator is what took LSU’s offense from great to dominant in 2019.
Making those great hires/staff decisions isn’t always easy. And no head coach — not even Orgeron — bats 1.000 on those decisions.
When Orgeron hired Bo Pelini in the offseason to replace Aranda, it was viewed as a slam dunk hire. I was quick to praise the move because of Pelini’s reputation of being a defensive mastermind. Plus I’m a big fan of his fiery personality (something Aranda lacked).
But so far, LSU’s defense isn’t playing well under Pelini. In fact, they’ve been downright terrible.
The Tigers are giving up 33 points per game this season, which is No. 84 in the country.
There are some built-in excuses for Pelini. LSU lost a lot of defensive talent from last season’s national championship-winning team. And there was a scheme switch this offseason, too.
But you’d still expect better from someone with as much experience as Pelini. It’s been well over a decade since Pelini’s been a defensive coordinator. Maybe this just isn’t the job for him. Perhaps Pelini is better suited to be a head coach.
If that’s the case, then LSU needs to make a switch ASAP — because it likely won’t get any better from here.
The coaching change LSU football could make
If Coach O decides that Pelini just isn’t working out at LSU, and he decides to make a change after 2020, then there’s one specific name the Tigers should target.
South Carolina fired Muschamp on Sunday after a 2-5 start to the season. It wasn’t exactly a surprise after the Gamecocks went 4-8 last year.
Muschamp has now been fired from Florida and South Carolina. At this point, I think it’s safe to assume that Muschamp’s long-term future in college football isn’t as a head coach (at least not in the SEC).
So perhaps it’s time for Muschamp to settle in somewhere as a defensive coordinator.
Why not go back to Baton Rouge where Muschamp worked for four seasons under Nick Saban in the early 2000s?
Orgeron and Muschamp have never worked together, but that didn’t stop Coach O from praising the former South Carolina head coach earlier this season.
“Will has always done a tremendous job with his defenses,” said Orgeron in late October (via Go Upstate). “His defenses up front are very active, a lot of stunts, playing zone coverage, man coverage, zone blitz.”
Muschamp knows the SEC as well as anyone — certainly better than Pelini. And though he hasn’t found sustained success as a head coach, he has been successful in limited stretches. Muschamp went 11-2 in his second season at Florida. He also beat Georgia in 2019 with a not-so-good South Carolina team.
I definitely think Muschamp could be an asset for the Tigers. And I think he’d be an upgrade over Pelini.
Coach O isn’t afraid to make a move to make LSU better. This is one he should certainly consider making.