NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It's not Tom Herman. It's not Jimbo Fisher. But if you're LSU, there are far worse positions to be in than having Ed Orgeron as your head coach.
"Growing up in the state of Louisiana, watching the Tigers play, we get it," says Orgeron. "We understand what you gave to us and the accountability we have to the state of Louisiana, to LSU and everybody that's played here before."
A Louisiana man through and through, Orgeron stands proud as the Tigers full-time head coach. It's that commitment to his native state that LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva says played a big role in landing him the job.
"We know where Coach O's heart is," says Alleva. "We know where his love is. We know where his passion is. At the end of the day, only one candidate got an official offer from us, and it was accepted this morning."
Alleva says that the coaching search was never going to turn into a bidding war (say, between LSU, Texas and the Longhorns' new head coach Tom Herman). It appears that Herman's heart was always in Texas, just like Orgeron's never left Louisiana, no matter where else he coached.
"Every step I went, I was preparing to come back home to LSU," says Orgeron. "That was my goal the whole time, just to go out, go to Miami, go to Syracuse, go to USC, be prepared and get better. I wanted to come back to be the best football coach I can possibly be when I took this job."
Of course, talking the talk is the easy part. What made Herman such a sought-after candidate is his prolific spread offense. Orgeron has to find the right offensive coordinator to deliver if he wants to succeed where Les Miles could not the last few seasons.
"I do believe that nowadays you have to run the spread offense," says Orgeron. "You have to have dual-threat quarterbacks that can run the ball and throw it."
Under Orgeron, the Tigers took some big steps forward with some historic offensive performances against the likes of Missouri, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M. However, the fact remains that they're still on a six-game losing streak to Alabama, and that's where Orgeron says he welcomes the challenge every year.