USC officials had problem with way Ed Orgeron sounded?
One of the greatest regrets for USC Trojans fans was the school letting Ed Orgeron get away.
Orgeron worked at USC from 1998-2004 before becoming Ole Miss’ head coach. He returned to USC from 2010-2013 and was the program’s interim head coach after Lane Kiffin was infamously fired on the tarmac after a loss to Arizona State in 2013.
Under Coach O, the team went 6-2, including a win over No. 5 Stanford, though they got throttled by rival UCLA. USC decided to hire Steve Sarkisian, the other top offensive assistant from the Pete Carroll era (Kiffin being the other), after the 2013 regular season ended, and Orgeron resigned.
So why did USC pass over Orgeron? The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, who wrote a really good book about Orgeron’s time at Ole Miss, appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show” this week and talked about the situation. He said that Orgeron did not fit the desired profile of USC’s officials. Feldman said that USC “couldn’t get past what Ed Orgeron sounded like.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) December 9, 2019
The athletic department was led by Pat Haden at the time, and like Feldman says, Orgeron did not have the “country club” feel that maybe the Trojans desired. Orgeron has a Cajun sound, which is perfect for LSU:
"Death Valley, where opponents' dreams come to die."
Coach O is a treasure. pic.twitter.com/Gz0417OPRS
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 13, 2019
Orgeron ended up going to LSU and became their interim head coach in 2016 after Les Miles was fired. Rather than do what USC did, LSU decided to remove the interim tag and let Orgeron continue as head coach. The move has paid off.
LSU went 9-4 in Orgeron’s first full season and 10-3 last season. This year they’re 13-0 and rolling into the College Football Playoff as the No. 1 team in the rankings.
LSU has learned that it’s not so much about how Orgeron sounds, but more about the way he’s able to inspire his players.
USC, meanwhile, ended up getting rid of Sarkisian amid alcohol abuse issues, and hired Clay Helton, whom most of the fan base dislikes. There is a great feeling that USC missed out with Orgeron. Their loss is certainly LSU’s gain.
LSU Fans, He said it, you wear it! Get your “Roll Tide, what? F–k You!” shirts right here: