One of the more interesting sub-plots to this weekend’s epic LSU-Alabama clash revolves around the job status of interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
Many believe that the school is prepared to remove the interim tag if he were to beat the No. 1 ranked Crimson Tide and a report from Fox Sports on Friday said even a 3-1 stretch in the final month of the season could be enough to get him the job on a permanent basis.
This isn’t the first time Orgeron has been in position to become the head coach after taking over a team on a temporary basis however. He was the interim coach at USC when Lane Kiffin — coincidentally the Alabama offensive coordinator now — was fired back in 2013 and led the Trojans to a 6-2 record. While many clamored for ‘Coach O’ to get the job as a result of that stretch run, he didn’t and was so disappointed that he bolted on the team prior to their bowl game at the end of the year.
It turns out that the veteran coach still harbors a little bit of resentment at what happened back in Los Angeles and how the school ultimately passed on giving him the job in favor of Steve Sarkisian.
“I’m better off at LSU, I’m with my people,” Orgeron told the Russillo and Kanell radio show. “Maybe I’m not the country club they wanted and, you know what, to hell with them.”
The Louisiana native is certainly more country than country club but it is interesting to hear him say such a thing about a place like USC, which helped him rehabilitate his coaching image after a disastrous tenure at Ole Miss. He’s definitely a better fit at the flagship school in his home state and if he can keep things rolling in Baton Rouge (he’s 3-0 so far since taking over for Les Miles), there probably won’t be similar comments coming out about LSU down the road.
You say the tears aren’t even dry yet from Joe Burrow‘s acceptance speech and we’re already looking ahead to 2020? You’re damn right we are.
Saturday night, Burrow claimed the 2019 Heisman Trophy in record-smashing fashion, with the quarterback becoming just the second LSU Tiger to claim the most prestigious trophy in the sport. Quarterback Justin Fields finished third in the voting, one of three Ohio State Buckeyes to land in the top six in the voting.
Speaking of Fields, one online sportsbook has the sophomore listed as a 5/2 favorite to win the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Fellow sophomore Trevor Lawrence of Clemson is right behind him at 3/1.
The next closest is Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at 7/1.
A handful of the players who finished in the Top 10 in the voting — Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, Ohio State running back JK Dobbins, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa — have eligibility remaining, but are expected to leave early for the NFL draft. If any of them opt to remain in school, that would obviously change the odds moving forward.
Jack Sears may have left USC, but it doesn’t appear he’ll end up leaving the state of California.
After finding himself fourth on the quarterbacking depth chart, Sears announced on his personal Twitter account in late August that he had decided to enter the NCAA transfer database. A little over three months later, and after a flirtation with Oregon State, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that “Sears has committed to San Diego State as a graduate transfer who would enroll during the spring semester.”
As a graduate transfer, Sears would be eligible to play for the Aztecs in 2020. He would also have another season of eligibility he could use in 2021 as well.
As of yet, the Mountain West Conference school hasn’t confirmed Sears’ intentions.
Sears was a four-star member of the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class, rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country. After redshirting as a true freshman, Sears completed 20-of-28 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown the following season.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has won the Heisman Trophy for the 2019 college football season. Burrow was officially named this year’s Heisman Trophy winner at a ceremony in New York City Saturday night.
The quarterback of the LSU Tigers has had a monster season. While leading LSU to a No. 1 ranking and seed in the College Football Playoff with an unblemished 13-0 record that includes a victory in the SEC Championship Game, Burrow passed for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns. Both numbers easily led the SEC as Burrow rewrote a handful of LSU and SEC passing records as the season unfolded. No other passer in the SEC threw for more than 2,850 yards, and the next closest in passing touchdowns was Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa with 33 touchdowns in nine games. Burrow also led the nation in completion percentage (77.9). That is currently on pace to be the highest season-long completion percentage since at least 2009, according to CFBStats.com (the college football stats website only goes back as far as 2009). Colt McCoy of Texas came close in 2008 with a 76.7 completion percentage.
Burrow is the second Heisman Trophy winner in LSU history. The only other Heisman Trophy winner for the Tigers was Billy Cannon in 1959. Burrow has already collected a good amount fo hardware this week as the winner of the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Award, AP Player of the Year, and the Davey O’Brien Award.
Burrow beat out three other finalists for the award; Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Chase Young, and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. The final vote count showed Burrow won this one in a landslide.
A quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy in each of the last four seasons with Lamar Jackson of Louisville, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray of Oklahoma. A quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy in 16 of the 19 seasons it has been awarded since 2000. Burrow is the first quarterback from the SEC to win the Heisman Trophy since Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won the award in 2012. He is joined by Auburn’s Cam Newton and Florida’s Tim Tebow as the only quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy since 1997, a year after Florida’s Danny Wuerffel ended the SEC QB Heisman drought since Auburn’s Pat Sullivan won the award in 1971.
It appears North Carolina was satisfied with the return of the Mack. Mack Brown and UNC have agreed on a one-year contract extension, the school announced Saturday evening.
Brown is now under contract with UNC through the 2024 season as a result of this contract extension.
“Mack’s return has had an outstanding impact — not just in Kenan Stadium, but throughout the Carolina community,” UNC AD Bubba Cunningham said in a released statement. “Our students are winning on the field and doing well in the classroom, our fan base is energized, and we are all excited about building on the great successes of this season.”
“I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Guskiewicz, Bubba and the athletics department for their great support,” Brown said. “You could really see things come together. Our fans have stepped up filling the stadium each week. I love what we’ve been able to do with our facilities and the excitement around the program has given us the opportunity to have one of the top recruiting classes in the country. North Carolina is a wonderful place and everyone can tell we’re building something special here. I’m having a great time.”
Brown coached UNC to a record of 6-6 this season, his first back on the sidelines since last coaching at Texas in 2013 and his first season back at UNC since 1997. Brown’s Tar Heels were the only team to give Clemson much of a battle this season as well, and UNC is heading to the Military Bowl to face the Temple Owls later this month. UNC has now won a bowl game since the 2013 season. Brown’s last bowl victory with the program came in the 1996 season with a win in the Gator Bowl (UNC played in the Gator Bowl game the following season but Brown left the program prior to the bowl game to take over at Texas).