LSU Football Coach Ed Orgeron Believes College Football Season Not in Jeopardy
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep sports shut down in the U.S., many have begun to wonder whether the 2020 college football season will be impacted this fall.
Speaking on the ESPN radio show "Off the Bench," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he doesn't believe the season, set to begin in August, is in jeopardy.
"No, I don't think so," Orgeron said when asked. "I'm just like everybody else, just speculating but I think there's going to be a spike and then there's going to be a flattening out and we're going to be able to get back going. I do believe we're going to be back to normal, hopefully for this summer, but I don't know that, it's what I'm thinking."
While the team is away from the football field this spring, Orgeron said the most important thing for the Tigers to do during this time is to "stay ahead of the curve."
"I told the team that it's a level playing field and we gotta be elite, we've gotta set the LSU standard of performance," Orgeron said. "Obviously it's different but we have a plan, we talked to the coaching staff this weekend, everybody is communicating with our guys."
Orgeron said a typical daily schedule with his staff starts at 8 a.m. with the coordinators calling the position coaches to put in the install of the day through the video conference "zoom room" as Orgeron called it. At 9 a.m., the position coaches get in contact with the graduate assistants and analysts for little tips and tweaks in the installation.
"By 1 p.m. our guys have the installation and they watch it and set a meeting time with their coach and give them a report," Orgeron said. "Everyday they have a certain time they have to call the coach and give them a report so we're staying on top of it everyday. I do believe our guys are working out on their own and doing the best that they can and we'll be ready to go whenever they call us."
Over the weekend the SEC allowed team coaches two hours per week with each individual player via virtual meetings and instruction.
"We're allowed two hours per week on the video so our guys are putting in installations and making corrections," Orgeron said. "We have an academic task force team that are on the phone with our guys constantly, making sure they're on the online classes so we're trying to make it as realistic as we can. Most of our guys are at home and their safety to us is first and when football comes, we will be ready."
Orgeron was able to cover a number of topics in his 13-minute interview on "Off the Bench," including telling a story centered around former Tigers QB Joe Burrow.
In the spring of 2018, LSU football was hunkering down for another grueling day of spring football. Up at McNeese State, coach Ed Orgeron's son Cody was watching the Ohio State spring game on television, where he heard an interesting bit of news about a certain quarterback hitting the transfer market.
Cody picked up the phone and called his father right then and there.
"He called me because he heard that Joe Burrow was transferring so he called me and said 'Dad you gotta get this quarterback,'" Orgeron recalled on a Tuesday morning interview of Off the Bench. "So I asked (safeties coach) Bill Busch—who had been at Ohio State—I said 'Bill do you know a guy named Joe Burrow?'"
"Here's what Bill Busch told me, he said 'coach if we get Joe Burrow we're going to the College Football Playoffs,'" Orgeron said. "I said well let's go get him."
It's a story that not many have heard over the years when talking about Burrow's recruitment and of course Busch's prediction ultimately rang true, though it's hard to imagine he thought it'd turn out to be one of the most successful college offenses in history.
As a result, the Tigers won a national championship and Burrow vaulted himself into the No. 1 pick of this year's draft. With the 2020 draft now weeks away, LSU has a number of players including Burrow, Patrick Queen and Justin Jefferson shooting up draft boards as the event draws closer.
Orgeron has been receiving phone calls non-stop about his former players and when asked about Burrow specifically, Orgeron can't help but see certain elements in his game that remind him of arguably the greatest of all time.
"I know Joe doesn't want to be compared to Tom Brady and I'm not comparing him but I often think the intangibles that he has, I think Joe will be comparable to the intangibles Tom Brady has."