Update: Charlie Strong will reportedly be fired at his scheduled Saturday morning meeting with Texas administration, according to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel. Texas is expected to immediately move its focus to Houston coach Tom Herman to replace Strong with a meeting coming "as early as Saturday afternoon or evening," according to Chip Brown of Horns Digest.
That is, of course, if the following reports are to be believed, and Houston coach Tom Herman doesn't want you to believe anything.
The Baton Rouge Advocate and ESPN report that Herman remains the top choice for LSU, but that interim coach Ed Orgeron is the No. 2 option. ESPN's report explicitly called Orgeron LSU's "backup plan."
"If Herman says yes, he'll be LSU's coach," a source told ESPN. "If not, all signs point to 'Coach O.'"
Orgeron reportedly met with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on Friday morning following the Tigers' 54-39 Thanksgiving Day win over Texas A&M. Orgeron is 5-2 since taking over for Les Miles earlier this season. The ESPN report states, citing a source, that the meeting between Orgeron and Alleva "went really well."
The Advocate adds...
In the meeting with Alleva, Orgeron was expected to lay out a long-term plan that likely includes hiring an offensive coordinator with a proven and successful track record. It's no secret who's at the top of his list: Lane Kiffin, the offensive coordinator at Alabama and a good friend and former co-worker of Orgeron.
Orgeron was on Kiffin's staff at USC and became the Trojans' interim coach in 2013 when Kiffin was fired. Earlier this year, Alabama hired Orgeron's successor, Steve Sarkisian, as a special assistant for the offense, leading many to believe Kiffin would try his luck as a coach elsewhere after this season.
Orgeron might be the favorite among LSU players, but Herman reportedly remains the top target among the administration. The question of whether LSU can land Herman or not seems to revolve around whether there will be an opening at Texas. Embattled Longhorns coach Charlie Strong looked as good as done after losing to Kansas, but recent reports have indicated that might not be the case.
If Texas does have a coaching vacancy, LSU could find itself in a bidding war for Herman's services. Herman just wrapped up his second regular season with the Cougars, losing Friday 48-44 to Memphis in a slightly disappointing season considering preseason expectations.