LSU's Ed Orgeron Named AP Coach of the Year over Baylor's Matt Rhule

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. LSU won 37-10. (AP Photo/John Amis)
John Amis/Associated Press

LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year on Monday, taking home 33 of the 56 possible first-place votes and 130 points overall in the voting. 

He bested Baylor's Matt Rhule (14 first-place votes, 86 points overall), Ohio State's Ryan Day (five first-place votes, 45 points overall) and Minnesota's P.J. Fleck (three first-place votes, 40 points overall).

Orgeron was the clear frontrunner to win the award after leading the Tigers to a 13-0 record, which included impressive wins over Texas, Florida, Auburn, Alabama and Georgia. The Tigers will face Oklahoma in the College Football semifinals on Dec. 28.

Orgeron wasn't alone in taking home some hardware for LSU. Quarterback Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Award and the Davey O'Brien Award, while defensive back Grant Delpit won the Jim Thorpe Award and wideout Ja'Marr Chase took home the Biletnikoff Award.

As for Rhule, the Baylor head coach led the Bears to an 11-2 record, the third straight season the program has improved since he took over in 2017, when the team went 1-11. Baylor went 7-6 last year. This season, they are headed to the Sugar Bowl to face Georgia. 

It's been a huge turnaround for Rhule, who could intrigue NFL teams even given his resume of improving both Temple and Baylor during his tenures at the school. 

As for Day, he led Ohio State to a 13-0 record and a berth in the College Football Playoffs, where the Buckeyes will face Clemson in the semifinals. Day is now 16-0 as Ohio State's head coach after taking over for Urban Meyer last season. 

Finally, Fleck led Minnesota to a 10-2 record this past season, the first time the school has posted 10 wins since the 2003 season. Like Rhule, Fleck has led Minnesota to steady improvement in his three years, going 5-7 in 2017 and 7-6 last year before this season's impressive showing, which included a signature win over Penn State.

Minnesota will face Auburn in the Outback Bowl.