Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bring Me the Head of Les Miles!

Today was the most embarrassing finish to an LSU game since I've been a fan. The coaching problems have come to a head.

prior to working at LSU, Miles was Heath Ledger's lifecoach

Today has not been a good day! LSU lost cause Les Miles is an idiot and should be fired

wtf les miles.

LOLOLOLOL, how does Les Miles still have a job?


Fuck Les miles. WTF

I think anyone who has been a fan of LSU would agree, this is a new low. The team plays hard but when you have coaching that apparently is at the same level as WW Lewis middle school, it makes it kinda hard to win any game against real teams. DOWN WITH MILES.

These are Facebook status updates and tweets (@cbowes) that I collected after LSU's controversial game on Saturday. This week I've heard both casual fans and die-hards alike insist that Les Miles, because of but not limited to his mistakes on Saturday, should be fired. While Miles' clock management was inexcusable--and while his team's weaknesses are symptomatic of his own weaknesses--firing him would be the most counter-productive measure possible for the program. All of these statements--especially the one about Les Miles being Heath Ledger's life-coach--are ridiculous. Because we all know Mary-Kate Olsen was Heath Ledger's life-coach.

Anyone who objectively looked at LSU's schedule before the season began would have predicted three losses for such a young team in such a competitive conference. The Florida and Alabama games never seemed winnable to me, and I figured that we would fall to either Auburn in a trap-game or Ole Miss on the road, a team who, let's remember, began the year ranked in the top five. That is exactly what happened; LSU has lost three games. With a new defensive coordinator, a bulls-eye on their backs, and a nineteen-year-old quarterback who frankly isn't good, they have met expectations. That is, unless your expectations were a National Championship, and you forgot that only one team can win that per year.

Yes, LSU should have won that game. I'll admit that Miles' poor play-calling and clock management down the stretch cost them the victory. His team is undisciplined and over-matched. And even if you want to blame Jordan Jefferson for the loss, he makes bad decisions because of the relaxed environment his coach has created for him. Jefferson hasn't grown because Les Miles hasn't made him. Much like that other successful "players' coach," Pete Carroll of USC, Miles is starting to see the fallout of his laid-back, reckless style. But when that laid-back, restless style won all of those games LSU had no business winning, my tweets were much different.

"Say hello to the bad guy." I would encourage you to google-search "anyone associated with college football + photoshop." It's a good way to spend an afternoon.

At no point this year was LSU better than Florida or Alabama, so it's a moot point that we won't play for an SEC title. Should the loss against Ole Miss matter? Certainly. You might be saying that we should still hold our heads high. You might be saying that you "refuse to let the program gravitate into mediocrity," which is exactly what Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson said when he canned Frank Solich after he went a disappointing 9-3.* Two coaches later, now under LSU familiar face Bo Pelini, the Cornhuskers haven't come close to 9-3.

Or look at Michigan, who pink-slipped the "mediocre" Lloyd Carr--this time a guy with a National Championship to his credit--after one too many disappointing seasons. The Wolverines then spent millions of dollars on Rich Rodgriguez, who has an 8-16 record since taking over. Notre Dame made the same mistake by pulling up shop on Tyrone Willingham, and they're making the mistake once again by firing Charlie Weis.

Despite what Urban Meyer would have you believe, after winning a title in his second season with Florida (and we'll see how he does once he no longer has the most dominant player in the country on his side), continuity is the most important factor for a college football program's success. Most LSU fans would admit that the team's biggest weakness is its immaturity and inexperience. So the answer for that is...get a less experienced coach to take over?

Because who would take over the reigns for the helpless and unprepared Les Miles, overreacting Tiger fans? Boise State head coach Chris Petersen in the best case scenario? It that such an upgrade? Maybe we could promote Gary Crowton, the other guy you're demonizing?

If you're assuming that LSU is a prestigious enough program to attract an NFL coach, what precedents are there for success in that arena? Lane Kiffin and Bill Callahan haven't lit up any scoreboards. And you're counting on either a guy who is getting fired this season or a guy who has sat out a few. Let's say Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, or Joe Gibbs is interested in taking $3 million to coach the Tigers. Cowher would want to install a new staff and probably knows as much about Louisiana recruiting as I do about his zone blitzes. (Can you imagine Harry Coleman on one of those? I'm nervous enough, thanks.) This would, once again, destroy continuity. Right now at least, there is no one who can do this job better than Les Miles, whether that angers you or not.

I'm not complaining, but LSU is a team that was given too much too soon. Its fans have understandably followed suit. Pete Carroll is in the same situation as Miles, but is anyone in California calling for his head? LSU is a team two years removed from being the best in the country, and it just had another top five recruiting class. Whenever his back is against the wall and he needs to get wins, Les Miles finds a way--witness his undefeated bowl record. I expect nothing but his best against Ar-Kansas and our bowl opponent.

So I'm sorry if you had a bad day or were embarrassed, but you can't win them all and firing your coach is not the right move. If you've reached the end of this column, you're undoubtedly patient. Show that same patience with your football team. Or at least go watch the Saints and shut up for a few months.

*- qtd. in Stewart Mandel's Bowls, Polls, and Tattered Souls: Tackling the Chaos and Controversy That Reign Over College Football.

1 comment:

P.T. said...

I'd say we were better than Alabama at one point this season: the first 50 minutes of that game.
- P.T.