How Will the Return of Bo Pelini Impact LSU Football?
Crazy offseasons are the norm in Baton Rouge, but this one one has been in particular even before the coronavirus pandemic.
LSU has rediscovered what it means to be the reigning champion, and have the target squarely fixed on you by the rest of college football. But as SI's Ross Dellenger points out that's only the beginning with the 2020 Tigers.
Three-fourths of LSU’s 2019 starters are gone, including 14 NFL draft picks; a handful of high-profile analysts left for full-time gigs; and two coordinators, Dave Aranda and Joe Brady, departed for big paydays.
One of the corresponding hires that raised eyebrows both at Alabama and throughout the rest of the SEC was bringing back a familiar face, Bo Pelini, as defensive coordinator.
He previously had the job from 2005-7, and subsequently moved on to be the head coach at Nebraska, which went 66-27 and never had a losing season during his seven seasons, while making the transition from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.
Dellenger takes a long look at Pelini's return and what it could mean for the Tigers football program going forward with his second act at LSU.
"If you're a Tigers fan and certainly the staff, they're hoping that Bo can kind of rekindle the magic of his days as a defensive coordinator," Dellenger said. "And he was at LSU from 2005 to 2007 and really kind of crafted the defense that that one that the helped LSU to win the 2007 national championship and those three years.
"It's kind of interesting, those three years LSU's defense and in total defense statistically in the NCAA ranked number three in the nation. Each of those years and two of those three years, they were the best in the SEC. So everybody there in Baton Rouge hoping that Bo can mimic that production from, 13, 14 years ago."
Among his first changes was switching the defensive scheme from a 3-4 base to a 4-3, a transition that Ed Orgeron compares to the offensive transformation the Tigers experienced last offseason with quarterback Joe Burrow and Brady
Dellenger's prediction is that Pelini may not be in Baton Rouge for long: "You'll see him back on that level as a major college coach."