LSU

Is Jimbo Fisher the top candidate for the LSU job?

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, left, talks with Deondre Francois, right, in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, left, talks with Deondre Francois, right, in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. AP

LSU’s search for a head football coach revved up this past weekend, as a group of university leaders took the next step in the hunt for Les Miles’ replacement, according to The Advocate.

A group of five to six decision-makers, during a meeting, narrowed a list of candidates to as few as four and formulated multiple plans that could be executed next weekend.

A person with knowledge of the search spoke to The Advocate on a condition of anonymity.

The university has spent the past eight weeks using backchannel methods to gauge the interest of multiple college head coaches and vet them, while also evaluating interim coach Ed Orgeron’s job with regards to his serious candidacy for the full-time position. It was the first step in a process that took a turn over the weekend, when two-touchdown favorite LSU lost to Florida 16-10 in the home finale at Tiger Stadium.

The loss opens the door to a pool of candidates — led by Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher — and ends a potential plan to quickly name Orgeron the school’s new leader, the source confirmed. Orgeron, a 55-year-old who’s 10-4 in interim roles at Southern Cal and LSU, remains a viable candidate for the full-time position, the source confirmed.

He’s expected to meet with LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on Friday after the Tigers’ regular-season finale on Thanksgiving night at Texas A&M, where he’ll lay out a long-term plan that likely includes hiring a proven guru as offensive coordinator. Orgeron and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin remain close friends.

Meanwhile, university leaders have kept “the lines of communication open with Jimbo Fisher’s people,” and they feel strongly that he’s “very interested” in returning to Baton Rouge.

Fisher has been a candidate for a year now. The Advocate reported on Dec. 4 of last year that representatives from LSU and representatives for Fisher were in discussions days before the school beat Texas A&M in what many believed to be Miles’ final game as coach. Alleva admitted then only that he “looked at options” and made “inquiries” regarding a potential new football coach.

Former Florida State football head coach Bobby Bowden talks about Jimbo Fisher's clash with officials and what it takes to knock off Alabama before speaking Nov. 3, 2016 at The Methodist Home Evening of Hope fundraiser.

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