The State of College Football: Who Will Be the Next Coach at LSU?

This college football season is incredibly unpredictable and I’m loving every second of it. First No.1 Alabama loses and then No. 2 Iowa - no one is safe in the top 25. This week I’ll give you my top 25 but also look into the LSU coaching vacancy and the most rumored names attached to that job. Plus, a look at how the College Football Playoff could play out and a quick look at my midseason All-Americans. 

Top 25 Rankings
1. Georgia
2. Cincinnati
3. Oklahoma
4. Alabama
5. Michigan
6. Ohio State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Michigan State
9. Iowa
10. Penn State
11. Oregon 
12. Coastal Carolina
13. Ole Miss
14. Notre Dame
15. Kentucky
16. Wake Forest
17. Texas A&M
18. NC State
19. Auburn
20. Baylor
21. SMU
22. San Diego State
23. UTSA
24. Pitt
25. Purdue

Weekly Awards
Offensive Player of the Week:
Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU: 287 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Defensive Player of the Week: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama: 6 tackles, 4 sacks
Freshman of the Week: Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma: 18/23, 295 yards, 4 TDs, 66 rushing yards, 1 TD (5 total TDs)
Coach of the Week: Jeff Brohm, Purdue

$100 Handshakes
Bryce Young, Alabama: 20/28, 348 yards, 4 TDs
Matt Corral, Ole Miss: 21/38, 231 yards, 2 TDs, 195 rushing yards
Bailey Zappe, WKU: 37/54, 397 yards, 5 TDs

Running Back
Jerome Ford, Cincinnati: 189 rushing  yards, 4 TDs
Breece Hall, Iowa State: 197 rushing yards, 2 TDs
Charles Williams, UNLV: 221 rushing yards, 3 TDs

David Bell, Purdue: 11 catches, 240 yards, 1 TD
Quentin Johnston, TCU: 7 catches, 185 yards, 3 TDs
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama: 11 catches, 174 yards, 1 TD

Tight End
Cole Turner, Nevada: 12 catches, 175 yards
Brock Bowers, Georgia: 5 catches, 101 yards, 2 TDs
Austin Allen, Nebraska: 5 catches, 121 yards, 1 TD

Offensive Line
Baylor: 303 rushing yards, 4 TDs vs BYU
LSU: 321 rushing yards, 3 TDs vs Florida

Defensive Line/EDGE
Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon: 5 tackles, 1 sack
Jalen Carter, Georgia: 6 tackes, 1 sack, 2.5 TFLs
Ochaun Mathis, TCU: 7 tacks, 2 sacks, 3 TFLs

Noah Sewell, Oregon: 12 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 TFLs
Henry To'oTo'o, Alabama: 13 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 TFLs
Micah McFadden, Indiana: 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 TFLs

Defensive Back
Coby Bryant, Cincinnati: 1 INT, 1 TD
Jordan Battle, Alabama: 7 tackles, 2 INT, 1 TD
Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M: 2 tackles, 1 INT

Where I Was Right / Where I Was Wrong
There have been enough pats on the back for me calling out Coach O and him being fired. But I was right. So, let’s move onto the next phase - who will replace Coach O?

There is no shortage of rumors for the LSU job so let's dive into some of the names we’re all hearing.

Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
The time has come for Fickell and I think he knows it. The Cincinnati program has peaked this season and will lose a large number of players to the NFL - including quarterback Desmond Ridder. Fickell has done a fantastic job of rebuilding the program Tommy Tuberville tore down and big time programs have noticed. Fickell could have his pick of some very good jobs this winter. Keep an eye on LSU, Miami and Penn State - if James Franklin leaves. 

Matt Campbell, Iowa State 
Matt Campbell is in a very similar situation to Fickell. However, his team has not played as well this season. Campbell has had his name in the coaching rumors for a few years now, including NFL teams, and may finally make the jump. I could see Campbell turning down USC, Miami or the NFL - but Baton Rouge might be too perfect. Look for Campbell to interview and be rumored to the NFL but stay at Iowa State or take the LSU job. 

Mario Cristobal, Oregon
Cristobal is an interesting rumor because he has a very good program in Oregon already. But Oregon is not the recruiting hot bed that LSU is and LSU can offer loads of money. If Cristobal were to leave Oregon I think Miami is the play. Cristobal played college football for the Hurricanes and if he is going to leave what he has built in Oregon I think it’s to go home.  

Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss
The Lane Train has already made a few too many stops but I could see LSU and Kiffin having mutual interest. Kiffin is a high profile coach that wants to be at a top program - and no matter what he does at Ole Miss they will never be LSU. I’m sorry. But would Kiffin really leave a program after two successful years? You bet your ass he would. Plus, Ole Miss will most likely lose quarterback Matt Corral to the NFL - Kiffin might need to strike while the iron is hot. LSU and the NFL could have heavy interest in Lane Kiffin. 

