"I'm at the right place at the right time." That's what Ed Orgeron said to Rece Davis at the podium after his team beat Clemson 42-25 to win the college football national championship. He's right. He was made for LSU, and LSU was made for him.
I think teams can learn from LSU in its hiring of Orgeron. In football, we get so caught up in smart when it comes to head coaches, because that's what we perceive Bill Belichick and Nick Saban to be. The boy wonders, who went their separate ways, and dominated their respective levels of football. Hell, they even think of themselves as such.
I've never understood that. If we're admitting these guys are geniuses, why would we try to replicate that? Would you ever try to replicate Elon Musk? Bill Gates? Steve Jobs? Of course not.
Ed Orgeron is proof that most college teams are better off looking for fit, rather than genius. Orgeron is big, loud, tough and Cajun. He works in Louisiana. Those claiming that USC missed big by not hiring him are missing the point. Southern California's progressive, hip and tan. To be fair, Orgeron's tan too, but hip and progressive (and native Californian) Pete Carrol works a lot better in a San Clemente living room than "Geaux Tigahs" Ed.
I don't think Orgeron is a genius, and I don't think it matters. I think college football is mostly about signing up the most talent. Between classes, girls, NCAA rules and parties, there's just not enough time to scheme your way to championships. And when a sport becomes about recruiting, I'm interested in whether my coach understands the recruiting area, whether they can communicate effectively with parents, and whether they understand the culture of the program. Orgeron does. He's a Cajun genius, and that's good enough for LSU.