Orgeron Woodward

LSU coach Ed Orgeron speaks as athletic director Scott Woodward, right, listens during a conference Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 at the Lawton Room in Tiger Stadium. (Photo by Patrick Dennis, The Advocate)

BATON ROUGE, La - The 2021 fall football season was not kind to most of Louisiana's 11 colleges that field FCS and FBS programs.

The total combined record for the 11 schools currently adds up to 57-72. Six of those schools had to replace head coaches, four of which resigned or were fired.

Two Louisiana programs proved to be the exception to the trend this year — UL and Southeastern. The Cajuns (12-1) will play Marshall in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 18, and Southeastern (9-4) won a first-round game in the FCS playoffs over Florida A&M.

The bad news for the Cajuns is that they lost their coach, Billy Napier, after he decided to make the jump to the SEC and accept the Florida job. A UL staff member, Michael Desormeaux, was hired as his replacement.

Southeastern will move forward with Frank Scelfo, who is entering his fifth year as the Lions' coach. He is 25-19 during his time in Hammond.

For the rest of the FCS and FBS programs in Louisiana, it was a disappointing year.

Here's how things played out for the rest of the programs across the state:

GRAMBLING

2021 SEASON: The Tigers ended the season with a win over Southern in the Bayou Classic, but that was one of the few bright notes during a 4-7 campaign.

COACHING SITUATION: Broderick Fobbs got off to a strong start at Grambling with a 39-11 mark through his first four years, but the Tigers fell to 15-21 over the next four. Grambling fired Fobbs on Nov. 15. Former NFL head coach Hue Jackson is reported to be Fobbs' replacement.

LOUISIANA-MONROE

2021 SEASON: There was some reason for hope in Terry Bowden's first season as head coach, but the Warhawks came up short in some competitive games down the stretch to finish the season at 4-8. Wins over Liberty, South Alabama and Troy show Bowden has the program moving int the right direction.

COACHING SITUATION: Terry Bowden has reportedly replaced offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, who left to take the head coaching job at Jacksonville State, with former ULM offensive coordinator Matt Kubik.

LOUISIANA TECH

2021 SEASON: It was a mostly miserable 3-9 campaign on the field at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs nearly upset Mississippi State in the season opener in a 35-34 game, but little went right the rest of the way. It became clear as the season wore on that La. Tech didn't have the depth of talent that it had in previous seasons under Skip Holtz.

COACHING SITUATION: A mostly successful run for Holtz at Tech came to an end once he was let go ahead of the season finale. He leaves Tech with a 64-50 record and a 6-1 mark in bowl games. Former Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who spent the past 10 years as a college assistant at Texas Tech and TCU, took over as head coach at Louisiana Tech late last month. La. Tech has hired former Texas Tech interim coach/offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie as the replacement for Holtz.

LSU

2021 SEASON: The heat was on Ed Orgeron early after he dropped the season opener 38-27 at UCLA. There were bright moments for the Tigers, including wins over Texas A&M and Florida. There was also a near upset of Alabama. However, it was obvious that Orgeron's time was running out, and on Oct. 17, he and the LSU "agreed to part ways" at the end of the 2021 regular season. LSU (6-6) will play Kansas State on Jan. 4 in the Texas Bowl in Houston.

COACHING SITUATION: LSU hired Notre Dame's Brian Kelly to take over the program in an effort to get back in the national title hunt.

McNEESE STATE

2021 SEASON: The Cowboys fell to a disappointing 4-7 in Frank Wilson's second season as head coach with three of the wins coming against poor competition.

COACHING SITUATION: Wilson stepped down this week to take over as associate head coach under Brian Kelly at LSU. Wilson leaves McNeese with a record of 7-11 and an overall mark of 26-40. He had spent four years at Texas-San Antonio.

Frank Wilson's LSU contract terms: A three-year deal as associate head football coach

Frank Wilson's LSU contract terms: A three-year deal as associate head football coach

NICHOLLS STATE

2021 SEASON: After earning FCS playoff bids for three consecutive seasons, the Colonels fell short of the postseason for the second straight year under Tim Rebowe. Nicholls did finish with a 6-5 mark and put a scare into UL in a 27-24 loss, but a 45-42 defeat to rival Southeastern put a halt to the its playoff pursuit.

COACHING SITUATION: Tim Rebowe is 44-35 in seven seasons, and building a consistently competitive program in Thibodaux.

NORTHWESTERN STATE

2021 SEASON: The Demons put together a 3-8 campaign. A win over rival McNeese State proving to be one of the few bright spots.

COACHING SITUATION: Brad Laird is a well-established name at Northwestern State, having served three different stints as the program's defensive coordinator before getting the head coaching job after the 2017 season. In four years as the Demons' head coach, Laird has pieced together a disappointing mark of 12-28. There's been no indication that he won't be returning for his fifth year as head coach.

SOUTHERN

2021 SEASON: Preparations for the season proved to be a challenge after coach Dawson Odums resigned following the 2021 spring season to take the same job at Norfolk State. Jason Rollins took over as the interim coach in April and led the Jaguars to a 4-7 season.

COACHING SITUATION: Southern recently hired Prairie View coach Eric Dooley, a longtime assistant to Pete Richardson, to take over the program.

New Southern football coach Eric Dooley happy to be 'home' after decade absence

New Southern football coach Eric Dooley happy to be 'home' after decade absence

TULANE

2021 SEASON: Hopes were high when Tulane put a scare into Oklahoma to start the season, but very little seemed to go right the rest of the way. The Green Wave dropped to 2-10 after going to bowl games in three consecutive seasons.

COACHING SITUATION: Willie Fritz had built a consistently competitive program, so the 2021 season was a bit of a surprise. Fritz has plenty of credibility with the Tulane fan base, but he can't afford many more seasons like the one he just had.

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