Coach O steps down, LSU continues to search for his replacement
UPDATE: Monday night, Yahoo Sports said LSU is expecting to hire Notre Dame's head coach Brian Kelly.
Sources: LSU is expecting to hire Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as the school’s next head coach. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 30, 2021
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The LSU coaching search continues to baffle as top candidates Lincoln Riley and Billy Napier both have accepted new head coaching jobs that aren't in Baton Rouge.
UL's Billy Napier, who has repeatedly turned down power five jobs from the likes of Auburn and Mississippi State, has reportedly accepted an offer to become Florida's next head coach. Napier had long been the dark horse in the LSU coaching search but was rumored to have a shortlist of schools that could uproot him from Lafayette, where he was 39-12 as the head coach of the Ragin' Cajuns.
The bigger name and more intriguing candidate was Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley, who, according to Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports, has reportedly agreed to become the next head coach at Southern Cal as of Sunday.
Riley was the top target for LSU AD Scott Woodward as his name, resume and overall persona checked every box needed to replace Ed Orgeron who announced after the win over Florida in October that he had reached a separation agreement with the university and would not return after the 2021 season.
Riley's offensive credentials are widely regarded as one of the best in the college game. He's built Oklahoma into a perennial power while establishing a nationwide recruiting base.
Since the LSU job became officially available, the shortlist of initial candidates have all signed lucrative extensions. Mel Tucker inked a 10-year, $95 million deal to stay at Michigan State, which was shortly followed by Baylor's Dave Arranda saying he and the administration were closing in on a deal to have him in Waco for an extended period.
Most recently, Penn State announced a new agreement for James Franklin. The 10-year, $75 million deal keeps the head coach of Happy Valley very happy and in State College for a decade.