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LSU-Tennessee is a battle between a famous interim coach and the most famous interim coach of this era

Look at all this fine interimming.

Brady Hoke and Ed Orgeron.
USA Today Sports

You’ll recall that Butch Jones is fired. Tennessee’s football coach of nearly five seasons lost his job last Sunday, his team sitting at 4-6.

His replacement is Brady Hoke, the former Ball State, San Diego State, and Michigan head man.

On the other sideline in Hoke’s first of (likely only) two games leading the Vols: LSU’s Ed Orgeron, the preeminent interim head coach of this era.

Orgeron got his current job four games into the 2016 season, when LSU was 2-2 and decided it was time to move on from Les Miles. Orgeron finished 6-2 and kept the gig.

An LSU player doubts that Hoke will interim as well as Orgeron previously interimmed:

“I feel like they’re gonna do what they do,” inside linebacker Devin White said of Tennessee this week. “We went through it, but I don’t think they got the same interim coach we got. We got Coach O, so I mean, that speaks a lot. That’s a guy that’s been through some great programs and had some great history about him, so he just brought that to us, and then we fed off that.”

Orgeron’s been in Hoke’s shoes twice, as an interim at LSU and USC.

He replaced Lane Kiffin at USC in 2013, after the Trojans fired Kiffin at the airport following an ugly loss. Orgeron finished that season 6-2 after a 3-2 start under Kiffin. He was in the mix for the permanent head job in Los Angeles, but the Trojans decided to hire away Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, a former USC offensive coordinator.

At USC, Orgeron was a breath of fresh air during a period of turmoil. A former player explains:

He really emphasized that this time around being a head coach he wants to do it the right way, he really learned a lot from his time at Ole Miss, he asked us our input about a lot of things on the team, and he really inputted our input into the schedules and event-planning, things like that. He's always looking out for what's better for us, what makes us comfortable, taking care of our bodies. That really made us appreciate him, and from then on, guys have been behind Coach O and would run through a brick wall for him.

Orgeron became a popular figure. He gave handwritten notes to every member of the Trojans’ marching band, which was a pretty swell thing to do.

When Orgeron didn’t get the long-term gig, one of his players said it was like losing a father. His players were publicly dismayed, and other Pac-12 teams were giddy that the Trojans had chosen Sarkisian over him. Their faith turned out to be rewarded.

Hoke appears to be taking his interim responsibilities seriously.

So much so that he’s going to wear a headset on the sideline, something he famously did not do most of the time when he was Michigan’s head coach from 2011-13.

I declare this game the Interim Bowl, 2017.