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AP photo by Matthew Hinton / LSU football coach Ed Orgeron celebrates his team's 49-42 home win against Florida on Saturday. Orgeron coached the Tigers to the national championship in their undefeated 2019 season, but they're 9-8 since that 15-0 campaign and he has agreed with LSU not to return after this season.

For Ed Orgeron, coaching LSU has always been his dream job.

That dream now has an expiration date.

The head coach of college football's 2019 national champions has reached an agreement with the school to step down at the end of this season, with Sports Illustrated the first to report the news Sunday afternoon. Orgeron is making roughly $9 million annually, but the Tigers are just 9-8 since their dominating 15-0 run of two years ago, and he sports a 49-17 record overall since replacing Les Miles in 2016.

Orgeron will "geaux" to the bank, as his contract buyout calls for LSU to pay him in excess of $17 million. Sports Illustrated's report occurred less than 24 hours after Orgeron's Tigers upset No. 20 Florida 49-42 inside Tiger Stadium.

"They came to fight today," Orgeron said afterward on a Zoom call. "That's our motto. We're going to fight the rest of the season, one day at a time and one game at a time."

Orgeron's removal two years after winning a national title mirrors that of former Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who rode the talents of quarterback Cam Newton to a 14-0 record in 2010 but went 8-5 and 3-9 the following two seasons and was out on the Plains.

Florida and LSU have won three national championships apiece in the past quarter-century, and the tenures of Steve Spurrier (1990-2001) in Gainesville and Nick Saban (2000-04) in Baton Rouge forever changed expectations for these programs. With Orgeron's fate now known, it may not be long before the seat starts warming for Florida counterpart Dan Mullen.

Mullen's Gators are the reigning Southeastern Conference Eastern Division champions and were expected to backtrack a little given the offensive talent that moved on to the NFL, but October has brought losses to Kentucky and LSU and a 4-3 record with an eager-to-atone Georgia awaiting in Jacksonville on Oct. 30.

When asked Saturday who his quarterback is moving forward and how to explain a run defense that allowed 321 yards to the previously rushing-anemic Tigers, Mullen said, "Those are two really good questions."

Mullen dropped to 3-10 lifetime against LSU with Saturday's loss, and he's also just 2-6 in his past eight games against Power Five opposition.

"We'll evaluate a lot of different things," Mullen said of this week's open date.

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Georgia will enter its open date having maintained its No. 1 ranking with Saturday's 30-13 win over previously unbeaten Kentucky.

"I thought our DNA showed through," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. "Our DNA continues to repeatedly show up — composure, connection, resiliency and toughness. These qualities come through in this team."

As imposing as the Bulldogs have been to this point, especially defensively, they have a chance to get healthier and therefore deeper with this time off. Yikes.

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Alabama can be crowned Magnolia State champion after defeating Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Mississippi State by the average score of 51-15.

The Crimson Tide will host Tennessee as four-touchdown favorites this week, with former Vols linebacker Henry To'o To'o having tallied 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in Saturday night's 49-9 trampling of the Bulldogs in Starkville.

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AP photo by Michael Woods / Auburn quarterback Bo Nix celebrates with fans after the Tigers won 38-23 at Arkansas on Saturday.

Auburn finished off Saturday's 38-23 win at Arkansas with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that consumed six minutes and 11 seconds and contained an early conversion when Bo Nix connected with tight end Tyler Fromm on third-and-10 for 11 yards.

"It's definitely the way that we like to finish a game," Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said. "You want to convert, and you want to stay on the field. You want to be able to run it. Most teams when they're winning like to be able to do that, and we certainly did.

"That was a drive I was very proud of."

Tigers junior quarterback Bo Nix struggled in several road games his first two seasons, but his past two trips have yielded the program's first win in Baton Rouge since 1999 and a double-digit downing of the No. 17 Razorbacks. Nix was 21-of-26 passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, and he also rushed five times for 42 yards and the game-sealing score.

"They outplayed us," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. "They outcoached me. He outcoached me."

The Razorbacks have slipped from 4-0 to 4-3, but the remainder of their schedule is fairly friendly outside of a Nov. 20 trip to Tuscaloosa.

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Finally, here's hoping all those players during the Ole Miss-Tennessee game who suffered all that cramping as temperatures dipped from the upper 50s to the lower 50s Saturday night inside Neyland Stadium are doing OK.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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