Ed Orgeron was quite blunt in his postgame remarks about what's next. He's packing for a trip to Destin, Florida as LSU awaits to hear which bowl game it will be invited too and who the next leader of the program he leaves behind will be.
In the days to come LSU should find out the answer to both questions but Orgeron won't be around to find out either answer. On Saturday after the game, with energy and flamboyance running through his core, Orgeron revealed that he would be turning the team over to interim coach Brad Davis for the remainder of the 2021 season.
"This is my last game with the Tigers," Orgeron said. "Me and the administration have mutually decided to not coach the bowl game. I told the guys I wish them luck, I'm not gonna sit here and coach when there's another guy coming into to be the coach next week. The administration, they've been great to me, we decided on this and I mutually agree. I know Brad Davis is going to do a great job."
It's obviously a bittersweet moment for Orgeron, who has been through ups and downs with this program over his five year tenure but has openly said he's never had a bad day along the way. Now the immediate focus shifts to who athletic director Scott Woodward will peg as the next coach.
For days the smoke has circled Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley but the Sooners' coach, following a tight loss to Oklahoma State, was pretty concise in his postgame remarks.
While the who answer seems further away than ever, Orgeron will remain supportive of this program whenever that decision is ultimately made.
"Whoever the new coach is I wish them all the luck in the world and I'm always gonna be an LSU Tiger fan," Orgeron said.
The LSU players have mixed emotions on what the next two weeks will look like for the program. There's excitement, curiosity, but most of all, focus as the Tigers turn their attention to another few weeks of practice under a new coach in Davis.
Linebacker Damone Clark has been one of Orgeron's biggest supporters through the rough times this season has presented, described the mood in the locker room post game.
"It was emotional because day in and day out, coach O gave his all to us," Clark said. "We're like his own kids so it's hard to see somebody walk away but that's the nature of the business and we all wish coach O the best of luck."
Quarterback Max Johnson is excited to see who the administration brings in but said the focus will continue to be on improving over the next handful of practices the team still has together.
"I think our guys are all excited about it. It stinks kind of how it went down but our guys are still fighting for each other, fighting for our new coach. We're looking forward to coming back to work next week."
Clark, this team's undoubted heartbeat and future high draft pick, did confirm that he'd play in the bowl game and wants to help this team get better in any ways that he can.
"We'll go back and watch the film, see what I can improve on," Clark said. "I know I gave my all to my team but there's so much more that I could do. I'm not satisfied and I know I just gotta keep improving, keep getting better."
Through all of the craziness the next few weeks promise to be it's clear that this team's future has some talented youth ready to take this next era of LSU football to prominence. Now it's just time to see where the cards fall.