Why LSU might be able to retain Matt Canada, Dave Aranda

BATON ROUGE, La. — When Ed Orgeron spoke about Matt Canada following LSU’s season-ending 45-21 win over Texas A&M, it gave many observers the impression that the offensive coordinator’s bags are already packed.

“Everybody wants to be a head coach,” Orgeron said, when asked about Canada’s aspirations. “I hope he gets the opportunity to get it.”

When pressed on whether he would continue to run a form of Canada’s offense should that happen, Orgeron seemed to suggest LSU would go in another direction.

“I have in mind what we want on offense,” Orgeron said. “If he would leave, we have guys like Steve Ensminger we’d highly consider. He did a great job for us last year.”

However those statements may have been interpreted, an LSU source told SEC Country that Orgeron was addressing Canada’s departure as a hypothetical. The offensive coordinator is indeed interested in pursuing a head coaching job, but it’s far from guaranteed he will land one and bolt from LSU after one season.

Canada’s résumé would seemingly put him in line for a head coaching position at a “Group of 5” school. There are currently three such openings: Kent State, Texas-El Paso and Rice. Canada has no ties to the state of Texas, making him an unlikely candidate for the latter two jobs. Any possibility of him leaving probably depends on the dominoes that fall as more Power 5 positions are filled, perhaps creating opportunities at schools such as Central Florida or Memphis.

Statistically, LSU’s offense did nothing to blow anyone away this season. The Tigers rank 54th in the nation in total offense, 71st in scoring offense, 30th in rushing and 84th in passing. The biggest selling point is that LSU is tied for the national lead with just 8 turnovers, as Canada crafted an offense that avoided exposing quarterback Danny Etling’s limitations and played to his game-managing strengths.

LSU confident Dave Aranda will stay

Canada’s aspirations in pursuing a head coaching job this offseason do not appear to be shared by defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, an LSU source confirmed to SEC Country.

“[It’s] pretty secure he’s staying,” the source said. “Dave is more prone to leave us for an NFL DC job than a college head coaching job.”

Aranda is in his second season as the Tigers defensive coordinator. LSU is ranked 17th in scoring defense, 14th in total defense, 20th in passing defense and 24th in rushing defense.

Heading into the offseason, there is one opening on the staff. Outside linebackers coach Dennis “Meatball” Johnson will take Pete Jenkins’ place as defensive line coach when Jenkins retires after LSU’s bowl game.

The post Why LSU might be able to retain Matt Canada, Dave Aranda appeared first on SEC Country.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.