Title in hand, it’s back to work for Orgeron, LSU

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NEW ORLEANS – Ed and Kelly Orgeron probably got more sleep Monday night than a lot of LSU fans.

By all standards, it was a relatively quiet night for the first family of LSU football at the team hotel following the Tigers’ 42-25 victory over Clemson for the school’s fourth national championship.

“We got to bed about 2:30, 3:00, got up at 7:30 this morning,” Orgeron said Tuesday morning’s champion news conference, the start of a busy day that will include the team’s return to Baton Rouge, followed by a quick flight to Nashville for the American Football Coaches Association convention.

“It wasn’t a night out on the town,” he said. “We just thanked the good Lord for the opportunity he’s given us.”

The cycle never ends in the world of college football.

Later this week, Orgeron will meet with the juniors on his team who are considering leaving Baton Rouge early to enter the NFL Draft. The early entry deadline is next Monday.

In addition to a celebration parade Saturday in Baton Rouge, it is also a recruiting weekend, with late signing day just 22 days off and a couple of slots remaining in the 2020 class.

“We’ll get after it,” Orgeron said, “and start on next year.”

But before then, there was time to put this year into perspective.

“(I’m) so proud of our football team,” Orgeron said. “So proud of Joe Burrow for the leadership he brought to our football team. So proud of our coaching staff.

“Hope they learned life lessons, how to persevere, how to work without egos, how to pull for each other.”

More than once, the question was asked about where this LSU team, which finished 15-0 and beat seven teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game, ranks in the history of college football.

“I think this is a team for the ages,” Orgeron said, “especially how prolific we were on offense, to go 15-0, to beat the teams that we beat.

“We answered the bell. These guys didn’t blink. We played 15 good football games. That’s gonna be hard to beat.”

Whether it’s Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, the other LSU seniors or the potential junior departures, there will be gaps to fill in the 2020 lineup.

“It’s going to be difficult to replace these guys,” Orgeron said. “But you’re at LSU, you should be able to do it.”

One of those with a decision is championship game defensive MVP Patrick Queen.

“I’m not really sure yet,” said Queen, who like the others has until Monday to decide to remain in school or declare for the draft. “Talk to my parents and Coach O, do everything the right way.”

Added Orgeron: “I’m hitting him on the knee right now to stay.”

Not all wins are created equal, and two will stand out more than others – the 46-41 win at Alabama to snap an eight-game Crimson Tide winning streak in the series, and Monday’s game.

“Ever since I started the job, we knew we had to beat (Alabama),” Orgeron said. “I do believe the spread offense, the ability to score points, helped us to beat them, put them in a position to where we could make plays.”

Said Queen: “It’s tough to beat the feeling of last night. The game was one I’ll remember forever. There’s no better feeling than being a champion.”

Now, the quest to do it again begins.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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