Dig Baton Rouge

Orgeron gets his mulligan, and his man

Let me start out this troll by stating what a lot of LSU fans have seemingly forgotten: Ed Orgeron never really wanted Matt Canada calling his plays.

When Orgeron was hired, he tried to coax Steve Ensminger into keeping play calling duties into the future – a marriage that worked in 2016 when the Tigers fired Les Miles.

Ensminger declined.

Orgeron then started a full-court press for Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin – a push that was successful, but unable to be completed. Multiple reports said that Kiffin would have left Alabama to call plays for LSU, if unable to find a head coaching gig. He later was hired to be the head coach at Florida Atlantic.

Finally, after a short search, the Tigers settled on Canada – a hot name because his offense scored enough points to beat Clemson in 2016, his only season at Pittsburgh.

But this was never going to work, and Orgeron realized it pretty quickly.

Both guys are stubborn. Orgeron is media-friendly and recruits love his Cajun twang, but he likes things done a certain way and isn’t afraid to be combative if affairs aren’t in order.

Canada is the same way.

Just look at his track record.

Since 2007, Canada has been at six schools (Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, LSU). In four of his stops, he’s stayed just one year (Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, LSU).

Results speak for themselves – the guy is a great offensive mind. But history also shows that he rubs people the wrong way at times, as well.

After the 2015 season, Canada didn’t leave NC State by his own free will. He was fired by head coach Dave Doeren.

Why?

It wasn’t performance.

NC State’s offense was solid with Canada at the controls.

But multiple reports said that he and Doeren had some issues behind the scenes, which led to the falling out.

The same story played out at LSU – virtually from day one – when Orgeron admitted he wanted the Tigers to dumb down some of their pre-snap shifting early in the season.

They did for a half against Troy, then went back to the shifting in the second half in an embarrassing loss.

After the game, Orgeron, Canada, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and Athletic Director Joe Alleva had a meeting to get things in order.

Since that time, the Tigers have gotten hot and have salvaged their season, though it’s apparently not enough for Orgeron and Canada to play nice for another year.

So now, Orgeron gets a mulligan at offensive coordinator and likely will get his man, too.

Multiple reports out of Baton Rouge say that LSU will strongly consider Ensminger for the full-time position once Canada is cycled out of the program.

Ensminger, like Orgeron, is a guy living out his dream job by being employed by LSU.

In 2016, he took over for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron once the Tigers fired Miles.

He was incredible, leading LSU to several offensive records, while averaging 32 points per game.

And that was without an offseason to implement any of his own concepts.

Ensminger would do a fine job as LSU’s offensive coordinator.

Quite frankly, he’s who they wanted from the get-go.

Orgeron got his mulligan 12 months later and it looks like he may get his man.

Hopefully LSU fans like the offense they see this time next year as we probe toward the future.

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