SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum badly missed the mark this week while discussing LSU football‘s 2021 week one matchup against UCLA.
Finebaum was discussing whether or not Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron was under more pressure than Bruins head coach Chip Kelly in week one.
The SEC Network host surprisingly suggested that Coach O will be under more pressure in week one.
“I’m going to say Ed Orgeron because he has far higher expectations than Chip Kelly,” said Finebaum during an appearance on WJOX (via 247Sports).
“There are a bunch of people who sold stock in O last September after Mississippi State and the Missouri debacle,” added Finebaum.
LSU Football and Ed Orgeron have a lot to prove, but so does Chip Kelly
I certainly understand where Finebaum is coming from — the expectations are higher for LSU and Orgeron than they are for UCLA and Kelly.
But Orgeron isn’t on the hot seat.
Kelly, however, is squarely on the hot seat.
The former Oregon Ducks head coach, who left college football for four seasons to coach in the NFL, has yet to have a winning season in three years at UCLA.
Kelly is 10-21 since returning to college football in 2018. That’s an awful record. It’s even worse when you consider that Kelly was one of the most sought-after head coaches in the country during the wild 2017 coaching carousel.
If Kelly lays another egg in 2021 he could be out of a job. The home opener against LSU will set the tone for the season for the Bruins.
If LSU loses on the road to start the season, it would absolutely be a tough loss. But it’s a non-conference game with a mostly new coaching staff.
With LSU not expected to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff this season, the game is basically inconsequential for the Tigers.
An LSU loss to UCLA on the road to start the season would be similar to Ohio State’s early-season loss to Virginia Tech in 2014 (the Buckeyes went on to win the national championship that season).
The Tigers have a couple of “easy” games after week one (they play McNeese State and Central Michigan, before traveling to play Mississippi State), so it’s not like a loss to UCLA would cause a downward spiral for the program (to be clear, I think LSU beats UCLA, making this all a moot point).
Finebaum is just plain wrong on this one. But that’s something it feels like we end up saying a lot.