BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Let's start with the obvious.
Jimbo Fisher is the best and most qualified candidate to take over the LSU program. He checks all the boxes. He has strong ties to Louisiana. He's won a national title at a big-time program.
He's one of the most underrated quarterback developers in all of football, at any level. He got Rohan Davey, Matt Mauck, Josh Booty and Matt Flynn drafted. He put E.J. Manuel and Christian Ponder in the first round and made Jamarcus Russell and Jameis Winston number one overall picks.
Wherever he goes, successful quarterbacks, and offenses, usually follow.
Joe Alleva is absolutely correct in reportedly wanting Jimbo as his top guy.
But what happens if Jimbo doesn't want to be that guy?
That's where things would appear to be complicated. But should be real simple.
Stick with Ed Orgeron.
Is it really that crazy? Is there truly another candidate that's a clear-cut upgrade over 'O?'
Tom Herman is the rising star who appears destined for the University of Texas. I'm not convinced coaches like Mike Gundy, Larry Fedora or Justin Fuente would come to Baton Rouge and do any better than Orgeron has already proven he can do.
Coach O was basically asked to be perfect. That didn't happen. While his loss to Alabama was forgivable, his loss to Florida was inexcusable.
His team was undisciplined. And he foolishly let the pre-game chatter get out of hand (still don't understand why LSU players talked trash so much about Florida when they got the good end of the deal.)
But while he had slip-ups, he also demonstrated what the feel of LSU football would be like with him as the CEO. Should he win Thursday, he would finish 5-2 and in the process bring a renewed sense of Louisiana pride to an LSU fan base that I'm not sure even realized they'd lost it.
Second halves at Tiger Stadium had become way too empty for the most rabid fan base in college football. The players went from overwhelmed and lethargic under Les Miles to excited and free under Orgeron.
Understand, if this decision were up to them it wouldn't be a contest on who deserves the full-time gig the most. From an intangible standpoint, Orgeron has 'it' and gets 'it.'
True, the offense looked eerily similar to Miles' at times, especially in those two losses. However, changes to that side of the ball are inevitably coming. There just wasn't enough time to completely rip up the old system and start a new one five weeks into the season. It takes coaches a full offseason to truly do that. One report had him bringing Lane Kiffin aboard from Alabama. Imagine that, getting a true Cajun as head coach AND weakening your biggest rival at the same time.
Perhaps this isn't a fair hypothetical, but I've caught myself thinking how different 2016 season would look had Orgeron been the head coach all season. Is it that far-fetched to think that this would be an 8-2 team right now with the inside track to the Sugar Bowl?
I don't think so.
Some may say Orgeron blew his opportunity at his dream job. I disagree. The only thing he ensured is that he would not be Alleva's top option, which he may never have been even if he did run the table.
But if Alleva's top choice turns him down, he shouldn't look far for Plan B. He's already in the building.