Next LSU football head coach odds: James Franklin favored over Lane Kiffin, Mel Tucker, Jimbo Fisher as Ed Orgeron replacement starting in 2022 season

Expect LSU athletic director Scott Woodward to swing big for his next football coach.
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The job of Southern Cal athletic director Mike Bohn got a lot harder over the weekend because now he has competition for the top available coaching job in college football with LSU announcing it would part ways with national championship-winning coach Ed Orgeron after this season. There's definitely going to be some overlap of candidates between USC and LSU.  SportsLine offers odds on the favorites as the next Tigers coach and the current favorite is Penn State's James Franklin, although this definitely will be a fluid situation over the next several weeks.

Expect LSU athletic Scott Woodward to aim big because he was able to lure Chris Petersen from Boise State to Washington when Woodward had the AD job in Seattle and also was able to lure good friend Jimbo Fisher from Florida State to Texas A&M when Woodward was in College Station. Fisher and Woodward were also at LSU together in the early 2000s with Fisher serving as offensive coordinator and Woodward as the school's director of external affairs. While Fisher has a mammoth contract with the Aggies, there is no buyout penalty. He can simply walk away.

On Monday, Fisher said he plans to stay at Texas A&M, which has given the coach everything he wants in terms of facilities, assistants' salaries, etc., and that school prints money. But what else was he going to say?

"There's nothing happening there [at LSU]. And I don't want to be disrespectful to anyone else," he said. "I coached there [at LSU]. It was a great place. We won national championships. It is one of the best places in America. It's a wonderful place. … I love being at A&M and I plan on being here."

While Fisher will remain among the favorites for now, that overall honor goes to Penn State's Franklin, although he has definitely been mentioned for the USC opening. Frankly, LSU is a better job right now and Franklin has SEC roots from his days at Vanderbilt. Maybe Franklin stays at Penn State with his best-ever recruiting class set for 2022. Cincinnati's Luke Fickell also has been rumored at USC because Bohn was his former AD at Cincinnati.

Would Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin leave one SEC West school for another? He would certainly bring a high-octane offense back to Baton Rouge, but man that would be awkward since Kiffin worked with Orgeron at USC and Tennessee previously.

It worked out pretty well the last time that LSU hired its football coach from Michigan State, and while that's a fine job it's not LSU. Thus, Mel Tucker probably would leave East Lansing if offered the gig. "I am told that there are some very influential people inside LSU who are really, really high on Mel Tucker," FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman said over the weekend.

Tucker has SEC experience working under Nick Saban in 2015, as well as three years as Georgia's defensive coordinator from 2016-18. He was an assistant at LSU in 2000. With just a 14-12 record at Colorado and Michigan State, is Tucker really a grand-slam hire by Woodward?

Two coaches with recent ties to LSU are Baylor coach Dave Aranda and Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Aranda was the defensive coordinator on the 2019 national champion Tigers and Brady was the passing game coordinator/QBs coach. Most believe Brady prefers to stay in the NFL, though.

It seems unlikely that Woodward would settle for a Group of 5 coach, but Louisiana's Billy Napier would make obvious sense – although most at LSU consider Louisiana a little brother school and perhaps hiring a coach from there would be "below" them.

LSU is at Ole Miss this Saturday, which probably won't be awkward at all with Orgeron and Kiffin. 

Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Who is next full-time LSU head football coach?

  • James Franklin +400
  • Lane Kiffin +500
  • Mel Tucker +500
  • Jimbo Fisher +700
  • Billy Napier +800
  • Dave Aranda +900
  • Luke Fickell +1000
  • Mark Stoops +1100
  • Joe Brady +1200
  • Mario Cristobal +1400
  • Bob Stoops +1500
  • Bill O'Brien +1700
  • Hugh Freeze +2000

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