While the race for the College Football Playoff heats up, one of the most fascinating subplots in the sport is happening behind the scenes, where LSU continues to look for its next head football coach.
Just days after Les Miles was fired, Vegas released odds on who the next coach would be, but quite a bit has changed since then. Tom Herman’s stock has cooled with two losses in three games, Ed Orgeron’s has risen after starting 3-0 as the Tigers' interim head coach and plenty of others also are jockeying for the job.
Herman opened as the favorite in the eyes of most bookmakers and remains that way, even after losing to Navy and SMU in the past three weeks. Considering he’s just 41 years old, won a national championship as a coordinator, is 19-3 as a head coach and is one of the most dynamic recruiters in the sport, it’s not a surprise.
The big question is whether LSU can hold off Texas for Herman's services, since the Longhorns' job appears as if it will become available sometime this winter.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsBrett Davis
Ed Orgeron (+100)
Initially, it seemed like a long shot at best that Orgeron would get the gig. But after starting 3-0 with dominant record-setting wins over both Missouri and Ole Miss, Orgeron is definitely in the heat of the conversation.
Ultimately, Coach O's chances will depend not on what he’s done so far but what he now does from here. With Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Florida remaining on the schedule, Coach O will have plenty of chances to get big wins.
If he runs the table -- which is much easier said than done -- he'd almost certainly get the job. If he doesn’t, well, that could be another story altogether.
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsDerick E. Hingle
Jimbo Fisher (+400)
Previously a co-favorite with Herman, Fisher’s stock has cooled a bit. Part of that is probably due to his team’s relative struggles (losing to North Carolina), some is because of Coach O’s rise, and still more due to people asking the question “would Jimbo really leave Florida State for the SEC?”
It would be interesting to see is what the odds would look like if the Seminoles beat Clemson this week. A win would make him more desirable in LSU’s eyes, but it also could make him harder to pry away from Tallahassee.
Getty ImagesDon Juan Moore
The field (+2000)
After those three, there is a big drop-off, with every other candidate falling into “the field” category. That includes names like Lane Kiffin, Art Briles and Gary Patterson. If you want to bet on those guys individually, however, odds are available.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY SportsJohn David Mercer
Larry Fedora (+2500)
Fedora was one of the hot candidates early but has cooled of late, through no fault of his own. His Tar Heels are 6-2, and just one Virginia Tech loss from regaining the lead in the ACC Coastal Division. A Texas native, there are obvious geographical ties to LSU for Fedora.
Gary Patterson (+3500)
At 4-3, Patterson’s Horned Frogs have been a bit disappointing this year, after losing three games the last two seasons combined. If Patterson hasn’t left TCU after 15 years at the school, will he leave now, regardless of how good the LSU job might be?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsMatthew Emmons
Kliff Kingsbury (+3500)
LSU fans are obviously clamoring for more offense after the Miles era, but how much offense is too much, especially considering how little defense Kingsbury’s Red Raiders play? After Texas Tech allowed 66 points and almost 900 yards of offense in a loss to Oklahoma, Kingsbury feels like a massive reach at best.
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY SpoMichael C. Johnson
Mike Gundy (+3500)
Oklahoma State has rebounded nicely after a 2-2 start, and with continued in-fighting from Gundy and super-booster Boone Pickens, it appears as though the long-time Oklahoma State head coach would be open to a move. Still, Gundy would be a tough sell for one reason: Could LSU really go with another former Oklahoma State coach with the Miles era still firmly in everyone’s mind?
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsMatt Kartozian
Bobby Petrino (+4000)
The apple of so many programs' eyes, Petrino’s stock continues to rise with each win at Louisville. However, with a massive $10 million buyout, and at least one more year with Lamar Jackson, the likelihood that he actually leaves Louisville gets less likely by the week.
Getty ImagesLance King
A handful of additional candidates are listed, ranging from Boise State’s Bryan Harsin (+5000), to Art Briles (+5400) to Arizona State’s Todd Graham (+6000).
Utah’s Kyle Whittingham is listed as the longest long shot on the list, at +6500.