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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron coaches in the first quarter against Alabama, Saturday, November 3, 2018, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Perhaps there were hash browns. Maybe a coffee or two. Almost certainly, there was some form of unique people-watching as Ed Orgeron interviewed a Texas high school coach who would become one of college football's next great offensive minds.

They were together at a Waffle House near Oxford, Mississippi.

The most important part of the story, perhaps, is known: Orgeron, then the head coach at Ole Miss, did not hire Chad Morris away from Stephenville High School to join his staff.

Orgeron said Wednesday that he instead hired Hugh Freeze, a high school coach in Tennessee, as his tight ends coach.

"But I always had a good relationship with coach Morris," said Orgeron, whose LSU Tigers travel to play Morris' Arkansas Razorbacks at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. "I think he's an excellent coach."

The rest you probably know: Orgeron was fired after winning just three conference games in three seasons at Ole Miss from 2005-07; Hugh Freeze eventually became the Rebels' head coach but was fired last summer amid scandal; and Morris won a few more Texas state championships before making his climb to college coaching, most notably as offensive coordinator at Clemson and head coach at SMU.

Now, Orgeron and Morris will meet for the first time as head coaches.

"I remind him every now and then when I see him that he didn't hire me," said Morris, who's had a tough first season with the Razorbacks (2-7, 0-5 Southeastern Conference). "So he said, 'It worked out pretty good anyways.' No, it's all good. Coach has done a fabulous job everywhere he's been."

The Waffle House interview unfolded while Orgeron was recruiting quarterback Jevan Snead, who played for Morris at Stephenville and enrolled at Texas before eventually transferring to Ole Miss.

"Jevan went on an official visit up there," Morris said. "And he called me. He said, 'Coach, I need you to come up here.' So, I got on a plane and flew up there, went through the rest of the official visit with him. Went to an interview with coach Orgeron, the whole bit."

What did Morris order at that Waffle House?

"I'm sure I got the No. 1 there," Morris said. "It was good. I got Ed to pay for it." 

The interview spilled over to Orgeron's house, Morris said, and after he returned to Texas, he had a follow-up interview with Orgeron at a coaches conference in San Antonio.

But the job offer never came. Morris moved from Stephenville to Lake Travis High in Austin, Texas, where he won two Class 4A state championships before he was hired to be Tulsa's offensive coordinator in 2010.

Morris, 49, spent 18 years coaching high school football, cutting his teeth on fabled Friday nights, before he broke into the college game.

He graduated from Texas A&M in 1992 with a degree in mathematics and statistics, and he decided to become an assistant coach at Eustace High, 32 miles south of his hometown of Edgewood, Texas, roughly halfway between Dallas and Longview.

Two years later, Morris became the head coach at Eustace, sparking a 16-year high school career in which he went 179-52-3, including a Class 4A state title at Bay City (Texas) High in 2000.

Morris' three state titles are tied for 14th-most all-time among Texas high school coaches.

The spread offense that tormented high school teams continued to torch opponents at the college level. In one season at Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane averaged 41.4 points per game (sixth nationally) under Morris, and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney hired him away to run the Tigers' offense in 2011.

During Morris' four-year stay at Clemson, the Tigers set 127 school records on offense and recorded the top three scoring seasons in program history. Morris molded quarterback Tajh Boyd into the Atlantic Coastal Conference's Player of the Year in 2012 (together, they upset LSU 25-24 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl), then recruited eventual star quarterback Deshaun Watson before accepting the top job at SMU in 2015.

Morris rejuvenated an SMU program that had gone 1-11 in June Jones' final season as head coach, eventually leading the Mustangs to a 7-6 season in 2017.

A similar overhaul is unfolding at Arkansas. The Razorbacks are on pace to record the most losses in a single season since the program began play in 1894. Morris' offense ranks outside the SEC's top 10 in both scoring offense (11th, 26.3 points per game) and total offense (378.4 yards per game). Perhaps the lone moral victory: Arkansas has scored the most points of any team against No. 1 Alabama — a 65-31 loss on Oct. 6.

"We need to be careful about having a hangover, respecting Arkansas," Orgeron said. "They put 31 points on Alabama. We didn't put any. Obviously, we have to respect their football team. They have a lot of players on that team. They're going to play their best shot, and it will be a hostile crowd."