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The imminent end of the Les Miles era at LSU may have been greatly exaggerated

Les Miles


In the past week, LSU head coach Les Miles went from essentially fired to firmly in place to coach LSU in 2016. It was quite a wild spin on the coaching carousel rumor mill, and it was one that perplexed from the start. It started with rumblings out of Louisiana and really took center stage when Yahoo and ESPN jumped head first into the madness.

That is awfully speculative for what was being promoted as breaking news. And, in fairness to LSU and Les Miles, was never truly fair to either side in Baton Rouge. Even when conflicting reports surfaced suggesting this was not as near a reality as it was being advertised, some outlets continued to run with the story as near fact. This, in turn, led to many media members for criticizing LSU for allowing Miles to make public appearances and go through his normal routines without issuing any definitive statement either backing Miles or confirming the doomed fate of the head coach.

As Thanksgiving approached and passed, ESPN was sticking with the Miles story.

Then things really got confusing when a story about Miles speaking to an alumni club got twisted every way possible to continue the narrative regarding the final days of Miles.

Then, on Saturday, LSU beat Texas A&M and this happened…

I should make note where I stood on this entire story.

When it comes to college football coaching rumors, I tend to believe most when I see them actually happen. I also stood firm on my belief that LSU making a coaching change may not be a disaster of a move. I say this because I believe the evidence is there that LSU has hit a plateau under Miles. Sure, he’s a really darn good coach and LSU is going to win many games with him in place. Will they be a perennial national title contender, as the power brokers with the program seem to feel LSU should be on a regular basis? If the answer is no, then making a change is never necessarily an awful move. Sometimes good coaches are not good enough. Yes, Miles won a national title for LSU, and that alone is reason for me to suggest he should never have been on the chopping block, but I would certainly rationalize and understand the decision if it did come to that. If Miles is no longer showing an ability to take the Tigers to a national title-contending level, then a change is needed and you have to roll the dice with the move or have your next coach lined up and ready to go. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t.

The same question and situation can be seen at Georgia. Mark Richt has been there forever and won a lot of games. He will continue to win plenty of games, but at what point does Georgia say enough is enough and look for a coach that can push Georgia over the top of the SEC? I saw it in Philadelphia with Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles. It happens. Sometimes you have to move on, even if it means parting with a coach that has done some good work.

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About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.


  1. […] There was some other coaching news this weekend, of course. Illinois agreed to a contract extension for Bill Cubit and removed the interim tag form his title. And, of course, LSU decided to keep Les Miles on board as head coach of the program in a hilarious turn of events. […]