Orgeron doesn't hide from expectations at LSU

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Where did they go?

But 10 years after his last appearance at SEC media days, Orgeron found himself back at the podium on Monday in Hoover, Ala., as the coach responsible for following Les Miles, a national championship-winning head coach, at a superior football program to the one he was sacked from a decade ago. But after losing in two overtimes to Texas A&M, getting blasted by Alabama and losing to SC, it turned into another disappointing season for coach Butch Jones - despite a season-ending victory over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl to finish 9-4 and become one of three SEC teams to win nine or more games, two years in a row (Florida and Alabama are the other two). "If I wanted to be a head coach, I needed to start acting like a head coach, not a defensive line coach".

Saban would go on to win sole national championships at Alabama in 2009, '11, '12 and '15. But the man called "Coach O" has slowly clawed his way back up the coaching ladder and is one of just a handful to get a second chance on the sidelines in the SEC.

He knew he was in trouble that July - a decade ago. Coaches tend to be more reserved in these settings, while at times players begin to allow their personalities to shine through.

Dawson played in 12 games and started seven a year ago. But the interim position was not made permanent despite a mostly impressive 6-2 season in 2013. But the Razorbacks lost four of the final six games for an unsatisfying 7-6 record. By the fall of 2016, Orgeron replaced the fired Miles. He's since been an interim head coach at two powerhouse programs and believes his 16-game body of work in those roles should be enough to ease concerns about his fitness for the permanent job in Baton Rouge. "I wasn't ready", Orgeron said. "With Leonard, I feel like he is more of a bigger back, a bruiser that could go up through the middle". Orgeron had been as assistant on Johnson's Miami staff and Carroll's USC staff. "My "why" ... I want better for my family". I understand the expectations at LSU.


He is convinced, and LSU fans are hopeful, that he is not the same coach who went 3-21 in three seasons in the SEC.

Orgeron was reflective, saying he did some soul-searching following his days at Ole Miss. "I said, 'If they're reviewing the catch, it's a touchdown, ' because I felt like I had the ball in my possession, feet in bounds". Was given a great chance. "But I will say this as the head coach at LSU, I will always do my best to protect the state of Louisiana". I did the things that I did at the defensive line coach and was very successful over the years. The Tigers are 2-2 in their past four meetings against Arkansas, Auburn and Ole Miss. He visited his mentors.

Most of the coaches have been around the block here a few times. Leonard came to me in tears. "I was going to treat the team exactly how I treat my sons". I have a lot of respect for Coach (Jim) McElwain and the job that they do. "Ever since those two minor changes, we've been 12-4, so that's the difference", he said.

"I'm excited, I'm honored to be the head coach at LSU", said Orgeron.

Guice said that while Hardman was defending Chubb's prowess in the weight room, the only thing that matters is how each back performs on Saturdays.

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