LSU vs. Florida

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron watches his team on the sidelines Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, during LSU's 49-42 win against Florida at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

If LSU didn’t have Ed Orgeron as their head coach from 2018-2019, then they wouldn't have Joe Brady, Joe Burrow, or a national title. And yet the organization is throwing him away just two rough seasons after our historic run. 

Not only are they firing him, but they are keeping him Head Coach until the end of the season, which is a recipe for a disappointing tail-end of a season. While Orgeron might be perceived as the kind of guy that will give the end of his tenure his all, does he actually have any reason to do so?  

Now, the past two seasons have featured an array of terrible losses, and while those losses can’t be excused, the last two years have been absurd. COVID-19, opt-outs, injuries, coaching staff changes, more injuries, you name it. To say that this team has had a lot to deal with and adapt to is an understatement.  

Star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, starting defensive back Kary Vincent Jr and starting defensive lineman Tyler Shelvin all opted out before the 2020-21 season began. Derek Stingley Jr was ruled out with an illness before the Mississippi State loss in a game in which they desperately needed him and quarterback Myles Brennan played through a painful abdomen injury in their loss against Missouri 

That injury would take him out for the season, thrusting freshmen TJ Finley and Max Johnson into the mix at a rough time in the season with an offensive line that was struggling.  

The defense was still terrible with Stingley healthy, but it was also gutted after the previous season with most of the starters leaving for the NFL draft along with the aforementioned opt-outs. It was incredibly young and led by Bo Pelini. 

Orgeron is to blame for hiring Pelini. There’s no argument there. That hire played a large role in a defense that gave up 35 points per game and five games of 40 or more.  

But he aptly fired him at the end of the season and made more informed decisions in bringing in Jake Peetz and Daronte Jones as the new offensive and defensive coordinators. Orgeron hasn’t even had a full season with them yet, and injuries on both ends have mitigated what these coordinators can do.  

If the defense was giving up 35+ points per game, had no bright spots and had a completely healthy roster, I could understand there being complaints about the coordinator. But they’ve lost their two best defensive backs in Stingley Jr and Eli Ricks for the rest of the season, and they also lost Andre Anthony and Ali Gaye 

They’ve had solid performances against Mississippi State and Auburn, the former in which they utilized a strategic formation to keep Mississippi State’s Air Raid offense in front of them and the latter in which they got into the backfield on numerous occasions and pressured the quarterback. 

If only they could tackle Bo Nix, am I right? 

On the other hand, the offense lost their quarterback before the season began and recently lost their top receiver as well. They started off the season one-dimensional and that cost them against Auburn, but they adapted, transforming the offense into one that can run at will and pass when needed.  

They scored 49 points and ran for 321 yards against Florida, who had previously given up just 16.5 points per gameAnd their game against Kentucky featured a strong balance between the run and the pass and success in both, but they had multiple drives stall out in Kentucky territory that should have resulted in points. 

Four out of LSU’s remaining five games will come against teams that will be favored over them, and I believe that if they ultimately finish 5-7 or 6-6, the decision was correct. But what happens if they win two or three of those underdog games?  

Ole Miss almost lost to Tennessee, and their run defense is suspect at best. Arkansas does not look like the team that beat Texas and Texas A&M a few weeks ago, and A&M has been up-and-down.

Don’t tell me it’s impossible for them to take two of those.  

I would understand the firing if it had to do with everything Orgeron has been involved with behind the scenes since the title, but why would you let him stay for the remainder of the season if it was because of his behavior? Why would Scott Woodward state that his firing was strictly due to on-the-field issues if that was only a half-truth 

Would they have fired him if we were winning more? Would they have fired him if we beat Auburn or UCLA? 

Those are the questions that pointo my head after reading Woodward’s statement on Twitter. It’s not like he has to be specific; a simple addition of “off-the-field issues” would have been enough to be considered transparent 

But instead, he leaves room for speculation. It makes it seem like they only care about what the coach produces on the field and not about his behavior behind the scenes.  

With this being said, I don’t believe what has happened on the field over the last two seasons is enough of a reason to fire him just yet and that this was an impulsive move. The team has gone through a lot of changes since their championship run and it’s too early to tell if this coaching core can have success.  

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