Baylor Bears

With Ed Orgeron Out, Could LSU Target Baylor Head Coach Dave Aranda?

NCAA Football: Baylor at Kansas

Ed Orgeron and LSU have reportedly struck a separation agreement, but Baylor fans have to wonder if that agreement could impact Bears head coach Dave Aranda.

Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reported on Sunday that Orergon and LSU have reached an agreement that will allow Orgeron to remain LSU’s head coach the rest of this season and then leave the program before the 2022 season. Those conversations started before LSU beat Florida on Saturday. So that win wasn’t enough to save Orgeron’s job.

Don’t sweat Orgeron’s retirement plan, either. The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reports that Orgeron will get his ENTIRE $17 million buyout.

 

So, now the Tigers get two months to vet potential replacements before the season ends, when the athletic department would actually be able to begin interviewing replacements that currently have jobs.

Could one of those replacements be Aranda?

LSU was Aranda’s last stop before taking over the Baylor head-coaching job before the 2020 season. While with the Tigers, Aranda coordinated the team’s defense during their run to the 2019 national championship. Before that, he did the same at Wisconsin, Utah State and Hawaii.

Aranda worked his way up the chain for more than a decade to get his first head-coaching job at Baylor. And, after a rough start last season (the Bears went 2-7), Aranda got the Bears back in the Top 25 earlier this season and are 6-1 and bowl-eligible after beating BYU on Saturday.

It’s clear that LSU respected Aranda’s work, if his pay before leaving was any indication. By the 2018 season Aranda was making $2.5 million per year as the defensive coordinator after Texas A&M tried to hire him away.

 

Aranda is reportedly making $4 million per year at Baylor. He’s only in the second year of his six-year contract, too, so it’s likely the buyout could be significant.

But, LSU is about to pay Orgeron $17 million to go away. One has to ask if the money really matters to the Tigers, if Aranda is the right fit?

We’ll find out in the coming weeks. But one thing’s for certain — Aranda is going to get questions as early as Monday’s Big 12 conference call.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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