Which job is better: LSU Tigers Wire and Gators Wire chime in

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

LSU Tigers vs Florida Gators. These two teams battle it out on the field every season but now the two could be battling it out in their head coaching search.

Dan Mullen was relieved of his duties as head coach following the loss to Missouri. Ironically enough, one of the teams that defeated Mullen led to the separation agreement between LSU and head coach Ed Orgeron, Kentucky.

With both schools searching for their next head coach, Tyler Nettuno of Gators Wire joined us in a special ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ as we discuss both coaching searches.

Which school is the better job? Who has the better athletic director? Who ultimately winds up as the head coach?

Chasing the same candidates

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

Do you believe that LSU and Florida will be competing for the same candidate?

Tyler Nettuno, Gators Wire:

I’m not necessarily convinced that will be the case. I think that Florida’s top two candidates right now are Billy Napier, who there’s been a lot of smoke about in the last 24 hours, and possibly Mario Cristobal at Oregon. LSU seems to be targeting Dave Aranda, assuming Jimbo Fisher doesn’t make a move from Texas A&M. If for whatever reason Aranda decides to stay at Baylor and Florida doesn’t lock down Napier fast, I could see some competition for his services, though.

Patrick Conn, LSU Tigers Wire:

I’ll agree with Tyler here to some extent. I fully believe neither school has Billy Napier as target No. 1 but more of their fallback option. It seems like all signs are pointing to Dave Aranda for LSU and of course, Florida should make a run at Mario Cristobal. If both strikeout, then the battle for Billy Napier’s services might be another fun battle in this LSU-Florida rivalry.

Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson vs Max Johnson and Garrett Nussmeier

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Which QB situation is better? LSU or Florida

Nettuno:

For the time being, I’ll say Florida because of what I’ve seen Anthony Richardson is capable of. He should’ve seen more playing time this season, especially with Emory Jones’ struggles, and I expect him to be the starter in 2022 with a new coach incoming. If he were to transfer (which I don’t think is out of the realm of possibility), I may give the edge to LSU. Max Johnson and Garrett Nussmeier don’t excite much, but incoming five-star quarterback Walker Howard would probably give the Tigers the edge in that case.

Conn:

I will also say Florida here. Anthony Richardson looks like a dangerous weapon as a quarterback. If he can stay healthy and get the reps, one should believe that he can make the Gators’ offense explosive. Max Johnson feels like an average quarterback that is smarter than he is talented. He needs the weapons such as Kayshon Boutte to really thrive. Garrett Nussmeier is a true gunslinger, what you love about him you will hate about him. With Walker Howard coming in, he might elevate the quarterback play but that is a lot to put on a freshman quarterback.

Analyzing the offenses for both teams

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Which offense is in a better situation?

Nettuno:

I think you have to say that Florida’s in a better spot. The recruiting difficulties made it hard to replace an outgoing talent like Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney, but UF’s offense still ranks No. 11 in the FBS. It has dropped off a bit in recent Power Five games, but I think a new coach could still find a lot of success with the pieces left behind, whereas I think there’s more work to be done at LSU.

Conn:

When you look at the LSU offense they have some pieces that could really do damage but who is calling the plays? Jake Peetz and DJ Mangas’ offense left a lot to be desired and they had no true answer after losing Boutte. They have playmakers, they just need to be put in a position to have success. I will say Florida with the caveat, it depends on who is calling plays on the Bayou.

Analyzing the defenses both teams

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Which defense is in a better situation?

Nettuno:

Both defenses have been horrendous this year, LSU’s a bit more so than Florida’s, but with that being said, I think the Tigers are in the better spot in that regard. If for no other reason than the fact that they have recruited at a high level and have more talent in the building. UF can’t really hold up the DBU moniker in good faith anymore, as it has struggled to land elite recruits in the secondary (or across the rest of the defense, for that matter). I think the scheme could explain a lot of its problems over the last two years, and Todd Grantham isn’t a very good defensive coordinator, but I could see this defense taking a bit of time to fix. Especially if LSU goes for a defensive hire like Aranda, I expect its unit to get turned around more quickly.

Conn:

The LSU defense has really made strides since switching back to the 3-4 and incorporating more blitzing. The same way that Dave Aranda used to attack offenses when he was running the Tigers defense. Moving forward the edge goes to the Bayou Bengals but the Gators could put together a solid defensive unit depending on who they hire as far as how quickly it happens.

Looking at the leaders making this decision

(Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP)

Which athletic director do you believe in more to make the right hire?

Nettuno:

The answer is Scott Woodward, and it’s not even close. He’s earned a reputation as an aggressive AD, bringing Jimbo Fisher and basketball coach Buzz Williams to College Station when he was at Texas A&M. His first major hire at LSU resulted in him bringing in one of the top women’s basketball coaches in the country in Kim Mulkey. Scott Stricklin, on the other hand, has only made two major hires: Dan Mullen, a guy that Stricklin had worked with for years at Mississippi State, and women’s basketball coach Cameron Newbauer. We all know how it ended with Mullen, and Newbauer was allowed to remain the coach for a while despite allegations of abuse within the program that Stricklin was aware of, and the program wasn’t even doing well on the court. I have a lot of questions about Stricklin’s fitness as an athletic director, but Woodward is a proven commodity.

Conn:

It is Scott Woodward by a country mile. Look at what he did for Washington with Chris Petersen before hiring Buzz Williams and Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. Since his arrival back home, he hired Kim Mulkey from Baylor and Jay Johnson from Arizona to run the baseball program. His reputation gives him the edge. His football hire will determine how long he sticks around at his alma mater. Scott Stricklin on the other hand doesn’t hold the same reputation and he is already under heat for the Florida women’s basketball fiasco.

LSU vs Florida: Who you got?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Who is the better gig? Who ultimately ends up with the job?

Nettuno:

I think LSU is probably the better job at this moment in time, just as a function of resources, institutional buy-in, and support for the football program, as well as the fact that it’s the only power conference program in a very solid recruiting state. But Florida is still a premier job in the most talent-rich state in the country, and it has the most resources of any program in the state as the flagship. Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier showed what good coaches can achieve at UF, and I could see it being the more attractive option to some. Ultimately, I think Billy Napier is the hire at Florida. He’s a Nick Saban disciple who has built his Louisiana program in a way that resembles Saban’s but doesn’t emulate it completely. He’s a passionate recruiter and culture builder, and if the Gators want to make an Urban Meyer-esque hire who can compete with Georgia and Alabama for talent, he’s the closest that they’re going to get.

Conn:

I think LSU is a top-five job in the country. LSU is the better job. While some have discussed the possibility of Jimbo Fisher’s return to the Bayou, Mel Tucker leaving Michigan State, and Lincoln Riley leaving Norman, Dave Aranda has felt like the best move. He doesn’t fit the mold of a Fisher-like move to Texas A&M. However, Aranda is more fundamentally sound than that of Ed Orgeron. The two clashed on defensive philosophy during the time together on the Bayou. What has happened since Aranda’s departure? One one of the worst defensive performances in LSU history using the 4-3 scheme under Bo Pelini. It has been well documented what coaching at LSU can lead to. Nick Saban, Les Miles, and Ed Orgeron combined for three national championships and four total title game appearances in 20 years. Aranda is a much better coach in theory than Miles and Orgeron from an X’s and O’s standpoint. He likely would have them in contention for the SEC West in a heartbeat.

1

1