Michigan State Coach Nick Saban is expected to make a decision today whether to take the vacant position at Louisiana State.
Gerry DiNardo was fired as LSU coach two weeks ago after the Tigers had lost their eighth consecutive game, falling to 2-8.
John Lewandowski, Michigan State sports information director, said LSU officials contacted the school Monday for permission to talk to Saban about the job. Lewandowski said he expects Saban to make a decision today.
Michigan State player Amp Campbell told WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich., that Saban told the team Monday night he was going home to discuss the matter with his family before making a decision.
Saban could not be reached for comment.
Michigan State (9-2) will play a Southeastern Conference team in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1.
LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert met with players Monday and told them a coach would be named “within 24-36 hours,” WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, La., reported.
Saban is in his fifth year at Michigan State and has a 34-24-1 record.
A Detroit News report Sunday said Saban was making $697,330 annually under his current contract. DiNardo was reportedly making close to $600,000, including broadcast contracts and endorsements.
Around the Nation
Ohio State Coach John Cooper, saying changes were needed after a 6-6 season, fired two assistants and promoted three others. Offensive coordinator Mike Jacobs and defensive end coach Shawn Simms were fired. Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac was promoted to assistant head coach, secondary coach Jon Tenuta was elevated to defensive coordinator, and wide receiver coach Chuck Stobart will be the offensive coordinator. . . . Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne won the Walter Camp trophy as college player of the year. Dayne became the NCAA Division I-A all-time leading rusher with 6,397 yards and led Wisconsin (9-2) to the Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth. . . . As expected, Florida State (2.24 points), Virginia Tech (6.16) and Nebraska (7.70) were in the first three spots in the bowl championship series rankings. The final BCS rankings will be released Dec. 5. . . . Arizona State quarterback Ryan Kealy will miss the the Aloha Bowl against Wake Forest because of a knee injury. Kealy tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was sacked in Arizona State’s 42-27 victory over Arizona on Saturday. John Leonard, who replaced Kealy on Saturday, will start in the Aloha Bowl. . . . Idaho formally accepted an offer to play football in the Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2001. Idaho will leave the Big West Conference and join North Texas, New Mexico State, Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee State, Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt. . . . Bowl berths were officially extended to Colorado State (Liberty), Clemson (Peach), Virginia (Micronpc.com) and Utah (Las Vegas).