It’s hard to imagine, but Les Miles might be coaching for his last few games in Baton Rouge if the LSU Tigers do not finish strong against Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
A story on advocate.com by Scott Rabalais suggests it may be time for the coach who has enjoyed great success at the school, which includes a 2007 national title, two Southeastern Conference titles, and bowl trips each and every season, may be on his way out. It’s hard to believe, but the rumor is not going away and may be picking up some steam. Miles, who has been a bit of a controversial figure in the Bayou since replacing Nick Saban, could be fired the same year the Heisman Trophy is awarded to one of his own.
There have been seven seasons of at least 10 wins and a staggering 64 players drafted since 2007, 12 of them in the first round on his watch.
The Advocate points to the two straight losses and the fact Miles’ footing has never been the most solid on campus with the athletic department.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports sheds some light on this possibility by writing, “From the inside, though, there is this undeniable fact: LSU has been worse each year in the SEC since the 2011 rematch game with Alabama. Quarterback play has been an issue almost every year. As a rule, elite QBs just don’t flock to Baton Rouge.
“It is known that Miles was upset his boss, athletic director Joe Alleva, wrote an open letter to fans basically apologizing for a nine-win season in 2009.”
LSU has been an offense that has run on the legs of Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette this season, but in his last two games, the running back has looked somewhat pedestrian.
The problem is with all of Miles’ success at LSU, would Alleva make the move, and better yet, who would replace him and keep the program as such a high level?
There is speculation, as it is briefly eluded to in Dodd’s story, that FSU’s Jimbo Fisher may be interested.
“Miles’ boss has always been a tough guy to read,” writes Dodd. “The coach does not have a personality that pisses people off. We’re talking about a guy who’s made grass an appetizer. All those hundreds of millions football brought in are largely because of the coach. Most of it has come largely without scandal. That should be enough for Alleva.”
Apparently, it may not be. Also, Miles has never been one to be shy about his thoughts. He has flirted with the possibility of leaving the school before, most notably to go to Michigan. That too may not have sat well with Alleva or other key figures in the LSU program.
Rabalais said his comments were speculative, but they may be linked to the two losses the team has suffered, but also because the Tigers were 7-0 and second in the national rankings before they faced Alabama and since have fallen to 16th in the most recent CFP polls. But it truly is more than that.
“The loss in the BCS title game stands like a milepost at which LSU’s program began a slow but documentable decline, particularly in terms of SEC records, a loss from which it seems the program has never truly recovered,” he said.
Both Ole Miss and Texas A&M represent tough games at the end of the schedule for LSU, which could mean more losses, which would stoke the flame even more for Miles’ ouster.
Two seasons ago, Miles lost five starters on offense to the NFL Draft and replaced them with young talent and speed, which included Fournette. Fournette has 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.