LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron took a severe hit on Saturday when the Tigers dropped 10-0 to No. 1 Alabama in Baton Rouge. It was thought that Orgeron would need to win that game to win the full-time job, but now he is left scrambling if he wants to remain the LSU head coach.
So how does he stay the head coach? He has to quell the trend that plagued Les Miles in recent seasons: a trend of failures at the end of seasons. It’s what nearly cost Miles his job at the end of 2015, as the Tigers dropped three consecutive games, starting with a loss to Alabama. The Tigers were undefeated before that game, but it nearly derailed the entire program.
It wasn’t just last season, either. In 2014, the Alabama game started a stretch of four games for LSU, of which they lost three on their way to a disappointing 8-5 season. LSU has now lost five straight games to Alabama dating back to the 2011-12 BCS National Championship Game.
Obviously Orgeron can no longer reverse that trend with Alabama for this season, but he has a shot of doing what Miles couldn’t in the past two years: keeping the program strong and winning out to close the season.
That task will be anything but easy, though. Thanks to the postponement of the Florida game because of Hurricane Matthew, LSU must now play Arknsas, Florida, and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks to close the regular season. It’s a hellacious stretch, but it also gives Orgeron the opportunities to rebuild the program’s confidence after the crushing loss to the Crimson Tide.
Will it actually be enough to earn him the full-time head coaching job? That is left to be seen, but it is obvious at this point that Orgeron is likely to get the ax if he doesn’t win out; it may not be fair to Orgeron, but that’s the way it looks right now.