ESPN experts discuss Les Miles’ job security at LSU
LSU coach Les Miles could be on the hot seat. His Tigers have lost two straight, uncompetitive games against Alabama and Arkansas and Miles appears to be the scapegoat for LSU’s recent mediocrity.
ESPN’s College GameDay and SEC Nation panels deliberated about the rumors that Miles’ tenure in Baton Rouge, La., could be ending if LSU fails to win its next two games.
Former Michigan wide receiver and GameDay analyst Desmond Howard said he didn’t think Miles would be coaching for his job during LSU’s next two games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M, but that all of this speculation could be warming up the seat under Miles for next season.
“He’s not coaching for his job,” Howard said. “He’s going to be the coach in 2016. I think this is actually to try and set him up and put him on the hot seat for 2016 so you try to get those rumors and things of that nature going right now. I think that he’s OK.”
SEC Nation’s Tim Tebow faced Miles on several occasions when he was the quarterback at Florida. He said firing Miles could haunt LSU down the road.
“They were No. 2 in the country two weeks ago,” Tebow said. “To have people out there saying they need to get rid of Les Miles, guess what if they do, he’s going to go to a rival school, and he’s going to win there and probably go back and beat you… People need to stop worrying about instant gratification.”
Fellow SEC Nation teammate Paul Finebaum echoed the sentiments of some insiders within the program and referenced the comments of former LSU defensive lineman, Booger McFarland.
“This is not wackos like me saying Les Miles needs to be fired,” Finebaum said. “This is coming from people down there (Baton Rouge), and it’s also coming from a former All-American Booger McFarland who works for us, who said Thursday if LSU loses by three touchdowns today, Les needs to go.”
GameDay pundit Kirk Herbstreit was the most critical of Miles. He lambasted Miles for failing to adjust his “1980s” offensive style, but agreed with Howard that Miles should not be fired.
“I think if I’m Les Miles, much like Nick Saban did, I look in the mirror and I look at my offense and I think ‘can I still be a 1980s, I-formation, pound the football with a talented running back — without any tempo, without a whole lot of spread — can I still be that offense?’ The answer is no you can’t,” Herbstreit said.
Herbstreit went as far to say that Miles was being lazy with his offense in a world where fast-paced, energetic spread offenses rule the land.
“I think Les Miles is almost being stubborn when it comes to his offensive scheme,” Herbstreit said. “He needs to go up-tempo and he needs to get a quarterback that can make plays running and throwing.”
Despite that criticism, Herbstreit said Miles should return for the 2016 season.
“Keep Les Miles if you’re smart because he can recruit,” Herbstreit said. “He’s got to find to be willing (sic) to change his offensive system.”
Nobody knows where the Miles situation will go over the next two weeks. Two wins may not be enough for The Mad Hatter, but losing any of these last games will not do Miles any favors.