Mel Tucker, Michigan State
The last of the college coaches but maybe the most realistic option is Mel Tucker. The amount of rumors that came out Sunday about Mel Tucker are alarming. Like, out of nowhere rumors. Which could mean there is a leak in the LSU athletic department. LSU has had success going after Michigan State coaches in the past - maybe lightning strikes in the same place twice. The rumors were too fast and too strong to be a coincidence - this could be the guy in LSU. 

Joe Brady, Carolina Panthers OC
I’ve been saying for weeks that LSU should be reaching out to Brady to gauge his interest in college football. The problem is that I don’t think Brady is interested in recruiting for the college game and will be a popular name in the NFL coaching carousel. It’s worth the call to check in and if Brady has any interest in college football LSU will no doubt be the favorite to bring him back. 

Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars
No. Just no. One of the unspoken things about Coach O’s firing is that the LSU program is already under fire and facing scandal. You CANNOT bring in Urban Meyer with the state of this program. Meyer needs to stay in the NFL or at least take another college football job, not this one. 

Eric Bieniemy, Kansas City Chiefs OC
Eric Bieniemy has interviewed for damn near every coaching vacancy in the NFL over the past three years and has yet to be hired as a head coach. I don’t see EB as a fit in college football world where he has not coached in many years. Bieniemy was also offered the head coaching job at his alma mater, Colorado, and declined in 2020 so I don’t know if LSU is the best fit or option. 

Wrong: Three words - We. Want. Caleb
Caleb Williams of Oklahoma has been outstanding so far and I have a lot to apologize for. 

First, I would like to apologize to the OU fans. When the OU fans started chanting “ we want Caleb” I said that a fanbase should never do that to their starting QB and it was a bad decision and even worse look. They were right. How did Lincoln Riley NOT play Caleb Williams???

Secondly, I would like to apologize to my fellow Texas fans. We never should have chanted or asked for Caleb Williams to play. The best case scenario for Texas would have been for Caleb Williams to never see the field at OU and to transfer out of the Big 12 at season's end. I am sorry. 

Lastly, no apology, but Caleb Williams should be in the Heisman conversation. Assuming Williams continues to play the way he has and if Oklahoma is undefeated, we should not fault him for not playing in early seasons games. Especially if we don’t have someone else emerge as a true Heisman favorite. 

Ps give my guy Bijan Robinson more Heisman love. 

Final Thoughts

—Who belongs in the College Football Playoff?

The College Football Playoff Committee is going to have a tough decision on their hands when the first poll results come out on November 2nd. Georgia is the clear cut No. 1 team but things get complicated after that, mainly because Cincinnati is No. 2 and many still feel they don’t belong. I am not one of those people. If Cincy continues to play well I do believe they have earned their spot with wins over Notre Dame and other Power 5 conference teams. The next tier of teams will eventually sort itself out - Oklahoma will probably go undefeated and earn a bid. I can see Alabama winning the SEC or finishing 2nd behind Georgia and still getting in. Which will leave out a Big Ten champion that will probably have already cannibalized itself by then. Iowa, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Scenario A

  1. Georgia 13-0

  2. Cincinnati 13-0

  3. Oklahoma 13-0

  4. Undefeated Big Ten Champ

Scenario B

  1. SEC Champ Alabama 12-1

  2. Oklahoma 13-0

  3. Cincinnati 13-0

  4. Georgia 12-1

Scenario C: Most likely

  1. SEC Champ (Alabama/Georgia)

  2. Oklahoma 13-0

  3. Big Ten Champ

  4. SEC runner up (Alabama/Georgia)

—Midseason All-Americans
QB Bryce Young, Alabama - 2,082 passing yards, 24 TDs, 3 INTs
RB Bijan Robinson, Texas - 930 rushing yards, 14 catches, 207 rec. Yards, 13 Total TDs
RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State - 997 rushing yards, 9 TDs
WR Jerreth Sterns, WKU - 69 catches, 962 yards, 8 TDs
WR Josh Downs, UNC - 60 catches, 837 yards, 8 TDs
WR Drake London, USC - 64 catches, 832 yards, 5 TDs
TE Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina - 27 catches, 513 yards, 8 TDs
OL Evan Neal, Alabama
OL Zion Johnson, Boston College
OL Ikem Ekwonu, NC State 
OL Darrian Kennard, Kentucky
OL Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
DL Jalen Carter, Georgia
DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
DE Tre Williams, Arkansas
EDGE/OLB Will Anderson, Alabama
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
LB Damone Clark, LSU
CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
CB Riley Moss, Iowa
S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
S Jaquan Brisker, Penn State

Week 8 Games to Watch
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State, 2:30 CT, FOX
Oregon @ UCLA, 2:30 CT, ABC
LSU @ Ole Miss, 2:30 CT, CBS
Clemson @ Pittsburgh, 2:30 CT, ESPN
USC @ Notre Dame, 6:30 CT, NBC