LSU power brokers might be changing their minds on Ed Orgeron

WPPROD

There is a huge game this weekend in Baton Rouge with No. 1 Alabama visiting No. 13 LSU on Saturday night. The game doesn't just have playoff implications — it also could determine how the ongoing Tigers coaching search plays out.

Interim head coach Ed Orgeron is 3-0 since taking over the LSU program after Les Miles was forced out. But now is where the Tigers' competition really gets tough. Their remaining games are against No. 1 Alabama, at Arkansas, vs. No. 11 Florida and then at No. 4 Texas A&M.

If Orgeron can lead LSU to a 3-1 run through this stretch, his chances will be very good to land the head coaching job permanently, an industry source told FOX Sports. There had been some speculation that he would need to win out to have any hope of landing his dream job, but I'm told that's not the case.

Word is, Orgeron has really impressed LSU's power brokers with how he has managed the program on a day-to-day basis both externally but more importantly internally through a turbulent situation.

The 55-year-old Louisiana native grew up a die-hard LSU fan. Orgeron, long regarded as one of the nation's best recruiters, is now 9-2 as an interim head coach in stints replacing fired coaches at USC and LSU. A decade ago he spent three seasons at Ole Miss, where he was fired after going 10-25. Since his days in Oxford, he's proven to be a much different head coach, opting for shorter, faster practices instead of long, grueling ones.

He's also become much better at trusting his staff and creating a more positive, high-energy vibe around the program while preaching a “one heartbeat” mantra of togetherness. The perpetually fired-up guy who once tried to run a program with the same style as he ran his D-line room now is more like the upbeat, charismatic coach they all connected with in recruiting. But can he keep the Tigers going through such a steep uphill climb?