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Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

LSU is hiring Orgeron as permanent head coach. I give it two years


LSU is hiring Ed Orgeron as its permanent head coach -- "permanent" in this case being until it takes LSU it has made an egregious error, which will probably mean 48 hours. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a terrible move. This is the sort of move that makes every other program in the SEC West believe it has a real chance to finish no worse than second in 2017.

I understand that Orgeron was a fallback. I understand that Tom Herman, as you figured he would , regards Texas as the better job. But Orgeron should not be the second choice of a program of LSU's caliber. (Correction: Former caliber.) Orgeron is not a head coach.

He had a chance at Ole Miss, which fired David Cutcliffe to make room for Coach O. An 0-fer was very close to how Orgeron fared in SEC play: He won three of 24 league games, at which point he was fired. He took over as interim coach for Lane Kiffin at USC -- Kiffin is another who's demonstrably not a head coach -- and did well enough that the Trojans thought about keeping him around. They chose otherwise. Good move.

(Bad move: Hiring Steve Sarkisian instead. But it's worth noting that when Sarkisian was himself dumped in midseason, that year's interim coach -- Clay Helton -- did get the nod of Troy. Today USC is among the better-looking teams in the land.)

Orgeron can recruit. That's great. Les Miles' issues had nothing to do with recruiting. His teams simply forgot how to play offense. You'll note that Orgeron's LSU rang up 10 whole points against Florida -- even Georgia matched that total -- leading to the realization that the "O" in Orgeron didn't stand for "offense."

And LSU is hiring him anyway. Maybe he'll bring his old pal Kiffin to Baton Rouge, in which case Kiffin will have positioned himself to become the interim replacement for the man who was once his interim replacement. Which would be weird. But no weirder than LSU doing this.

LSU is a top 10 job. Even if Jimbo Fisher balked at something -- and I have to believe the only way LSU would hire Orgeron is if Jimbo balked -- there were better options. Call Bob Stoops and see what he says. Call Larry Fedora. (And I'm not a big Fedora guy, given that he just lost to Duke and N.C. State.) Call Mike MacIntrye. Call P.J. Fleck. Call somebody who has actually had a winning season as a titular head coach.

Dial up anyone but "O." He's not a head coach. He's the guy you tap -- and then discard -- after you've fired your head coach. Which LSU will again soon.

Oh, and one thing more: This only compounds -- a hundredfold -- the mistake LSU made last November . It had decided to fire Miles. It allowed itself to be swayed by public sentiment. Miles didn't make it throughSeptember. Had LSU done the deed a year ago, it might have wound up with Fisher or Herman. It would never have been stuck with Orgeron.


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.