LSU finally split up with offensive coordinator Matt Canada this past week and mum has been the word out of Baton Rouge since.
Much of the speculation is that Ed Orgeron would take the easy out and just move Steve Ensminger up, but that’s not giving it too much thought.
I won’t be surprised if he hires former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
Shocked? Don’t be.
When Orgeron was hired one of his first comments when asked about his offensive direction was that he would go to some sort of spread. That didn’t happen.
Canada is a pro-style guy with a lot of pre-snap movement, motion and alignments, but it was all out of a pro system.
In no universe did it ever resemble much of anything that was anything near a spread.
Before you have the same knee-jerk reaction a lot of people do and talk about his NCAA issues at Ole Miss, remember this: He basically was cleared of everything except not keeping a close enough handle on a couple of boosters.
After five years of investigating all the NCAA came up with was that. Because they spent five years in Oxford, they gave him a two-game conference suspension if — and only if — he is the head coach of a school in 2018.
There was no show-cause penalty for Freeze. In fact, the NCAA in the final order against Ole Miss said Freeze did just about everything he could in managing the situation with the exception of the actions of a couple of boosters.
In other words, there is no NCAA issue with Freeze being an offensive coordinator at LSU.
Freeze is available and started a public relations campaign last week, appearing for a very open, honest and intense interview with Clay Travis of Outkick The Show.
Don’t think it can’t happen. Orgeron gave Freeze his first job at the SEC level when he was coaching at Ole Miss and the two have remained fairly close since then.
When Orgeron replaced Les Miles at LSU, Freeze gushed at his weekly press conference about Orgeron. The week before the two played in 2016 was full of praise for each other.
When all of Freeze’s problems surfaced publicly about calling escort services on his university cell phone (the matter had already been known with Freeze’s family and close friends), Orgeron reached out to him, along with Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn, Bret Bielema and many other coaches.
The reason Freeze didn’t have a job at the start of last season was the fact the NCAA was so slow in releasing the final order against the Rebels.
Now that they cleared Freeze, the fact he called some escort services on a school phone isn’t going to stop many folks from hiring him, I don’t care what anybody says.
It shouldn’t be a surprise if Orgeron brings him in as offensive coordinator at LSU and completely turns the offense over to him. He has said repeatedly he should have done that when Orgeron was at Ole Miss.
And if it happens, every other team in the SEC West should be worried.
While Freeze has had issues, scoring points and moving the ball aren’t among them.
It’s kinda scary to imagine his offense with all that talent and a defense like Dave Aranda usually has.
Which is why Arkansas fans should be hoping they promote Ensminger.