AUBURN, Ala. — In the week leading up to Auburn’s second SEC game, Gus Malzahn openly proclaimed No. 18 LSU one of the best college football teams in the country.
A couple of days after Auburn’s win, Malzahn called Les Miles — fired from LSU on Sunday — one of the best coaches in not only the SEC, but in all of football.
“Les is a legend,” Malzahn said. “Les is a guy that has helped make the SEC what it is currently. He’s one of those guys. He’s a great coach. He’s a great person. He’s a guy that coming into the SEC I looked up to. He always treated me great. You look at our league, and we’ve lost some legends over the last year with Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, now Les Miles. It’s unfortunate. He’s one of the best in the business.”
In 12 seasons in Baton Rouge Miles went 114-34, becoming the second-winningest coach in school history. During the BCS era, Miles added a national title to the school’s trophy case in 2007. He also never missed a bowl appearance in his time at LSU, building a .770-win percentage.
Despite all of the success, there have been instances in Miles’ career where clock management issues have arisen. The latest (and arguably most crucial) mistake happened last weekend in Auburn.
LSU quarterback Danny Etling threw what looked like a game-winning touchdown pass on the final play of the game.
The LSU team and fans went crazy, but the celebration stopped short. An official review showed there had been no time remaining on the clock when the ball was snapped and the touchdown was overturned. With the 18-13 loss, LSU fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in SEC play.
Still, Malzahn believes Miles will be back. It’s just a matter of when he wants to return to a sideline.
“He’s one of the best coaches in America,” said Malzahn, who was named the Bobby Dodd national coach of the week following the win. “He can land somewhere if he wants to. If he wants to go pro, he can go pro. He’s one of the best there is.”