14. Mel Tucker, Michigan State: $5,566,303

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LSU Next Coach Odds: Mel Tucker shoots past Lane Kiffin

Michigan State’s unexpected rise into the top 10 has led to Spartans coach Mel Tucker’s name being tied to the biggest coaching vacancy in the country.

Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin was installed as the +250 betting favorite by SportsBetting.ag to be the LSU Tigers’ next coach, but Tucker’s odds shortened from +1200 to +200 within hours.

Tucker has led the Spartans to a 7-0 record and Michigan State is ranked ninth in the country. He also has SEC ties, having worked under Alabama head coach Nick Saban with both the Crimson Tide (2015) and at LSU (2000).

Before arriving at Michigan State last year, Tucker spent a year as Colorado’s head coach following three as Georgia’s defensive coordinator.

Meanwhile, Kiffin’s odds lengthened to +500, ahead of Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell (+600), Penn State’s James Franklin (+650) and Louisiana coach Billy Napier (+750).

Kiffin’s Ole Miss team is 5-1 and ranked 12th in the country, with the Rebels’ only loss coming to Alabama. Kiffin also has one of the Heisman Trophy favorites in quarterback Matt Corral.

Still only 46 years old, Kiffin is already at the helm of his fourth college football program. After two years with the Oakland Raiders from 2007-08, he spent one ill-fated year as the head coach at Tennessee.

Kiffin then left for Southern Cal, where he had served as offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll. He was fired in 2013 and spent three years as Saban’s offensive coordinator before being hired as Florida Atlantic’s head coach in 2017.

After three years with the Owls, Kiffin returned to the SEC with Ole Miss in 2020.

His name has surfaced with several potential head coaching vacancies across the country, from USC to Miami, Fla. The big question is whether LSU athletic director Scott Woodward would be inclined to hire a coach with such a polarizing off-field image to compete in the SEC recruiting wars with the likes of Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.

Fickell has Cincinnati (6-0) ranked No. 2 in the country for the first time in program history and the Bearcats are poised for a run at a spot in the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati is 34-6 over the past four seasons.

Like Tucker, Franklin’s odds shortened dramatically after SportsBetting.ag opened the market. He went from +950 to +650 to depart for Baton Rouge, although Franklin’s name has also surfaced in connection with the USC opening.

Napier does not have any ties to LSU specifically, but the 42-year-old has also spent five years over two stints on Saban’s staff. He spent a year as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator in 2017 before taking over at Louisiana.

Other names on the list include Texas A&M coach and former LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and former Houston Texans and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien.

In the more entertaining category, SportsBetting.ag is also offering odds on current Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer (+1600) and former Raiders coach Jon Gruden (+10000).

LSU Next Head Coach Odds:
Mel Tucker (+200)
Lane Kiffin (+500)
Luke Fickell (+600)
James Franklin (+650)
Billy Napier (+750)
Jimbo Fisher (+750)
Billy O’Brien (+900)
Mark Stoops (+950)
Bob Stoops (+1200)
Joe Brady (+1200)
Dave Aranda (+1400)
Urban Meyer (+1600)
Jon Gruden (+10000)

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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