OMG, the apocalypse is upon Louisiana. There is a crisis of epic proportions at LSU, and it is not about any potentials of exigency or if the football team will still exist if the university closes. No it was the time for revelation.
You saw many of the stories. Les Miles, head football coach of the LSU Tigers, was going to be fired. He was a man who had lost 3 straight SEC games for the first time in his LSU tenure. In those losses LSU gave up more points in consecutive games since sometime before my parents even had a clue that they would have a son years later. Alabama, the hated Crimson Tide coached by Nick Saban, the man who can apparently walk on water according to many of the LSU fair-weathered faithful had won 5 straight over the Tigers. LSU’s offense remained as predictable just as sure as one knows that there are mosquitoes in the bayous.
On this topic I don’t have internal sources who wish to remain anonymous to quote like many in the media have but with that “advantage” I do not need to worry about the credibility of my sources here which sadly many in today’s media rarely seem ascertain before running a story.
Alas, the fair-weathered supporters of Tiger football know not of the recent history of Gerry DiNardo and Curley Hallman walking the sidelines. How could they even know about Coach Charlie McClendon “Charlie Mac” and his ousting for failing to beat his old coach the legendary Bear because I’m really not old enough to remember that in any first-hand detail. My generations what if is what might have been if Bill Arnsparger as coach had been followed by Steve Spurrier and not Mike Archer? Would any of this history exist if not for the tragic plane ride of Bo Rein?
Today it doesn’t matter because LSU in the mind of the fair-weathered faithful should win the NCAA Championship every year. Even with a head coach earning $ millions; a contract that contains a buyout in the $ 15 million range along with a few $ million more for the assistants who all have a “Les Miles” clause written into their contracts; the well healed boosters along with TAF could easily cover those financials and do so happily.
Was the Mad Hatters job really on the hot seat or were the rumors part of something bigger? The players lifting the coach onto their shoulders to carry off the field; the singing of the alma mater on TV; the quick announcement from Athletic Director Joe Aleva following the victory over Texas A&M that Les Miles is still the head coach all played out to perfection.
I’m not alleging any nefarious even with my lack of any internal sources. Les Miles had become the coach to hate for recent shortcomings or more accurately a failure to achieve the desires of the faithful. Winning nearly 78 percent of your games is certainly not enough because you haven’t won all. Even when you do win all often fault is there for not winning by acceptable margins. Combine that with a lack of frills offense where the most common thrills involve running backs channeling the gifts of NFL greats Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, et al, or SEC legends such as Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson instead of the perceived excellence that accompanies a modernized spread offense, run and shoot, or even some west coast variation, and you have a coach losing popularity amongst the fan base.
To turn that grass eating ball capped Bo Schembechler schooled man into the victim, however, and the fantastic one liners and LSU like Yogi Berraisms return to favor.
Verbiage such as:
“Yeah, we call that mulling around. Okay guys, come on now. What we’re going to do early in this game is mull around, okay? And later, we’re going call that monkey-off-our-back play” (following the 2010 victory over Alabama),
captures the fancy of fans of both fair and eye wall of the hurricane variety. If this were the presidential election, it would be genius.
The question that remains, however, is the running mate. One of side of the fence, D Fence, we have the first year incumbent Kevin Steele who even though questioned before, during, and after about his ability will likely remain in place. He’s had bumps in the roads past and looked down from the press box this year at a number of blown coverages, missed assignments, and missed tackles. Time will tell if he is best used instructing only the linebackers instead of coordinating the defense, but he appears not to be the rehire of Lou Tepper (test for the real LSU fans). As lagniappe on that side of de Fence is Mr. Ed Orgeron who brings the football equivalent of jambalaya and gumbo to the D line and recruiting.
D is not the cause of angst. It’s the O. Is Les really lost in time back in a world where boys dreamed of playing fullback in an I formation?
Jimbo and an offensive lineman squeezed between 2 NFL pedigrees.
Les inherited Jimbo Fisher as offensive coordinator and when Jimbo (apparently the now Saint Jimbo the Healer of Football Misery to those fair weather fans, Gary Crowton came to campus. There were some highs, some lows, and ultimately the decision that Crowton goes because change became the cry. Because of personal illness, we’ll never know if Steve Kragthorpe was the answer but Greg Studrawa who became the quickly appointed OC obviously couldn’t bring Bowling Green like prowess to Death Valley. Reaching into his Mad Hat of long term friends, Les called upon Cam Cameron to teach offensive excellence. Cam, however, has not been recently embraced by this new outpouring of love and appreciation for Coach Miles. It seems that Cam may be the sacrificial coach so that this renewed enthusiasm can continue.
NFL experience has not proven successful in developing the Tiger offense, so who are you going to call?
I’m tossing a name from may seem like it’s coming not from deep right field but from outside the fences at Alex Box that I think could be that homerun hire for LSU. I do not know his current contract status, but it’s safe to say that the job as offensive coordinator at LSU would be a hefty financial raise for him. The LSU faithful should be familiar with the name, but I doubt most are.
What about hearing that the new Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at LSU was Tyson Helton?
A sampling of some of the Les Miles fired and not fired articles:
One of my old posts from years ago: