The LSU Tigers have cleaned house with their coaching staff following a disappointing 5-5 season.
LSU on Monday parted ways with defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, safeties coach Bill Busch, and defensive line coach Bill Johnson. They are also parting ways with passing game coordinator Scott Linehan.
Cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond is the only defensive coach who will remain on staff.
LSU went 15-0 last season and put together one of the most impressive seasons ever in college football, culminating in the national championship win over Clemson. Though the season was historic, it came at a cost. Not only did they lose talent to the NFL, but they lost some top coaches too. Dave Aranda went to Baylor, while Joe Brady went to the Carolina Panthers.
LSU lost quarterback Myles Brennan to an injury and eventually wound up playing a third-stringer at the position. They saw a top tight end leave the team.
Tigers fans are looking for much more from the team next season.
Bo Pelini is set to take the fall for LSU’s defensive frailties in 2020.
As first reported by Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Pelini is not expected to return as LSU’s defensive coordinator in 2021. Pelini just completed the first year of a three-year, $2.3 million annual contract.
The Tigers, coming off a championship season, ranked second-to-last in the SEC in both total defense and pass defense. Part of that was down to huge turnover on the defensive side of the ball, but that wasn’t enough to account for the fact that the team surrendered nearly 35 points per game. Someone simply had to go for that.
Pelini was hired to replace Dave Aranda, who had left to become the head coach at Baylor. This was a highly-touted hire, and one that coach Ed Orgeron tried to stand by as long as he could. Ultimately, the results were too awful to ignore.
The tide appears to be turning back towards Alabama after drifting towards LSU over the last year.
The Crimson Tide flipped two recruits from LSU on Signing Day Wednesday. Early in the day, edge rusher Keanu Koht announced he would be signing with Alabama. That came after he was committed to LSU since July.
The Tide also flipped wide receiver JoJo Earle, who had been committed to LSU since April.
LSU had tons of momentum after winning the national championship last season, but they are 4-5 this season. Alabama meanwhile is the favorite to win the national championship. Players have seen how Bama remains on top of the college football world and want to play there when given a choice.
The Shoetastrophe. The L-S-Shoe game. We’re already getting some clever suggestions for what to call LSU’s 37-34 victory over Florida at The Swamp in Gainesville on Saturday night. And LSU is grateful for what happened.
Late in the fourth quarter, Florida defensive back Marco Wilson threw Kole Taylor’s shoe after getting a stop on a critical third down. Wilson received a penalty for the play, which gave LSU a first down (video here). The Tigers ended up kicking a tie-breaking field goal later in the drive to win the game.
Taylor’s shoe was the subject of discussion after the game. One LSU staffer joked that the shoe would go into the Hall of Fame.
The cleat in question is a Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360 in size 14, according to Ross Dellenger.
Some may see that penalty as a cheap way to get a win, but LSU’s Ed Orgeron was more than happy to take it.
At 3-5 entering the game, Orgeron was probably thrilled to just have something go his way.
What a terrible way for Florida to lose.
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith continued his monster season on Saturday night in a blowout win over LSU, and Crimson Tide alumnus Marlon Humphrey saw it coming.
LSU has become known for producing NFL-caliber defensive backs, but you would never have known it on Saturday. Alabama quarterback Matt Jones threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns in his team’s 55-17 win over their rival. Early in the game, Humphrey mocked LSU on Twitter for being crowned “Defensive Back U” and said Smith was going to torch the Tigers.
Smith had eight catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns. He helped make the LSU defensive backfield look nonexistent, let alone live up to its reputation.
LSU has produced All-Pro NFL defensive backs like Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White. Tigers head coach Ed Orgereon wouldn’t have wanted to hear about that on Saturday night, as evidenced by the meltdown he had on the sideline following one of Smith’s touchdowns.
The Alabama loss was about as bad as it gets for LSU, which is clearly experiencing a championship hangover. Humphrey’s tweet was merely a footnote on a miserable night for the Tigers.
