LSU ‘Gauging Interest’ Of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer Is Little More Than Due Diligence

    LSU will reportedly "gauge the interest" of Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, but don't expect there to be any from college football's two biggest coaches.

    September 28, 2016

    LSU will reportedly “gauge the interest” of Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, but don’t expect there to be any from college football’s two biggest coaches.


    It’s official, every name under the sun will be attached to LSU’s open head coaching position following the firing of Les Miles.

    The Tigers have reportedly already reached out to parties of former Baylor head coach Art Briles and current Houston head coach Tom Herman.

    And now, the sport’s two biggest names are being attached to the LSU coaching search: Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. According to sources of Football Scoop, LSU is expected “to gauge the interest” of Meyer and Saban.

    Jimbo Fisher and Bob Stoops will also be on the Tigers’ list.

    “Their sights are on national championship caliber, proven head coaches,” the source told Football Scoop.

    Now for the reality check: Don’t expect LSU to land Meyer, Saban or Fisher, despite the latter two coaches connections to the Tigers. LSU will, however, perform due diligence and test every body of water before inking the university’s next head football coach. Even if it’s not realistic, a program of LSU’s stature must throw the top dogs in the hat and at least make a pass.

    Stoops, while also among the longest of shots, is an interesting name to include on the list. He’s been at Oklahoma since 1999 and has won a national title with the Sooners, but that was all the way back in 2000. If there was ever a year that Stoops could use a change, it’s now. The Sooners entered as one of the favorites to win the national title, but have lost two of their first three games to essentially fall out of the College Football Playoff chase – different year, similar story. He’s also 56, meaning he’s at an age it would make sense to make one final move in his coaching career. Recruiting is theoretically easier at LSU than Oklahoma, and Stoops isn’t one to shy away from competition.

    Still, Stoops has no ties to the Tigers and has remained firmly in Norman despite other head coach openings throughout the years.

    As for the apple of everyone’s eye, Tom Herman, there are other Tier 1 programs teetering on the edge of a coaching opening that could push LSU further down in the pecking order (see: Texas Longhorns). As big as the Tigers football program is, it’s not as historically elite, nor does it have the cachet (or cash) of a program like Texas. Whichever coach signs on will also be tasked with taking down arguably the greatest coach of all time, Nick Saban, until he decides to hang it up in Tuscaloosa.

    Briles is a name that’s hit the list given his availability and offensive mind, but it’s hard to imagine the Tigers taking on the controversy that would come with hiring him.

    As LSU’s coaching search wears on, expect more and more names to surface as potential replacements for Miles. The process will be a marathon, not a sprint, and a lot of posturing will be made by all parties involved.

    For LSU, the ideal list realistically isn’t that long if the Tigers want to upgrade from a coach of Miles’ caliber – he was, after all, one of only five active coaches with a national championship. Miles also has the second-most wins in school history (112), and owns the highest winning percentage (.778) of any individual who coached at LSU for more than two seasons. That includes Nick Saban, who amassed a .750 win percentage while in Baton Rouge.

    If LSU is going after a proven national championship-caliber coach, the list is largely consistent of the aforementioned group, all of which are long shots.

    The Tigers need a slam dunk hire, and the early candidates that have surfaced, while great, are anything but a sure thing to accept the position.

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