Who's next: Has Ed Orgeron emerged as the second best coach in the SEC West
Alabama hasn’t lost a regular-season game against a non-conference opponent since 2007. Yet the Crimson Tide has lost at least once in SEC play in nine of Alabama coach Nick Saban’s 13 seasons.
For that reason, BamaInsider decided to skip straight to the games that matter most when it comes to previewing the coaches Alabama will face in 2020. Today we continue with LSU coach Ed Orgeron.
Performance against Saban
Record against Saban: 1-4
Total score: 131-80
Next meeting: Nov. 7 @ LSU
-Overall record: 55-36 (39-9 at LSU)
-National Championship: 2019
-SEC Championship: 2019
-National Coach of the Year: 2019
Alabama only lost to the Tigers by five points in 2019, but the that was the last real scare LSU endured on the way to the national championship. Orgeron's squad defeated its final six opponents by an average of 29.83 points.
It's a crazy number when you consider that three of those opponents included then-No. 4 Georgia, then-No. 4 Oklahoma and then-No. 3 Clemson.
Suddenly, there's a strong case to be made for Orgeron as perhaps the second best coach in division if not the conference. If you throw out his first year and the interim games then Orgeron is an impressive 25-3 at LSU.
Oh yeah and those three losses:
- By two points on the road in SEVEN overtimes to Texas A&M
- By eight points on the road to a Florida team which ranked 10th in the final College Football Playoff rankings
- By 29 points to Alabama.
When you look at things that way, Saban is the only one to hand Orgeron a convincing loss in the last two seasons.
What's at stake?
Orgeron doesn't get the respect from the national public that many of his far less successful peers do. A narrative has emerged that the Tigers will face a significant drop off without passing game coordinator Joe Brady, quarterback Joe Burrow along with other losses on the offensive side of the ball.
Many believe that LSU caught lightning in a bottle with the pairing of those two. While it is unlikely the Tigers are able to replicate such a historic season, LSU should have more than enough firepower to contend for the SEC West.
Orgeron doesn't have much to prove at this point, but if he can find his way back to SEC Championship game in Atlanta in 2020, it will be tough to criticize what he's done down in Baton Rouge.
Alabama and LSU seem to duke it out year after year for top prospects, especially those born in the state of Louisiana.
There are currently four prospects still in play that seem poised to choose between Alabama and LSU.
Maason Smith seems poised to make a huge impact for the team that signs him. At this point that team probably plays for Orgeron.
LSU's recruiting classes ranked fourth and third, respectively after Orgeron's first full class finished No. 14.