Multiple SEC games will not be played this week due to positive COVID-19 tests, and the huge rivalry game between Alabama and LSU is one of them.
Saturday’s Alabama-LSU game has been postponed, according to multiple reports. LSU faced challenges meeting the SEC’s minimum requirement of 53 eligible players after some tested positive for COVID-19 and others were ruled out due to contact tracing.
As John Talty of AL.com notes, LSU’s game against Florida has already been rescheduled to Dec. 12, so there may not be room in the schedule to make up Alabama-LSU.
Two other games — Auburn vs. Mississippi State and Texas A&M vs. Tennessee — have also been postponed. That leaves just three games remaining for the SEC this week.
Three Baton Rouge police officers were placed on administrative leave Monday following an alleged incident with LSU wide receiver Koy Moore.
Moore said in a social media post on Sunday that he was “violated” by police officers the night before. The freshman claimed the officers approached him with the assumption that he was carrying drugs and a gun. He said he was “violated multiple times” by the officers, who unzipped his pants in search of a weapon he informed them he did not have. Here’s Moore’s full post:
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said Monday that the three officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, according to WAFB 9.
Both LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and athletic director Scott Woodward addressed the alleged incident in statements. Orgeron spoke of the importance of social justice and combating racism. Woodward expressed “full faith” in the Baton Rouge Police Department’s investigation and said LSU is offering Moore “every available resource.”
Moore has eight catches for 70 yards in his freshman season with the Tigers.
Odell Beckham Jr. will not be spending any time around the LSU football program for quite a while. Beckham has been banned from the school’s facility for two years due to the stunt he pulled after the national championship game earlier this year.
Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated reported on Wednesday that LSU has self-imposed several penalties after a lengthy investigation revealed booster payments to the father of a football player. The school is docking itself eight football scholarships over a two-year period and reducing recruiting visits, evaluations and communication. LSU has also banned Beckham from its facilities for two years after the Tigers alum was spotted handing out money to players following their win over Clemson in January’s title game.
LSU said the payments from Beckham totaled $2,000, which constitutes a Level III violation. The payments from a booster to former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander totaled $180,000, which is a Level I — the most serious — violation.
Beckham was on the field at the New Orleans Superdome celebrating with LSU when cameras saw him handing out cash to players. LSU initially claimed the money was fake but later retracted that after Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow made it clear he took real money.
Beckham was also involved in an embarrassing incident in the locker room after the game, so that may have factored into LSU’s decision.
The Missouri Tigers made a goal line stand for the ages to pull off a huge upset of LSU in Baton Rouge.
Down four with 37 seconds left, LSU had the ball inside the Missouri 1, needing only to punch it in to effectively clinch a win. They couldn’t do it, as running back Tyrion Davis-Price was stuffed on first and second down. Missouri’s defense held firm on third and fourth down as well, breaking up two consecutive Myles Brennan pass attempts.
That’s a brutal way to lose for LSU. All they needed was a little push up front to get into the end zone, but it didn’t happen for them.
Coach Ed Orgeron will likely have to answer some questions about this loss, which drops the reigning national champions to 1-2. It won’t just be his offense he has to answer for, either.
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron says he believes most of his players have already contracted the coronavirus, and he is hopeful that means they will be immune to it for at least a while going forward.
Orgeron told reporters on Tuesday that the majority of LSU players have had COVID-19.
“Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” he said, via ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “I think that hopefully they won’t catch it again, and hopefully they’re not out for games. … Hopefully once you catch it, you don’t get it again. I’m not a doctor. I think they have that 90-day window, so most of the players that have caught it, we do feel like they’ll be eligible for games.”
Orgeron was referring to the NCAA’s policy on players who have already tested positive for the coronavirus. Those players do not have to be tested again for another 90 days. It’s unclear exactly how many LSU players have had COVID-19, as the school has chosen not to provide regular reports of coronavirus numbers.
LSU is ranked No. 6 in the nation heading into the season. The defending national champions will take on Mississippi State in their season opener on Sept. 26.