Orgeron was also apparently heard through the walls inside the stadium yelling and celebrating as well. He said after the game that he has a “right to do that” and would do it again via NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan.
Ed Orgeron could be heard through the walls euphorically celebrating with his team inside LSU’s game-winning locker room. “I have a right to do that. I’ll do it again,” Orgeron said.
Pressure is always going to be a factor when coaching a college football program. The expectations of the fans, boosters, and athletic department can sometimes be arguably unrealistic, and so many things can go wrong over the course of a season. Some programs simply expect to contend because they’re major programs of historical significance, too.
Here are ten college football coaches who are, for various reasons, in need of a big campaign. They may be coaches who have been successful in the past but have had their stock fall, young coaches with lots of talent and a need to put it all together, or simply coaches at underachieving big-name programs who are tasked with restoring those teams to their former glory. Whatever the case, these guys need to show something this year.
10) Major Applewhite, Houston
Applewhite is working under the good kind of pressure — the kind that comes with high expectations. He has arguably the best defensive player in college football in Ed Oliver on his side, and Houston will be expected to contend for and win the AAC’s West Division. Applewhite is a young coach in his second full year on the job, which only makes his task a bit heftier. Improvement and a potential division title are required this year to keep discontent at a minimum.
Football season is still roughly a month away from kicking off, but there are already a number of coaches planted firmly on the hot seat — at least in the eyes of oddsmakers.
According to the latest odds released by BetOnline.AG sports book, Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson and LSU’s Ed Orgeron are two coaches who had better bring their A-game right from the opening snap in Week 1. The book lists Orgeron as the most likely SEC coach to be the first fired, and Jackson takes home that “honor” in the NFL.
Orgeron has a record of 15-6 since he took over as the head coach of LSU in 2016, and players seem to enjoy playing for him. He’s a high-energy guy who has been known to use some absolutely insane motivational tactics, but we know how competitive SEC football is. The Tigers won the Citrus Bowl in 2016 and ended their season with a loss in the same game last year, so Orgeron’s team will have to shown signs of improvement after a 9-4 season.
Jackson’s situation is a bit more obvious. The Browns have stuck with him despite winning just one game over the past two seasons, and they brought in a new veteran quarterback in Tyrod Taylor and drafted Baker Mayfield early in the first round. Another disastrous season would almost certainly be the end of the road for Jackson in Cleveland.
It’s not uncommon for coaches to hire staff members that ultimately don’t work out for a variety of reasons. When that happens, they usually announce a mutual parting of the ways and everyone moves on, no hard feelings.
That’s not how Ed Orgeron handled things at SEC media day.
The LSU coach admitted that his decision to hire Matt Canada as offensive coordinator was a mistake, and that his replacement, Steve Ensminger, should have been hired all along.
“It’s tough when you make a mistake, but it’s even tougher not to admit you made a mistake and it’s just not a good fit,” Orgeron said when asked about the offensive coordinator switch, via Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. “I had to do the best what I thought for the LSU program, and that’s why I did it.”
Ensminger was Orgeron’s offensive coordinator during his interim stint in 2016, but upon receiving the job permanently, Canada was brought in as offensive coordinator, with Ensminger demoted to tight ends coach.
“Circumstances were different when I got the job,” Orgeron said. “I went out and tried to get the best coordinator … it didn’t work. And all the while I was saying: ‘You know what? Steve Ensminger is the guy, and if I have a chance I’m going to hire him.’
“I have complete confidence in the direction that he’s going to lead this offense. He and I are on the same page.”
Canada, who has since moved on to become Maryland’s offensive coordinator, struggled early in LSU’s season. It sounds like he never had the confidence of his head coach. It’s hardly as toxic as the relationship between these former co-workers, but it’s still a rather startling public admission.
Ed Orgeron is known for being one of the most enthusiastic coaches in the country, and his antics have left many LSU football players with stories to tell for the rest of their lives. One that keeps popping up involves Coach O decking himself in the face.
Michael Casagrande of AL.com caught up with several former Tigers players who are adjusting to life in the NFL, and he asked them to share some of their fondest memories from playing for Orgeron. Offensive lineman K.J. Malone, who retired over the weekend after signing with the Texans as an undrafted free agent, recalled a time Orgeron went to great lengths to get himself amped up for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
“He walked in there and said it’s time to set your jaw,” Malone said. “And started punching himself in the jaw. … He was punching. I tried to do it. I thought, dang.”
Saints rookie center Will Clapp and Eagles tackle Toby Weathersby vouched for Malone’s story.
“Punch yourself in the face in the morning if you’re not ready,” Clapp recalled Orgeron telling the team.
“It’s a real serious punch,” Weathersby said. “Then he’ll look at us and start growling. He’ll give us a growl and you know what time it means. It’s time to go win a ball game.”
While it may sound insane, there are dozens of stories like that floating around about Ed O. Former Tigers quarterback Danny Etling, who was drafted by the Patriots, once watched Orgeron pummel himself in the face with an energy drink can before using his own fist.
“Before one of the games, he’ll come down and drink a whole Red Bull, smashes it on his head, lifts off his shirt and he’s punching himself in the jaw getting us ready, pumped up to play,” Etling said. “That’s Coach O for you.”
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron’s concerns about daylight savings time were both old fashioned and extremely delightful to hear.
In many areas throughout the United States, clocks went ahead one hour during the wee hours of Sunday morning as they do every year for daylight savings time. For many people, concerns about the change in time are minimal due to the fact that smart phones update automatically. Orgeron just recently found that out.
Ole Miss was the first school to give Ed Orgeron a head coaching job before they eventually fired him after his third season on the job. You might think that Orgeron would hold some bitterness towards Ole Miss, but that is not the case.
Now the head coach at LSU, Orgeron is getting set to face the Rebels on Saturday in Oxford. He doesn’t think much of returning to Oxford because he’s all about LSU — the school he always wanted to coach.
LSU’s Ed Orgeron told me the Ole Miss game is just another game “because the truth is the whole time I was there I was wishing I were here.”
LSU enters the game 5-2 following wins over Florida and Auburn after their upset loss to Troy. Ole Miss is 3-3 after picking up a win over Vandy following three straight road losses. Orgeron’s Tigers can’t afford another loss otherwise the calls for his job will increase.
LSU will visit Mississippi State on Saturday, so Ed Orgeron is doing what he can to prepare his Tigers for the game. In fact, Orgeron says he has been simulating the cowbell sounds in practice all week to get his team ready for what it will sound like in Starkville.
Orgeron says #LSU has been playing cowbell noise "all week" in practice. O says he's getting tired of hearing them.
Ringing cowbells has long been a tradition at Mississippi State, though the origins of the tradition are unknown, according to the school’s website. Only in recent years did the SEC set a rule known as the “cowbell compromise” that allows Bulldogs fans to bring a cowbell into the stadium for games.
Here’s video that shows what it sounds like with Mississippi State fans ringing the cowbell during a game: