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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron on the field before kickoff against ULM, Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Tiger Stadium on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

Ed Orgeron suspects the realization he coached in his final game at LSU won’t arrive until after it has finished. He wants to focus this week on preparing his team and giving the seniors a memorable ending to their careers, but at the same time, his tenure at the only school he ever dreamed of working at will soon end.

When LSU hosts No. 14 Texas A&M this weekend inside Tiger Stadium, Orgeron will walk down Victory Hill, deliver a pregame speech, lead his team through the tunnel and perhaps coach LSU for the final time. All he ever wanted to do as a boy in Larose was become the LSU coach, and he has one more home game as the leader of the program.

“I don't think it's going to hit me until the end, and I really don't think that way,” Orgeron said Monday. “But I am appreciative of the time I had here. A lot of great days.”

At 5-6 overall, LSU approaches Saturday’s game teetering on the edge of bowl eligibility. The Tigers can guarantee themselves a spot by beating Texas A&M, which is a 6½ point favorite. LSU theoretically could be selected for a bowl game at 5-7, depending on how many teams finish with a .500 record or better.

After previously saying he would coach in a postseason game if LSU reached one, Orgeron has sounded less definitive when asked whether he will stay on past the regular-season finale. By the time the Tigers kick off for a potential bowl game, they could have a new coach in place. No matter what happens against Texas A&M, it could mark his final night as the coach.

“I’m gonna talk to the administration,” Orgeron said. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I want to be able to say that when I do leave here, so everybody’s clear when I do leave, that I did the best I could for the LSU Tigers, and if we do go to a bowl, I’m going to talk to the administration. We need to have a conversation to see what’s best for the football team.”

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Since he reached a separation agreement with LSU on Oct. 17, Orgeron hasn’t appeared publicly upset about the ending of his five-year tenure. He has cracked jokes about buying hamburgers with his nearly $17 million buyout, reflected fondly about his career and taken more risks during games. He still plans “for sure” not to coach during the 2022 season, instead using the time to workout and be with his three boys.

One more game separates Orgeron from the next phase of his life, which he said may include speaking engagements about his path to sobriety. And in this final week, more than anything, he wants to beat Texas A&M. He started trying to motivate LSU’s players as soon as they beat UL-Monroe last weekend to snap a three-game losing streak.

“I took off my shirt after the game,” Orgeron said. “I usually wait until before the (next) game. I’m so excited about this game, I took off my shirt after the last game. So we’re going to be pumped up, we’re going to be ready to go.”

Some of the players indicated after the game they wanted to win this week for their outgoing coach. When told, Orgeron put the focus back on his players.

“I want them to win for themselves,” he said. “This is about them.”

Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com