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When is the Ideal Time to Announce New LSU Football Coach?

With a month of weaving through candidates, ideal time would be immediately following 2021 regular season

This is the last week of the LSU regular season and it promises to be a Thanksgiving holiday filled with rumors and reports on the Tigers coaching search. It's getting to be that time in the process where names being mentioned for the LSU job start fading and more concrete details start to form. 

What we do know about athletic director Scott Woodward is that he keeps his thoughts close to the vest so while the rumors swirl, it's nearly impossible for someone outside of Woodward's inner circle to know who's truly being discussed. But through all of the noise about who, another pertinent question that needs discussing is when?

This is a tricky question as many of the coaching candidates LSU will be pursuing will likely be preparing for bowl games themselves in the weeks to come. Ideally, the Tigers will want to have a coach in place as soon as the clock strikes zero against the Aggies and win or lose, the program makes an immediate change. 

Realistically that's not likely so the question then goes to days or weeks in which time the coaching process will take after the regular season ends. For example there was a report from Outkick columnist Glenn Guilbeau as recently as Monday that suggested LSU was down to three candidates and a decision could be made as soon as the end of this week. 

Another report from FootballScoop says the Tigers could make an announcement on Saturday or Sunday at the latest.

Coach Ed Orgeron reaffirmed with reporters on Monday he hasn't had any conversations with the athletic department about coaching in a bowl game should the Tigers become eligible with a win over Texas A&M. 

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"I'm gonna talk to the administration, I don't know what's gonna happen," Orgeron said. "I want to leave here and make sure everybody's clear that when I do leave I did the utmost I could for the LSU Tigers. If we do go to the bowl, we need to have a conversation with the administration to see what's best for the football team."

There's even an off chance that at five wins, LSU could be selected for a bowl game so it's a conversation that will need to be had regardless. The reason behind making a fast hire is pretty self explanatory as it gives the new staff a chance to contact recruits for the upcoming 2022 early signing period Dec. 18 and keep the damage as limited as possible.

Another angle to look at ondeciding when is the individual situation of the coaching candidate. Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley for example has been a hot name in recent weeks but if the Sooners beat Oklahoma State and go to the Big 12 championship, that's another week in limbo. There are dozens of similar scenarios that Woodward must juggle which makes this search so c

Making a quick decision following the conclusion of Saturday's game will also give the program ample time to recover or perhaps avoid major current roster reconstruction. Wounds are already starting to open up with players like Koy Moore, Navonteque Strong and as recently as Monday, Elias Ricks, announcing their departures from the program. 

The current LSU staff is doing its part to convince the younger players on the roster to stick with the program. Wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph and a number of other staff members took members of the freshman class out to dinner recently to make the case for staying in Baton Rouge. 

"Stay here. You came to LSU for a reason, stay here, stay committed," Orgeron said. "Mickey Joseph and some of the other coaches took the freshmen out to dinner. They were kind of like 'What should we do?' Everyone said to stay here, you made a decision to be here and they're gonna hire a great man, you're gonna be in great shape. We have sold LSU as best as we can."

There will likely be more transfers announced and certainly some more maneuvering of the 2022 class, which currently sits at 15 commits. But getting as far out in front of the impending change as possible bodes the best chance at salvaging a competitive roster and future for the program.