Saturday was a busy day for college football, as several coaching changes were made, while even more rumors have been started:
- LSU – Louisiana State announced Saturday that they have signed interim head coach Ed Orgeron as their new head coach. After the firing of Les Miles after a 2-2 start, the Tigers finished the season with a 7-4 record, going 5-2 with Orgeron at the helm. Rumors swirled that Tom Herman was interested in leaving Houston for the LSU job, but apparently his contract demands, reportedly $6M per season, were laughed at by the school. Coach O is ready to get to work assembling the “best staff in America”, and believes his Tigers team will be ready to compete on a national scale very soon.
- Texas – With the firing of Charlie Strong (16-21 in three seasons) on Saturday, the Longhorns announced that they have hired coach Tom Herman, who leaves Houston with a 22-4 record, including a 13-1 finish and a Peach Bowl victory in the last 2 seasons. Herman becomes the 30th head coach in team history and was a graduate assistant with the team from 1999-2000.
- Notre Dame – Even with a 4-8 finish to the season and not earning a bowl bid for the first time since 2007, Brian Kelly is insistent on his returning to the sidelines next year as the head coach of the Fighting Irish. The team was coming off of a ten win season and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl last seasons, and is only a few seasons removed from appearing in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. According to a report from this weekend, however, Kelly is exploring other coaching options if he were to leave Notre Dame, including a possible jump up to the NFL level.
- Oregon – All signs seem to be pointing to Mark Helfrich being on his way out of a job after the Ducks lost their first Civil War against instate rival Oregon State since 2007. After Chip Kelly left the school to coach the Philadelphia Eagles, Helfrich led the Ducks to back-to-back two loss seasons, including a CFP title game appearance in 2014. Last year, Oregon stumbled to 9-4, and then fell apart this year, finishing at 4-8. Helfrich would be owed a $11.6M buyout if fired. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike founder and Oregon alum Phil Knight has offered to pay $10M a year for the team’s new coach.
- Les Miles – After being fired by LSU after a 2-2 start to the season, Miles finds himself searching for a new suitor. Boasting a lifetime 141-55 record, including the 2007 BCS National Championship, Miles is one of the top candidates on the market. Reports have tied him to the Purdue job, where he has said he would attempt to hired Steve Sarkisian and Mike Locksley away from Nick Saban and Alabama, as well as the opening at Baylor.
- Lincoln Riley – Another hot candidate this year is Lincoln Riley, the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. In his 23 games with the Sooners over the past two seasons, the team has averaged a staggering 43.8 points per game. Last year’s Broyles Award winner as the nation’s top assistant coach while at East Carolina can very easily find himself with the first head coaching position of his young career. I expect schools like Houston, and even Baylor, to make a run for Riley.
Photos courtesy of: http://cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/styles/marquee_large_2x/public/2016/11/26/lsu-ed-oregeron.jpg?itok=YK6iJt92, http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/blogs/herman-tom-houston.jpg, http://a.fssta.com/content/dam/fsdigital/fscom/college-football/images/2015/11/28/Bkellycover.vadapt.664.high.68.jpg, http://cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/2016/04/20/mark-helfrich-oregon-top.jpg, http://a.fssta.com/content/dam/fsdigital/fscom/college-football/images/2016/09/25/083116-LSU-Les-Miles.vadapt.664.high.28.jpg, http://img.bleacherreport.net/img/images/photos/003/577/631/hi-res-a81257e2e929d8978ba97cc7dc58bcd7_crop_north.jpg?w=630&h=420&q=75