It is hard to believe I typed that headline only 21 months after LSU beat Clemson 42-25 to win the 2019 National Title in New Orleans.
The Tigers had the all time dream season in 2019. Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Terrace Marshall and Clyde Edwards-Helaire led one of the greatest offenses in the history of college football with Joe Brady calling plays. All are doing well in the NFL now.
Since that magical New Orleans night, the Tigers have struggled to an 8-8 record. There have been off field issues, opt outs and multiple coordinator changes. Basically nothing has gone right. The defense is inconsistent and the offense has been a mess.
The problem with having a coach like O who is not an offensive or defensive coordinator is the program will only do as well as his coaching hires. And when he had two of the best in Joe Brady and Dave Aranda (holdover from Les Miles), well the Tigers won the whole damn thing.
However, every other hire has been a bust. Matt Canada (2017), Scott Linehan (2020) and now Jake Peetz all have struggled on offensive side of the ball.
Bo Pelini (2020) was one of the worst hires in history of the sport. LSU’s defense fell off a cliff last season and he will be collecting expensive checks for two more years.
The jury is still out on new DC Daronte Jones. The UCLA and Kentucky games gave little reason for faith. He was also literally the 12th DC option for LSU and a fall back plan.
The 2021 team is 3-3 after getting blown out by Kentucky 42-21. That record is only going to get worse as LSU plays top 25 opponents 5 of the final 6 weeks.
The offensive line cannot block and there is no running game. Max Johnson is a young QB going through growing pains in a tough situation. To make matters worse, the one superstar they had (WR Kayshon Boutte) is now out for the season.
LSU is also down to under 60 healthy football players. But nobody is going to feel any sympathy for the Tigers.
LSU poached highly regarded Athletic Director Scot Woodward from Texas A&M a few years ago. Woodward was responsible for hiring Chris Peterson at Washington and Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. Coach O is not his guy and he clearly has proven he can move the needle with big hires.
The fans have turned on O as well. He has been edgy on his radio show and is clearly feeling the heat.
As hard as it is to believe after the recent national title, change looks to be coming soon on the Bayou.