Earlier this week, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told reporters that he wasn't concerned about his team's sluggish performance and season opening loss against UCLA. He expressed confidence in his players' effort and leadership, and acknowledged that several on-field mistakes will soon be fixed.
But in today's game, being two years removed from a national championship means little. There's immense pressure to progress. And if Orgeron is unable to produce a convincing winning season in 2021, his time with the Tigers could be up, according to SEC Network analyst Roman Harper.
"[His seat is] heating up a little bit. I don't think Ed Orgeron can fool around and go 7-5 or 6-6. I don't think that's going to be good enough," Harper told The Zach Gelb Show on Thursday. "And it's not so much because of the X's and O's. It's all the other things going on on that campus in Baton Rouge. There's a lot going on, there's a lot to be talked about. And because he was there, people are looking for any kind of excuse.
"And it's not like they have anybody in mind to upgrade or anything like that. But the fans are so rabid in the SEC, that they don't even care. They're like, 'You know what, we'll get rid of you,' not knowing what they'll do after that. They have no clue. But that's what they do. I think [his seat] is heating up a little bit. But all he has to do is just win..."
Although the Tigers tallied 378 yards of offense against UCLA in Pasadena, their ground game was nonexistent. Overall, they rushed for just 49 yards on 25 carries, and the offensive line struggled to contain the Bruins' rushers and protect sophomore quarterback Max Johnson. Of course, LSU's defense was also unproductive, as the unit allowed 470 total yards.
With the loss, LSU dropped out of this week's AP top-25 poll, and they'll look to rebound against McNeese State on Saturday afternoon. According to the William Hill Sportsbook, the Tigers currently have the fifth-best odds (+4000) to win the SEC title.
The entire college football conversation between Harper and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.