LSU Football: We got the best version of Ed Orgeron on Saturday night against Alabama

Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football didn’t beat Alabama on Saturday night, but the Tigers came really close to pulling off the upset in Tuscaloosa.

The Crimson Tide squeaked out a 20-14 win in a game where Alabama was favored by 28 points.

How did LSU almost pull off the upset in a game they had no business winning?

I think it’s because we got the best version of Ed Orgeron on Saturday night. The version that isn’t concerned about anything but winning football games. The version that LSU saw in late 2016 when he was the interim head coach and went 6-2 after taking over for Les Miles.

The best version of Ed Orgeron

Orgeron was confident on Saturday night. He believed in his team.

Coach O even called a fake punt deep in LSU territory (and it worked). That’s a call that Orgeron doesn’t make last season or early this season (before the announcement that he wasn’t coming back as the Tigers’ head coach in 2022).

But right now, Orgeron has nothing to lose. So he coached to win on Saturday night.

On the way out of the stadium after the game, Orgeron made sure to let the Alabama fans know that he wasn’t intimidated by the environment. It was reminiscent of Orgeron’s epic locker room rant in 2019 that went viral after LSU’s win against Alabama.

No, LSU didn’t win the game. But they made Nick Saban sweat more than anyone expected. And it’s because of Orgeron’s approach to the game — despite leading a team that’s dealing with an inordinate amount of injuries (mostly to key players).

Why isn’t this the Orgeron we got in 2020 and most of this season?

This is the Orgeron that was hired to lead the program. This is the Orgeron that fans fell in love with.

The Coach O era is almost over. A new coach will be hired soon. And while I have hope that the future will be full of championships and wins over Alabama, I’ll always look fondly on the Orgeron era.

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Orgeron wasn’t perfect. He had plenty of flaws that were often on public display. But he loves LSU as much as anyone on this planet. And he should hold a special place in the hearts of fans.