Do you know how sometimes things happen in the SEC and people in other regions of the country will look in this direction and say, “What are they thinking?”
Yeah, here’s another one of those things.
LSU has fired Les Miles. No, really this time. This isn’t like last season when Miles was on the verge of being fired after a late-season game against Texas A&M, only to see the Tigers stun the Aggies 19-7, prompting fans in Baton Rouge to chant the coach’s name and then see players carry Miles off the field, which of course led LSU’s weasel administrators to suddenly declare Miles as their guy.
“I’m looking forward to working with coach Miles as he leads this team to a bowl game and another great recruiting class,” athletic director Joe Alleva said.
And then he pulled the knife out of Miles’ back and wiped it clean of finger prints.
But it really happened Sunday. Four games into the season. Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron reportedly were fired the day after an 18-13 loss at Auburn Saturday night, which dropped the Tigers’ record to 2-2 (1-1 in the SEC). The Advocate was the first media outlet to report the news and added that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron (who went 3-21 in the SEC as a head coach at Ole Miss) will take over as interim coach.
Fire Les Miles. Promote Ed Orgeron. Perfect. And by perfect, I don’t mean brilliant.
Georgia fans were divided on the program’s firing of Mark Richt, who won two SEC championships in his first five seasons but none over the next 10. But if Richt’s firing could be debated either way, what about Miles’?
Notwithstanding that LSU’s offense has struggled, in part because of Miles’ struggles to recruit and/or develop a quarterback, I declare this firing insane. Miles won a national championship in 2007. He won SEC championships in 2007 and 2011. His team went 13-1 in 2011, with the only loss coming in the BCS championship game to Alabama when LSU was forced to play the Crimson Tide twice in the same season, given the quirks of the BCS system.
LSU’s records over the next four seasons were 10-3, 10-3, 8-5, 9-3 (including 20-12 in the SEC). That represented a drop and that coincided with Alabama winning two more national titles and Ole Miss and Mississippi State rising in the SEC West. But to fire a coach with Miles’ resume, including nearly winning a second national championship less than five years ago, is the epitome of nuts.
It would be surprising if LSU didn’t go after Houston coach Tom Herman. But Herman has had opportunities from Power 5 conference schools and if he can solicit an offer from a school whose administrators are more grounded and less swayed by the spasms of boosters, he should avoid LSU at all costs.
Sometimes, people laugh at the lunacy that surrounds the SEC. This is another example of why.