Ed Orgeron, LSU’s new head coach who took over after Les Miles was fired early in the season, sold the administration that he could bring in a top name as an offensive coordinator. That is something LSU fans desperately wanted as the offense has been mundane for years.
All signs pointed to Lane Kiffin being “the guy” that Orgeron would convince to join his staff. The two are friends and have worked together in the past, but after Kiffin accepted the Florida Atlantic job things shifted for LSU. The guy they wanted was no longer on the table, similar to what happened with Orgeron in the first place when Tom Herman told LSU AD Joe Alleva that he was going to interview at Texas.
There were rumors that if Kiffin didn’t take the job that Mark Helfrich may be the guy. Helfrich was just fired from Oregon, but has experience working under a successful coach in Chip Kelly, but that didn’t happen either. Instead, a name that most LSU fans have likely never heard surfaced as the front runner, Matt Canada.
Canada has plenty of offensive coordinator experience and experience as a quarterbacks coach, but when you look at his resume, run down all the numbers of the schools he’s called plays for, nothing exactly jumps off the page and screams “HIRE THIS GUY NOW!”
So, that’s what LSU did. They hired a guy whose offenses average a mere 15 yards more per game than LSU’s have over the last 10 years. LSU went from hiring THE guy as head coach in Tom Herman, to Ed Orgeron. They went from hiring THE GUY as offensive coordinator to Matt Canada.
To his credit, Canada was the only offensive coordinator named as a finalist for the Broyles Award. The 44-year-old coached a Pitt offense that averaged 42.3 points per game in 2016. He also had success with Montee Ball at Wisconsin, and Chandler Harnish at Northern Illinois.
Still, I’m not exactly impressed and not very confident that this is the guy who will lead the Tigers to multiple wins over Nick Saban.
Hopefully I’ll be wrong, but at least as a LSU fan I can rest easy knowing that the defense will be good for at least another year.