The rise and fall of LSU football – from the inside

Chris Landry graduated from LSU. He was a graduate assistant football coach there and assistant football coach there in the 1980s. He worked with Nick Saban in the NFL and helped facilitate Saban being hired by LSU. He’s worked as a consultant to LSU head football coaching searches and continues to live in Baton Rouge.

Chris Landry knows the inner workings of LSU football as well as anyone. The story he has to tell about those inner workings in recent years is not a pretty one for Tiger fans.

“The rise and fall of LSU football from the inside” is what he informally titled his most recent podcast. The podcast provides Landry’s oral history of LSU football coaches, coaching searches, coaching firings and the administrators who made those decisions from Bill Arnsparger in the mid-80s to today.

Landry pulls no punches and names names.

While the backstory proves fascinating for college football fans in general and LSU fans in particular with wonderfully detailed stories about Les Miles, Nick Saban, Jimmy Sexton, Joe Dean, Skip Bertman and numerous other college sports heavyweights, we’ll pick the story up following Les Miles firing in September of 2016 and LSU’s search for his permanent replacement later that year.

“Ed Orgeron would’ve waited as long as LSU wanted him to wait (to be named head coach),” Landry explains. “No one else was interested in hiring (him). Yes, (LSU) needed to put coordinators together, but there was time for that. Instead, (LSU athletic director) Joe Alleva – EGO – in wanting to announce Ed Orgeron as the coach, and say, ‘we never offered anything to Jimbo Fisher, we never offered anything to Tom Herman’ – which was false and false, they made offers on both – they wanted to announce Ed Orgeron before Texas made their announcement. In essence, ‘yeah, this is who we wanted.’

“All that does is show you’re stupid and you’re an egomaniac because you’re just wanting to beat them to the punch on the press conference. Well, you ended up with the short hand there.”

Landry is obviously putting all his cards on the table here.

“(Alleva’s) theory was, after having a guy in Les Miles that would never listen to him, he got a guy in Ed Orgeron who would do whatever he wanted him to do,” Landry continues. “So they go out and they spend money on coordinators and we’re just going to prop up the head coach – just be a head coach and he’s gonna’ talk and be all Cajun and we’re going to let the offensive coordinator run the offense and let the defensive coordinator run the defense.

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