With LSU making its move on Les Miles, the college football news cycle has been filled with speculation regarding where the Tigers will go next. It's a program that has won at a high level for 15 years, is busting at the seams with in-state talent and is widely considered to be one of the top-10 jobs in the country. High-profile job searches demand national attention, and with that comes speculation from both insiders and oddsmakers.
Bovada has already set the initial odds board for LSU's next coach. Tom Herman, the hottest coaching star in the industry, is close to even odds at 5-4 and he is followed closely by former LSU offensive coordinator and now national championship-winning Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. Those are the names mentioned by Dennis Dodd to kick off the speculation, and it's a good guess that LSU won't look elsewhere without having an idea of what each coach would say if offered the job.
The rest of the list can be sorted into a few buckets.
1) Offensive-leaning coaches moving up in the ranks: Larry Fedora, Willie Taggart, Bobby Petrino 2.0
2) Former coaches credited for offensive prowess: Lane Kiffin, Chip Kelly, Art Briles
3) Other: Ed Orgeron, Gary Patterson
|Name||Odds to be LSU's next coach|
|Tom Herman, Houston||5-4|
|Jimbo Fisher, Florida State||3-1|
|Larry Fedora, North Carolina||4-1|
|Willie Taggart, USF||6-1|
|Ed Orgeron, LSU (interim)||9-1|
|Lane Kiffin, Alabama (OC)||12-1|
|Gary Patterson, TCU||15-1|
|Chip Kelly, San Francisco 49ers||15-1|
|Bobby Petrino, Louisville||18-1|
|Art Briles, TBD||28-1|
Hiring Ed Orgeron would likely be a result of LSU turning its season around (and probably beating Alabama) while Gary Patterson is simply a damn good coach that is likely to wind up on the wish list for any major job. Outside of those two options, the key thread here is that oddsmakers are looking for LSU to go offensive with its next hire.
But there are two current coaches not listed by the oddsmakers that both have offensive backgrounds. SEC on CBS lead analyst Gary Danielson made a great pitch for Mississippi State's Dan Mullen to be considered during his visit this week to the SEC on CBS Podcast. It was a name that hasn't been mentioned much, but to hear Gary tell it seems like a phone call worth making if you are LSU.
"My prediction is, and I could be totally wrong about, the two "A" names are going to pass -- Tom Herman and Jimbo Fisher. I know who I'd represent, [but] I don't know if he wants the job or not," Danielson said. "The one thing that has been short at LSU has been quarterback. Right now, there's no head coach in college football that has a better quarterback resume than this guy.
"One of his first offensive coordinator quarterbacks is now playing at a high level for the Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith. His next offensive coordinator quarterback won the Heisman Trophy: Tim Tebow. And now at a school, at Mississippi State, that took all the rejects that LSU didn't want, he beat you with Dak Prescott and look how he's played in the NFL. I'd like to represent Dan Mullen and throw that resume down on the desk."
Another coach worth considering and keeping an eye on, Danielson said, is Notre Dame's Brian Kelly. Depending on how the rest of the season goes for the Fighting Irish, LSU might be able to convince Kelly to make a move and test himself in the SEC West.