LSU finished off the Ed Orgeron era with a thrilling, last-second 27-24 victory over No. 15 Texas A&M. Now, the focus of the Tigers program -- particularly, the focus of athletic director Scott Woodward -- shifts to finding Orgeron's successor. Who that will be remains to be seen, but there's one coach who has publicly taken himself out of contention: Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.
Rumors have circulated for weeks that Riley may be the next coach of the Tigers, but the Sooners boss flat-out refuted the notion following his team's 37-33 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State in a dramatic Bedlam rivalry.
"Let me stop you right there. I'm not going to be the next coach at LSU," Riley said in his postgame press conference.
Is Riley's denial set in stone? Of course not. It remains to be seen if Woodward is going to show up at Riley's door with a Brinks truck full of cash and make him say "no." However, Riley's statement seems as definitive as it gets these days.
If that's the case, where does LSU go from here? Riley and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher are seemingly off of the table -- Fisher has also issued his own stern denial -- but this is a desirable job that is attractive to coaches across the country. That could lead Woodward to pursuing Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin more aggressively, or force him to turn his attention to Iowa State's Matt Campbell, Cincinnati's Luke Fickell or Louisiana's Billy Napier.
Woodward is known to keep things close to the vest and keep his circle small. We'll see if he has some tricks up his sleeve as his coaching search kicks into high gear now that the regular season has wrapped up.