There's no question that the LSU head coaching job is appealing to most college coaches. Putting aside the dedicated fanbase or the fact the last three head coaches have won national championships, the resources in Baton Rouge are far and beyond what most coaches receive.
A number of prominent coaching candidates for the LSU job have been asked throughout the week about the impending changes in Baton Rouge. Here are just a few of the responses.
Jimbo Fisher (Texas A&M)
Fisher hasn't reached the level of success with the Aggies that many expected when he took over. But it's impossible not to consider him a potential candidate considering the relationship he has with Scott Woodward. Of course Fisher is one of those big names, who won a national championship at Florida State and as an offensive coordinator under Nick Saban.
He has been linked to the LSU job in the past and naturally he was one of the first names to be mentioned this go around. But his answer when asked about his interest has certainly changed.
“I love being here. This is the job I want,” Fisher said. “I love being here. I have a great contract. I have an unbelievable chancellor, an unbelievable president, an unbelievable AD. I believe we’re in the process of building something great. I plan on being here and fulfilling this contract. I love everything about this place.”
Dabo Swinney (Clemson)
Swinney is one of those big game hunting coaching candidates that athletic director Scott Woodward could place a call too. Clemson has been as consistent a winner under Swinney as practically any program in the country over the last eight years.
Clemson has suffered two losses in 2021 and Woodward is expected to cast a long net for this coaching search. Swinney was asked about the LSU situation unfolding.
"This is the only Death Valley I'm concerned with right here. I don't know the situation [with Orgeron at LSU]," Swinney said. "But I do know some of the greatest coaches we've ever had weren't good early or maybe the consistency wasn't there. It's a tough business."
Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss)
The Tigers and Rebels might square off this weekend but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from reaching Kiffin over in Oxford. He's expected to be one of many candidates that make sense for the LSU job and was asked about the potential rumors linking him to Baton Rouge.
“I think the team knows how focused we are and how we take it one day at a time so I’ve never addressed that,” Kiffin said. “Maybe I should, but we don’t worry about things that we can’t control that are on the outside. Obviously in recruiting you’re always battling all that. I feel like every coach probably battles that but especially (me) ever since leaving Tennessee. It is what it is and we’ll work our way through it.”
Joe Brady (Carolina Panthers)
Brady coming back to Baton Rouge is a big stretch but he was asked about it this week by Carolina media. Our AllPanthers publisher sent Brady's thoughts on the LSU situation over when asked this week.
"I didn't really have any thoughts on it. Unfortunately for us, we just came off of a loss when all of that stuff came out. There was a lot more things on my mind so I don't have many thoughts with that," Brady said. "I had a great experience in my time there but I was way more concerned with our performance this past Sunday and trying to find ways to improve this Sunday.
"All of those things, from a coaching perspective, are things that I don't really pay a lot of attention to. Like, after seasons I think about it but right now, I've got to do a better job of being the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers and that's all I'm really concerned about right now."
James Franklin (Penn State)
Franklin is one of the favorites to earn the LSU job and his recent success at Penn State makes him a prime candidate.
Franklin is one of the more accomplished coaches on this list whose career at Penn State has been up and down, highlighted by 11-2 records in 2017 and 2019 that resulted in Fiesta and Cotton bowl wins. He has SEC experience, leading Vanderbilt to one of its best stretches in 2012 and 2013 with back-to-back 9-4 campaigns.
“I care what people think and I want to handle things the right way all the time with the players, with the staff, with the administration,” Franklin said. “I want to use the golden rule… treat people the way you want to be treated.”
Billy Napier (ULL)
Napier has done a tremendous job of building a sustainable program in Lafayette with not nearly as many resources or recruiting cache of a program like LSU. Though it's maybe not as splashy a name as some of the other coaches who have been linked to the LSU job, he knows the Louisiana area well.
The Rajun Cajuns are 5-1 on the season a year after finishing in the top 25 that included a 10-1 record overall. He was asked about being linked to the job earlier this week.
“No, I’ve had no discussion with anybody from LSU,” Napier said during his Monday press conference. "I’ll say this for Ed Orgeron, he’s been an absolute class act in all my interactions with him, the things he’s done to help our program and the state of Louisiana. We’re thankful for all he’s done to help us.”