Assuming the world doesn’t end in a couple of weeks, as the Mayans would have you believe, LSU locked in one of the premier coaches in college football for a long time — and you can bet Les Miles is worth every penny.
But for whatever reason, there are a couple of sects out there that wished the reported mega offer from Arkansas would have been enough to woo the Mad Hatter out of Baton Rouge.
To those of you taking that side, I must ask — do you care about winning the game, or do you care about the manner in which one does so? If you chose the latter, please carefully remove your head from your you-know-where.
In about a month, Miles will finish his eighth season as the jovial and sometimes incomprehensible face of the University. In that short time frame, Miles has stamped his name all over the LSU record book.
Miles moved to No. 2 on LSU’s all-time wins list for a head coach earlier this season when LSU beat Ole Miss in a wild game at Tiger Stadium, passing Bernie Moore.
If he stays at his current pace — an LSU-best .809 career winning percentage — Miles would pass LSU’s all-time wins leader Charles McClendon in the sixth year of his new extension.
LSU has won 85-of-105 with its grass-eating, superstructure hat-wearing eccentric coach on the sideline. He’s led the Tigers to double-digit wins in six of his eight seasons.
Here’s what makes that last statistic pop out: In the 112 years of LSU football before Miles’ arrival, the Tigers had 10-win seasons just seven times.
“But he’s using Nick Saban’s talent!” say the anti-Les-ites. “All he did was build on someone else’s success.”
Valid points, sure. Saban rescued LSU from football purgatory and set it on its current trajectory. But Miles sustained that success and built on it, propelling the program to previously unseen heights.
“Have you ever watched LSU’s offensive gameplan?” countered the Miles haters. “J.C. Copeland is an actual go-to threat.”
OK, Miles doesn’t win flashy. Yes, he has become famous for his penchant for the peculiar-yet-perfectly-timed fakes and gutsy fourth-down conversions, but his regular game plan is bland.
The Les Miles brand of football is pound the rock left and right, then suddenly remember you have a quarterback for three or four plays, then resume rock pounding. Boring? Yep. Will LSU ever lead the country in yards per game? Nope.
You know who might? West Virginia, which allowed 49 or more points four times in a recent five-game skid. Ask Mountaineer fans if they’re happy with the season.
All this, and I haven’t mentioned the real reason why fans should be hanging banners that proclaim, “Seven More Years!”
Miles will keep winning because of his infectious personality that’s made him a star in the college football world.
Recruits take notice when Les jokingly taste-tests grass, or strips LSU’s mascot of his jersey in commercials. They see him passionately defending his players in postgame press conferences. They notice the pictures that show Miles holding back a football-starved team moments before it storms the field.
Miles is a winner through and through. Rather than wishing for him to take the next plane out of town, enjoy what you’ve got while it lasts. Lucky for you, it’s for at least another seven years.