There's a strange feeling associated with LSU football right now — and no one really knows how to process it.
For 11 seasons, the college football community became accustomed to a Les Miles-led LSU that was known for defense, class and the run game.
Now though, as Ed Orgeron prepares to coach his first full season in Baton Rouge, it seems like there are constant questionable stories emerging from the LSU program.
A few weeks ago — the Tigers' program made national headlines for banning media from their practice sessions. While many programs have strict rules and regulations, Orgeron took it a step further. He implemented a policy where in-house LSU media staffers would supply photos, quotes and other information so the media can do its job. That's not right — and plenty of notable college football minds have voiced their opposition.
ESPN's Paul Finebaum — a staple in the SEC — fears Orgeron's recent bold actions are a sign of his constant paranoia, something that held the LSU coach back during his time at Ole Miss.
"I think he's already made a big mistake," Finebaum told Awful Announcing. "The average fan out there doesn't know that we — we being the media — we're not getting anything out of those first 15 minutes except that we can send back video to our TV stations, or pictures or whatever, but that's a little thing I don't like. I don't like that. I didn't like the fact that they were shutting other schools outside of satellite camps."
Finebaum's first point touches on the media policy. Many teams allow media for the first 15-20 minutes of practice and that's a critical time to get visuals to pair with content. Now, that's banned at LSU.
The second point raised by Finebaum is just another example of Orgeron's quirky coaching style that is clearly rubbing some folks the wrong way. Earlier this summer, the LSU front man pulled the contracts for several satellite camps in Louisiana — ensuring no other programs can recruit near Baton Rouge. Mind you, these were schools like Bellhaven University, Cornell and Delta State. Is Orgeron really concerned those teams will steal his talent?
"To me, it does show paranoia," Finebaum said in the Awful Announcing piece. "It shows the old Ed Orgeron I thought he had left behind, perhaps, in Ole Miss. I just think it's a bad look for him, someone who I think could grow into a pretty good coach, but he's going to have to do it pretty quickly."
Lindsey Scott becomes #LSU's 11th transfer of the offseason.
Their new schools included here. pic.twitter.com/lqt9TNSyF0
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 14, 2017
The latest mark against Orgeron may not be negative at all — but it certainly raises eyebrows as to the behind-the-scenes happenings at LSU.
On Monday, redshirt freshman quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. announced he would be transferring from the program — marking the 11th player to leave during the offseason.
I'm a big believer of where there's smoke, there's often fire. While none of these actions are overly notable — there's an obvious trend of Orgeron taking a "my way or the highway" approach and I'm not convinced that translates into long-term success.
Who knows, though. Maybe he's a genius and this is all part of the master plan. If LSU puts together great season and makes a run toward the College Football Playoff, it will all be okay. If not, things will only get more interesting in Baton Rouge.