By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
The silly season doesn’t only affect those head coaches who’re actively looking for a new gig.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron expects offensive coordinator Matt Canada to pursue a head coaching job and “hopes” LSU’s first-year assistant as the coaching carousel kicks into gear, Orgeron said Saturday after LSU routed Texas A&M 45-21 in the regular-season finale.
“Everybody wants to be a head coach,” Orgeron said. “And I hope he gets the opportunity to get it.”
The coaching carousel is setting up to be especially wild. Ole Miss, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference alone are looking for new coaches with Texas A&M reportedly not far behind. All that hiring and firing causes a trickle-down effect across the college football landscape.
It’s fairly well known around that program that Canada would like to be a head coach. He interviewed for the vacancy at East Carolina back in December of 2015 before Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery eventually got the job.
Canada is in the first year of a three-year contract that pays him $1.5 million annually. Generally speaking, he would have to land a Power 5 Conference head coaching job or likely accept a pay cut if he wanted to take a job at the mid-major level.
If Canada does leave, the pertinent question shifts to the future of the shift-base offense he’s installed this season — an attack that had just hung 45 points and 601 yards of total offense on Texas A&M.
Orgeron answered that one directly, too: “It all depends. I have in mind what we want on offense, also I’ve been at some pretty good schools; pretty good offenses. So if he would leave, we’ve got guys like (tight ends coach) Steve Ensminger, who I’d highly consider. Done a great job for us last year. But those things got to happen in the near future.”
It’s worth noting that relationship between Orgeron and Canada isn’t clear at this point. The two had something of a disconnect leading up to the Troy loss, as Orgeron admitted afterward to meddling in Canada’s offense and ordering him to stop running his trademark shifts and motions.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva held a meeting with Orgeron, Canada and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda in the aftermath of that loss for the purpose of getting “all on the same page,” according to Orgeron.
The results from that point on have been ostensibly positive, though. LSU won six of its final seven games — the lone defeat coming against Alabama, who LSU outgained on the night — while averaging 28.9 points per game during that stretch.
“He’s done a good job,” Orgeron said. “I think the whole offensive staff has done a good job.”