Less than two years after winning a national title with one of college football's greatest teams, Ed Orgeron is out as LSU's coach.

A messy 2020 season and a poor start to 2021 sealed Orgeron's fate. LSU's non-competitive loss to Kentucky on Oct. 9 signaled that Orgeron's time would soon be ending. Despite Saturday's win over Florida, LSU decided to move on with Orgeron still set to coach out the season.

The Louisiana native considered LSU a dream job, but many linked the 2019 title more to Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow and elite young play-caller Joe Brady. LSU is only 9-8 since that duo left following their championship season.

One of college football's premier coaching jobs is now open. Although drama seems to follow LSU at every turn, the last three coaches there -- Nick Saban, Les Miles and Orgeron -- all have won national titles. Louisiana is an elite recruiting ground, and facilities and fan support remain strong. Athletic director Scott Woodward is expected to lead a bold search. Woodward hired Chris Petersen at Washington and brought Jimbo Fisher from Florida State to Texas A&M.

Although two Group of 5 coaches will appear below, Woodward is expected to swing big and target big names with Power 5 head-coaching experience.

Here's a look at potential candidates for the LSU job:

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher: Woodward already landed Fisher once and could go back into the deep waters for another seismic SEC hire. Fisher's affinity for LSU - where he won a national title as a Nick Saban assistant - and Baton Rouge is no secret. Fisher won a championship at Florida State and is the elite offensive mind and quarterbacks coach that LSU has long desired. But would he leave a great situation at Texas A&M, which has given him everything that he wants? The Aggies recorded a top-five finish last year and should be back in the CFP mix soon. His massive contract at A&M does not include a penalty to leave. It's certainly worth a try for Woodward.

 

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal: Cristobal could provide LSU some of Orgeron's best qualities while adding a steadier demeanor as the program CEO. Promoted to succeed Willie Taggart at Oregon, he had restored the program to the top of the Pac-12, winning consecutive titles. Cristobal is one of the nation's most tireless recruiters, and could compete with Alabama and others in the SEC.