LSU athletic director Scott Woodward is not afraid to pursue big name coaches, but could he really get Dabo Swinney to replace Ed Orgeron?
The big news in college football on Sunday was LSU and head football coach Ed Orgeron agreeing
‘Coach O’ will be done after the season. Right after the Tigers beat Florida on Saturday no less, but the decision was made before then.
Through his history as an athletic director, Scott Woodward has gone after and at times gotten big name coaches. At Washington, he got Chris Petersen from Boise State. At Texas A&M, he got Jimbo Fisher and Buzz Williams. At LSU, he just got Kim Mulkey to leave Baylor and take over the women’s basketball program.
Woodward’s tie to Fisher dating back to prior time at LSU makes the Texas A&M coach an easy candidate to come back and replace Orgeron. But Bruce Feldman of The Athletic has pointed to another big coaching fish.
According to a source of Feldman’s, Woodward could make Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney “say no” to an offer.
Could LSU really get Dabo Swinney?
At one point fairly early in his building of the program at Clemson, Swinney (a Birmingham, AL native) was considered a possible candidate to take over for Nick Saban at Alabama amid talk Saban had entertained leaving for Texas (the latter is a hilarious thought now). Swinney was also a Crimson Tide assistant coach from 1993-2000. But two national titles and two other national title game appearances later, and Swinney seems entrenched at Clemson.
Swinney is the fourth-highest paid coach in college football this year ($8.37 million), according to USA TODAY’s recently updated list. For what it’s worth, with a huge buyout coming to him now, Orgeron is second at a shade over $9 million.
That said, Clemson is having an atypical year. They’re 4-2, but the last three wins have been ugly against Georgia Tech (14-8), Boston College (19-13) and Syracuse (17-14). So if Swinney were to entertain leaving, it could be after what is headed for a low watermark this season.
Still, it’s incredibly unlikely Swinney has even a hint of desire to leave Clemson. But that probably won’t stop Woodward from making him “an offer he can’t refuse” if he’s sufficiently motivated to do it. And on the small percentage chance he’d take it, making Swinney say no to just such an offer is a fine idea.