Well, those were two interesting days to take off. Welcome back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, your early-morning destination for all things LSU news, where today we try to explain exactly what just happened, from LSU’s win-turned-loss Saturday night, to the news from Sunday afternoon that Les Miles has been fired as head football coach. Here’s your recap:
Wait, what just happened?
In the 48 hours since the last Bayou Bengal Briefing, a heck of a lot has happened in the world of LSU football. So let’s start you up with a catch-up on all the things you might have missed, if you were in a deep sleep, a coma, or cursed by an evil witch:
- LSU almost lost, and then they won, and then they lost.
- Officiating expert Mike Pereira explained why LSU didn’t win.
- Everyone got emotional.
- Then the decision came. Les Miles and Cam Cameron had been fired.
- Which will affect recruiting …
- …but maybe not too much.
- Players were shocked …
- …but excited to play for interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
- Glenn Guilbeau tried to put the whole situation into perspective.
- So did Randy Rosetta
- And James Moran
- But now it’s time for LSU to move on.
So what does all this mean?
Well, hypothetical questioning header, a lot of things. First off, LSU is starting ahead of every other team that might be in the market for a new head coach. The athletic department gets first dibs on reaching out to every high-profile coaching candidate, whether employed or unemployed, to gauge their interest in coming down to Baton Rouge.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, it means that the Les Miles era at LSU is over. The last couple of seasons were undoubtedly disappointing, but Miles was still a man that won the school a national championship and took the program to one other. Under his watch, LSU finished in the top 10 in the postseason AP Poll five times in 11 finished seasons, and in the top 20 nine times. Thanks in large part to Miles’ recruiting efforts and talent development, LSU has more players in the NFL right now, 56, than any other school in the country. It was a good era for LSU. And amid all the shuffle of the last few years, it’s important not to forget that.
Third, it’s also important not to assume that Miles was fired because of Saturday’s loss. Saturday’s loss, however heartbreaking, was more of a symbol than a pink slip. Sure, it might’ve been the final straw. Yes, Miles probably wouldn’t have been fired had the call at the end of the game not been reversed. But LSU was bound to lose another game this season with Alabama, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Florida all waiting on the schedule. Miles was going to get fired at some point this season. Sunday just happened to be the day.
Lastly, it means things are about to get a bit more vocal when LSU is on the field, both for practice and games. Orgeron is known as a significantly more intense coach than Miles, a reputation that spawned perhaps the best song ever written about college football, but also might be a welcome change of pace for LSU. According to LSU’s players, athletic director Joe Alleva said that the change was made because he felt the team needed “more energy.”
Orgeron certainly will bring that.
Your non-revenue sports update
Just because the football team had a lousy weekend doesn’t mean the rest of the sports on LSU’s campus had one too. That said, they did. Here’s a recap of the weekend that was for LSU sports.
- Starting off on a positive note, the No. 7 LSU men’s golf team had a record-breaking weekend in Arizona, winning both team and individual titles.
- Women’s swimming and diving had a strong meet, defeating Vanderbilt.
- Things didn’t go as smoothly for volleyball. They went 0-2 this week, losing to Auburn on Friday night in five sets and Arkansas on Sunday night in straight sets.
- Soccer also fell, losing 3-0 to Vanderbilt.
- Men’s cross country came in 6th out of 15 teams and the LSU women were 7th out of 17 teams in the Texas A&M Invitational.
- And finally, women’s golf posted a team score of 19-over in the Schooner Fall Classic in Norman, Okla.
Their favorite Les Miles memory
A couple of players were given the opportunity to speak to the media Sunday after the news about Miles was officially announced. Here are some quotes from players about what they’ll remember about their coach, as well as some tweets from those who did not speak. Roll the nostalgic music.
“He’s just so passionate about this program,” safety Jamal Adams said. “He has so much love for it. You can tell he put his heart into it every day, 24 hours, always. He was very emotional. I think some of us were kind of emotional seeing him leave. We’re just going to play for him, leave our mark.”
Thanks for everything you’ve done for this program and most importantly thank you for everything. #LesMiles
— DeSean Jamal Smith (@bigdesean) September 26, 2016
“There’s so many memories,” cornerback Tre’Davious White said. “You just can’t put all of them into one. But he’s a great man. He recruited me when I was a 17-year old boy. There’s definitely some memories there. We have a different kind of relationship.”
Nothing but love for this guy…it was a pleasure boss?pic.twitter.com/73KTtbYmhK
— TRISTAN. (@MaeaTeuhema) September 25, 2016
“We have plenty of memories,” running back Leonard Fournette said. “From the jokes he always tried to tell us, from the dabbing, and from him just trying to understand our generation with all the songs and everything. Everything we have together is great.”
A true players coach, Thank you for recruiting me and giving me a chance! One Love ✊?pic.twitter.com/3IDIvfi2F6
— Duke Riley (@1Goal1Dream) September 25, 2016
“What can never leave my mind is he could never pronounce D.J. Chark’s name,” wide receiver Travin Dural said. “He always called him C.J. Every time he made a great play, he would go ‘There you go, C.J.!’ That’s something we would joke about all the time. Every time now he would call D.J., he would make a joke and call him C.J. but then call him by his real name. That’s something I’ll always remember.”
Nothing but Love for him
— Malachi Dupre (@MalachiDupre) September 25, 2016