I’m going to warn you now this will be longer than usual. I’ll keep the Les discussion to about 500 words though.
So it seems that with the additional loss since I last wrote on the topic, the rumblings about Les Miles being pushed out are more serious now.
There is supposedly consensus in the Tiger Athletic Foundation that we need a new coach, regardless of how expensive the buyout of the contracts for both Les and his assistants would be. (Although I would note that Cam Cameron’s contract is up at the end of the year anyway.)
The assumption seems to be that LSU will suffer at least one more loss. Few seem to be suggesting that Les would not be allowed to coach the bowl game at this point, and of course preparations for Texas A&M, which has not beaten LSU since 1995, are in full swing. The source I read about (I’m not linking the article out of principle) said that it would become a more complicated issue if Miles were to win both remaining games.
I will say that if we lose this one, especially if it’s not competitive, there would no longer be a good argument for keeping Miles. Even though I don’t think Cam Cameron has done all that much for LSU and I understand there are young players making mistakes, I think it would show that Miles no longer has the ability to properly intervene in problem areas. LSU has only had back-to-back losses a couple of times before this in Miles’ tenure. One of them was when LSU struggled to settle on a QB the entire season in 2008. Another was last year’s loss to Arkansas, which came after the Tigers got beaten up against Ole Miss and Alabama.
Losing four in a row, regardless of the reasons, I think would show more clearly that Miles is losing his touch and may not be able to make mid-season corrections in the future even if he were to improve his coaching staff for next season.
I think discussing alternative coaches in depth is premature, but I mentioned last time that the only coaches I would feel comfortable with from a win-loss perspective (even though I don’t really care for any of them personally) aren’t available. Jimbo Fisher has been mentioned, but I’m only lukewarm about him given the kind of season the Seminoles have had and his struggles with offense production at times when he was at LSU (under both Saban and Miles).
That’s all I want to say about that. I hope we get some resolution before the bowl game (such as it’s Les’ last game, Les is coming back but Cam isn’t, whatever) even though Miles and AD Joe Alleva have stressed that evaluation time is after the whole year is over. As I think most fans know, a lot of personnel changes are decided in that time even though sometimes they’re not announced until later.
LSU is still a top 25 team according to many computers and voters, by the way. So I’ll move on to those.
Rank Team Previous
1 Alabama 1
2 Clemson 2
3 Mich. St. 8
4 Iowa 3
5 Notre Dame 5
6 Florida 6
7 Oklahoma 10
8 Ohio St. 4
9 Okie St. 7
10 Michigan 19
11 Stanford 15
12 N’western 13
13 Navy 12
14 Baylor 21
15 Toledo 20
16 N. Carolina 18
17 Ole Miss 22
18 Utah 11
19 Oregon —
20 Miss. St. —
21 Houston 9
22 LSU 14
23 Temple —
24 TCU 16
25 UCLA —
Full list of 128 teams
Out of rankings: (17) Memphis, (23) Bowl Green, (24) USC, (25) Wisconsin
So at least according to my rankings, IF things go according to plan, it would be Alabama vs. Notre Dame in a rematch of the 2012 title game and Clemson vs. Michigan St.
Notre Dame does have to beat Stanford, however. Also, Michigan St. lost to Nebraska, so of course they could just as easily lose to Penn St. or Iowa.
Although they’ve looked terrible (Notre Dame didn’t look great either), I guess Florida could still make an argument by winning out.
That loss to Texas is dragging down Oklahoma right now, but if Iowa, Notre Dame, and Florida lose, it seems like they would be a good pick… assuming they can win Bedlam. Oklahoma St. would also have an argument if the above scenario plays out except for them winning Bedlam instead.
More remote opportunities exist for Stanford or the winner of Ohio St./Michigan.
Utah was finally taken out for sure by UCLA, which has a chance to win the Pac-12 South and derail Stanford the next two weeks. USC could also try to do the same. Stanford has beaten both teams already.
Navy, whose only loss was against Notre Dame, looks like the best G5 candidate for a CFP bowl.
Oregon, Mississippi St., and Temple all won games against teams at the periphery of the top 25.
Here are the previous rankings blogs: