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Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the news that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron will not be kept on after the end of the 2021 season, and debate of the LSU or USC vacancy is a better job.
PAT FORDE: We got to start, though, with the news out of Baton Rouge. My colleague, Ross Dellinger at Sports Illustrated got out there first. Many people, including Pete followed that Ed Orgeron will be gone at the end of this season. Coach O has gone from "we coming" to "you going."
He's out in you know, five more games or whatever the case may be. And of course, this-- this comes after their best win of the season, upsetting Florida in a typically wild Florida-LSU game. But that's-- you know, this is the SCC, and this is also the pace of change in the high stakes world of college football, where if you thought Jean Chisholm got trapped doored fast, guess what?
Ed Orgeron's trap door even faster. 17 games I said, after winning the National championship, after going 15 and 0 with one of the great seasons I think a lot of us have seen. But it was built on smoke and mirrors and two or three guys-- one quarterback, two coordinators, obviously, some other talent but not sustainable. And he's out. Pete, give me your initial thoughts on the demise of the Ed Orgeron era at LSU.
PETE THAMEL: Well, again, people have said, whether it's a fair comparison, not a fair comparison. And I think it's fair in this, like where in the wake of winning the title, it was unthinkable. And then by the time it happened, it was obvious, right? Like nobody's surprised here today. Now maybe because it came after a win, it was surprising.
But nobody at all is surprised that-- that Ed Orgeron is out at LSU. Since that Auburn loss, it was really just a matter of time. And really since the UCLA loss, and you have to wonder if the shoelace game didn't happen in the swamp if this would have happened last year. And he would have reset the bar for that because that thing was-- that thing was teetering.
And this is what it comes down to, Scott Woodward was never sold on Ed Orgeron. He was so briefly after the 15 and O season, and this is the first window for him to really-- I mean, pony up 17 million. By the time this season started, and I wrote it out at SCC me two days, if they lose to UCLA, the clock starts ticking.
And the blowout at Kentucky, it was all over. And Ross had reported, and I'd heard this as well that, like these conversations started before the Florida game. And-- and there's just the wondrously diabolical SCC way. They came to a head today at parkas. God forbid, he gets hot and can keep the job. We don't want that to happen.
So they-- they-- they cleared him, they cleared him out. And I think this becomes the biggest off field story of the season, if not the biggest story that's going to loom over the rest of the season.
PAT FORDE: OK. Question there, just going off of what you just said. Better job, LSU or USC?
PETE THAMEL: Great question. Right now, I would say LSU. And the reason is that the schedule is harder. But if you look at the last three LSU coaches, they won national titles. If you look at the last three really 4 U.S. coaches, if you count Orgeron as an interim, they all ended in pretty much abject disasters.
So in the last 15, I guess in the last two decades, there is a longer, more consistent history of LSU producing draft picks and producing national title winners. And I think coaches have long said, and Saban's even said some stuff like to this degree, LSU is the best job in the country because you are inarguably the best state for producing football talent.
Certainly the best state for producing football talent, with no other schools in the FBS in your state. You have no competition. And there is a fierce pride in that State. Again, are they far apart? One's probably 3, and one's probably 6 on my list. The argument for USC is that there's an easier path to the playoff.
Because the Pac-12 is-- is so far down right now, and you could go out there, and become a recruiting juggernaut in an instant. What do you think, Pat?
PAT FORDE: Well, yes. I mostly agree with you. The only thing is, I mean, LSU-- no pun with their nickname, but it is the ultimate ride the tiger job. Like as long as you're on the tiger and the tiger's go in the right direction, awesome. You fall off the tiger, you get eaten immediately. We have seen that now, you know. The Tiger turns around and devours you.
So USC Clay Helton, somehow parlayed like seven years there? You do not get seven years at LSU. You don't get half of that clearly if things are not going well. So that's what you got to go in. You go in probably with a better chance to win big but you have to win big right away, or very quickly.
I think where USC-- you know, there's just if Clay Helton had somehow won a national title in 2019, he's not getting fired in 2021. You know, I think you get a longer shelf life or afterlife after that big moment at that place than you would at LSU. But again, so-- so it's like high risk, high reward. I guess, I would say for LSU.