I try not to write about sports too much on here, but the Les Miles saga at LSU is getting to be a bit too much. I admit, just a few days ago I was ready to see Miles let go. Since 2011, we’ve been plagued with the same offensive issues and have failed to win the SEC West, much less the national title. A change is needed; perhaps Miles has seen his better days.
However, as emotions have settled down, I’ve been won over by those outside of the chaos that is LSU football. Those who are not emotionally involved are looking at this scenario and rightly question – is LSU serious?
Miles has won a title and has never had a losing season. Miles has produced numerous NFL players and is always one of the top recruiting classes. The program is relatively clean, and Miles has walked the talk (who else would have the guts to cut Periloux and Mathieu despite their talent?). Further, Miles has invested in the community (and loves Baton Rouge). There’s so much more to say, but the point is clear, Miles has built a solid and stable program, and he is a coach who draws no attention to himself (see here), but to the program he serves and the students he leads.
Does Miles need to change how he does offense? Yes. Is he loyal to a fault (Jordan Jefferson)? Yes. He’s got things to fix. But he’s not the problem. We are. The primary issue at play here is our dislike of Saban and Alabama, and this colors how we view everything else. It’s as if we compare ourselves to ‘Bama and we get angry when we lose to them because it means we’re not better than them. We judge our program’s success on one game. In short, our frustrations with Les, with the season, and with the program are rooted in our inferiority complex with ‘Bama. That’s our fault, not Miles’.
We have a program to be proud of – a team that very few can match up to. I live in Kentucky, and I can tell you there are some football fans up here who would love to have the “problem” of a 7-3 season. Our sustained success since 2000 has caused us to raise our expectations – which is a good thing. However, in raising our expectations, we have neglected to appreciate what we have with our LSU football program.
I think Joe Alleva, the boosters, and the fans would do well to listen to the likes of Stoops, Jason Kirk at SB Nation, Pat Forde, LSU players, and everyone else not caught up in this scapegoating of Les Miles.