The Short List: Who could be LSU's next head football coach?
The LSU head football coach's job could easily be considered one of the top ten jobs in the country, and now that there will be an opening Tiger athletic director Scott Woodward will have his choice of most of the top coaches in the country.
It is thought that new LSU president William Tate will provide counsel for the hire and that both Woodward and Tate will try to move quickly to have a candidate in place for the early recruiting signing period on December 15.
Here is a list of potential candidates that LSU should consider for their head coaching job in 2022:
Mel Tucker, Michigan State: Tucker was the defensive backs coach for Nick Saban back in 2000 and has gained attention as the Michigan St. head coach. Tucker is 9-5 in his two seasons at MSU and undefeated this year at 7-0 with the Spartans. Tucker has spent time in the NFL and as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach on Saban's Alabama team.
James Franklin, Penn State: Franklin has SEC roots, having coached at Vanderbilt before becoming the head coach at Penn State. Franklin made the Commodores competitive in the SEC East during his time at Vanderbilt and has the Lions ranked 7th in the country despite a 4-5 season a year ago.
Mario Cristobal, Oregon: Cristobal is has a track record of being an intense recruiter and has ties to Nick Saban, having served on his staff at Alabama. As the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, he's won both Rose Bowls and Pac-12 titles. His steep buyout of around $9 million could make him too pricey for the Tigers to afford, given their need to pay out Orgeron and his assistants.
Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss: Kiffin has bounced around all of college football, but his aggressive offensive approach has him on the wish-list for many programs. Kiffin was going to be the LSU offensive coordinator on Coach O's first staff, but he took the FAU head job instead. Kiffin does have an off-the-field persona that may be too hot for LSU at this moment.
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: Fisher has Baton Rouge roots. He was the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban back in the early 2000s, and LSU has courted Fisher at different points in various coaching searches. Currently the Texas A&M Aggies head coach, Fisher won a national title at FSU. His offensive approach to the game and ability to work with quarterbacks makes him a coveted coach for any program.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky: Stoops has built the Kentucky Wildcats into contenders with an inside-out approach of fortifying both the offensive and defensive lines. Stoops has the Cats pointing in the right direction after starting the year 60 for the first time, and they're on their way to their second double-digit win season in four years.
Billy Napier, UL-Lafayette: Napier is seen as an up and coming coach in the college game, a former assistant and analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama, he's developed the Ragin Cajuns into consistent winners. Napier's offensive background and aggressive style has many fans thinking he's on the cusp of a major college football hire.
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