LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin normally talk a few times a week, Orgeron said Tuesday.
They chat mostly about family stuff, personal issues. It's light on football talk. But that’s not stopping Orgeron from cutting off Kiffin.
“I talk to him two to three times a week, but we’re going to take a hiatus these next two weeks,” Orgeron said Tuesday. “I know he’s going to want to talk to me, but I ain’t answering back. I know how he is.”
The game between No. 19 LSU (5-2, 3-1) and top-ranked Alabama (8-0, 5-0) is still 11 days away, but the storylines surrounding the yearly titanic clash are already spewing out. Kiffin and Orgeron worked together for about 10 years, first as assistants as Southern Cal in the early 2000s and then at stops at Tennessee and back to USC.
Orgeron coached under Kiffin at Tennessee in 2009 and then for four seasons at Southern Cal in 2010-2013, taking over the Trojans in the interim in 2013 when the program fired Kiffin.
Orgeron, 55, remembers the brash Kiffin, 41, arriving as a tight ends coach at Southern Cal in 2001.
“He had all the answers the first day,” Orgeron said Tuesday after LSU’s first practice of the off week. “I said, ‘This guy is going to be special.’ Great recruiter. We won two national championships together so we’ve got a lot of great memories.”
Ed Orgeron revved up a small crowd gathered in New Orleans on Tuesday afternoon, calling the…
Orgeron called Kiffin a “great offensive mind” who he tried to hire at Ole Miss when he took that job in 2005. Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll promoted Kiffin that season to offensive coordinator, keeping him in Los Angeles.
Kiffin then hired Orgeron in 2009 when he was hired as head coach at Tennessee. That same season, then-LSU coach Les Miles offered Orgeron a position on the Tigers staff. He received Miles' offer upon landing in Knoxville, Tennessee, to start work on Kiffin’s staff.
“I thought about reneging on the Tennessee deal. I left earlier in the morning and when I landed on the tarmac in Tennessee, I got an (LSU) offer that was kind of hard to refuse,” Orgeron said. “The reason I had gone to Tennessee is because Lane and I were good friends, and I wanted to coach under Monte Kiffin’s defense.”
Does Orgeron regret not joining Miles’ staff then?
“Every day,” he said.