College Football Programs Who Should Consider Hiring Ed Orgeron
Ed Orgeron's short tenure as the interim head coach at USC has been nothing short of amazing.
The Trojans were down and out at 3-2 and 0-2 in Pac-12 play when they fired head coach Lane Kiffin. But Orgeron has sparked a swift turnaround, taking the Trojans to an 8-3 record and back into contention for a Pac-12 title.
The comeback hit its high point last week when Orgeron made a gutsy fourth-down call in the fourth quarter to set up USC's 20-17 upset of then-No. 4 Stanford.
Even through Orgeron's success, USC has been shopping around for a new coach, including interviewing Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Given his success, USC should at least consider bringing Orgeron back full-time, but if the Trojans go another way, he should see interest from a number of other schools.
Here are six schools that should consider Orgeron as their next head coach.
It's no secret that head coach Mike London could be on his way out at Virginia.
While nothing official has come down from the UVA brass, the situation is clear when writers are laying out road maps for him to keep his job.
Another red flag came when the father of 5-star UVA commit Andrew Brown contacted Cavaliers athletic director Craig Littlepage regarding London's status, as reported by Mark Giannotto of The Washington Post.
If UVA parts ways with London, Ed Orgeron could be just the guy to keep the recruiting class intact, while also bringing excitement back to Wahoo football.
Quin Blanding, UVA's other 5-star commit, told Giannotto that he's ready to start something in Charlottesville:
They ask me if I'm still 100 percent committed. I tell them, "Yeah, I'm 100 percent." It's like I never committed yet, but I'm committed. . . . Most people say, "They had an off season." That's fine. That's why you want to come in and work for something. Yeah, you can go to Alabama. But if you don't go to Alabama, it's still gonna be Alabama regardless. I want to bring U-Va. back to what we used to be.
Orgeron would be just the man to start that revolution.
It might be a little early to sound the sirens on Tim Beckman's job, as he is only in his second season at Illinois.
However, it is hard to ignore just how much the Illini have been struggling this season—and that these struggles have come with a senior quarterback at the helm.
After losing to Ohio State in Week 12, Illinois has now lost 20 straight Big Ten games, dating back to October 2011. Attendance has been poor, as one might imagine.
Recently, Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke with athletic director Mike Thomas, who hired Beckman shortly after he took the AD job in Champaign. Given that mark on his resume, Thomas might stick with his guy a little longer.
Thomas told Greenberg that he believes Beckman has the program on the rise:
We talked about moving the needle, showing progress. I think, in most cases, we have.
I'm not going to get into hypotheticals. You ask the question, "Is the program developing and getting better?" I think it is. I'm looking forward to continuing progress in the program.
After finishing 2-10 last year, Illinois is technically improving at 3-7 so far this season. But as Thomas also said, Beckman needs to start winning: "I think we need to start winning football games," Thomas told the Sun-Times.
If he doesn't start posting some wins, Ed Orgeron could be brought in to bring some pride back to the Illini football program.
Connecticut, still winless at 0-9 this year, has already parted ways with head coach Paul Pasqualoni but remain stagnant under interim coach T.J. Weist.
So rather than sticking with their interim coach, they might turn to another coach currently with an "interim" title: Ed Orgeron.
It might be hard to believe that UConn was in a BCS bowl as recently as 2011. Since then, the Huskies have slipped off the cliff.
A team that has been as abysmal as the Huskies have been this year needs a shock to the system with their next coaching hire—and the energetic Orgeron would be just that.
He has shown the ability to quickly turn a team's fortunes, making USC forget about its ugly situation with Lane Kiffin.
He could do the same at Connecticut.
There is no coaching turmoil in Fresno, where Tim DeRuyter has his Bulldogs on the verge of a BCS berth.
However, if he completes the job or even if the Dogs come up short, he'll be one of the hottest coaching commodities of the 2014 offseason.
From there, Fresno State will be in search of a coach who can keep the string of success going in the San Joaquin Valley.
Orgeron has already become familiar with recruiting the West Coast through his tenures at USC and has proven that he can maintain, and even improve, a strong program.
Could Orgeron and DeRuyter simply swap positions?
As West Virginia fell to Kansas, officially snapping its 11-year bowl streak, the fan base in Morgantown quickly turned on its head coach, Dana Holgorsen.
Last season was a major disappointment as the Mountaineers finished at just 7-6 despite entering the season with national title hopes. Obviously, as they now sit at 4-7, this season is even more disappointing.
CBSSports' Tom Fornelli was one of the many to foresee the coming end for Holgorsen, and former BlueGoldNews editor Patrick Southern chimed in, saying that Holgorsen's buyout might be the only thing keeping him in Morgantown.
Holgorsen himself even called the loss an "all-time low," per Geoff Coyle of WVIllustrated.
Many coaches are fired for less than all-time lows, especially with a fan base like the one in Morgantown, which won't put up with sustained futility.
If Holgorsen is gone, athletic director Oliver Luck will need to find a coach who can make as quick of a turnaround as possible.
Ed Orgeron would fit perfectly in the WVU program, reflecting the passion if its fans.
Ed Orgeron already had a shot at an SEC school, just about an hour upstate from Starkville.
Orgeron's stint at Ole Miss was a failure, but that doesn't mean a trip to rival Mississippi State would be the same.
Now more experienced as a head coach, Orgeron is poised to blossom as a head coach.
At 4-6, MSU's bowl eligibility could come down to the last regular season game: the Egg Bowl against rival Mississippi. Dan Mullen's job could also come down to that game.
If the Bulldogs lose their second straight Egg Bowl and fall out of postseason eligibility, Mullen might be gone.
It would be ironic if MSU brought in Orgeron, who had a short-lived tenure at its rival school. Aside from irony, Orgeron would also fit in well with the blue-collar Bulldog fan base.
Not many coaches have a second chance at an SEC head coaching job, but Orgeron would be deserving of one.