There’s certainly no shortage of opinions right now when it comes to LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron.
Just under two years ago, Orgeron was on top of the college football world.
Coach O had just led the Tigers to a 15-0 season and a win in the College Football Playoff championship game against Clemson.
Orgeron’s reward was a rich contract extension.
Life was good.
Since that extension, however, things haven’t gone very well for Orgeron and the Tigers.
LSU went 5-5 in 2020. And the program is off to a 3-2 start in 2021. Not exactly what you expect from one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.
College Football analyst doesn’t think the 2019 season defines Ed Orgeron
National college football analyst Joel Klatt doesn’t believe that the Orgeron we saw in 2019 while leading the Tigers to a national title is the real Coach O.
Klatt feels like the real Coach O is a coach who is just slightly above average.
Here’s what Klatt had to say this week (via 247Sports):
"“It’s hard to defend his record,” Klatt said. “And you can say, ‘What do you mean he won the national championship?’ He struck lightning in a bottle with a transfer quarterback that had a magical season with a young coordinator that was doing things that were very unique in the conference offensively. They had great weapons around him. That was a lightning in a bottle year that was one of the great teams in college football history that just kind of manifested."
Klatt further emphasized his point:
"If you throw out the Ole Miss years and the Joe Burrow year and you see what he is, he’s basically a .600 coach. I’m sorry, .600 does not work at LSU. Not with the standard they’ve set within the sport.”"
It’s hard to disagree with Klatt.
The 2019 LSU team was one of the most talented teams of all-time in college football. 14 players from that team were selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. And several others were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Orgeron also had a great coaching staff. Former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda doesn’t get enough credit for the job he did with LSU’s defense in 2019. The offense carried the team, but the Tigers’ defense played better than what we’ve seen from LSU the last two years.
Then, of course, there was Joe Brady — the wunderkind play-caller who managed to unlock Joe Burrow’s full potential as a quarterback.
Without those coaches, Orgeron hasn’t looked like the elite coach we thought he was.
It’s time to move on. 2019 was fun. And Orgeron was a big part of that. But it’s likely not happening again as long as Orgeron leads the program.