Over the last two weeks (plus), LSU football fans everywhere have been totally caught up in the soap opera like events surrounding the fate of our much beleaguered Head Football Coach, Les Miles.
Thanks to my Dad, I have been an LSU fan since the age of 9 (about as far back as I can remember). I pretty much bleed purple and gold. Dad and I still watch almost every LSU football game together. As such, my attitude, mood, etc. revolves (at least somewhat) around LSU sports (especially football). This is true with so many LSU fans all around our state….and beyond. In short, pride, egos, bragging rights, etc. all come into play – as it is with most college sports fans/alumni all around the country in support of their particular teams/school(s).
Arriving as Head Football Coach at LSU in 2005, Les Miles is the most successful coach in LSU football history. Miles‘ record during his 11 year tenure at LSU is 111-32 (77.6%). This is an excellent record by anyone’s standard(s). However, I must admit to being absolutely perplexed (and completely frustrated) at times by many of Miles‘ coaching decisions. There have been numerous mishaps on the field ranging from clock mis-management to play calling…. from the players that get the most game time on the field to the lack of corrective action for the repeated penalties, infractions and mistakes. However, no matter how frustrated we sometimes get with “Les,” we can not ignore his win/loss record..the 77.6%! Most any program/team out there would love to have this record!
This being said, I want to go on record right now as saying that I am very happy that Les Miles is getting a chance to “right the ship.” Going into the 2016 season, “Les” has yet another chance to fix things. However, he must really fix things this time! I think there needs to be several coaching changes within the LSU football coaching staff. Historically, Les Miles has been rather stubborn, in my opinion. He often seemingly refuses to change anything. It often seems as if it is “Les’ way” or the highway. Running the ball straight into the middle of the line time and time again when that play obviously (plain and simply) is not working makes me furious! I often find myself screaming “Why?” “What are you doing?”
This season, you do not have to be that smart on football to know that the ball is usually going to go to running back Leonard Fournette and that he is probably going to run the ball straight up the middle. As the management definition of insanity says: “ insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time.” Well, about eight games into the season (when the SEC competition really heated up), the opposing teams figured it out too.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I think Les Miles is a great coach and I am proud to have him as our LSU Head Football Coach. And, as I said above, I am glad that he is staying on too. Again, Les Miles is a great coach, but most importantly, he is a great person, a great Christian and he sets a fine example for his players. He is considered a “players coach” and his players love him. Deep down, everyone likes “Les” just a little bit…..it can not be helped. He makes college football fun….not knowing what he is going to say or what he is going to do next. “The Mad Hatter.”
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org