Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An Open Letter to LSU coach Les Miles

Dear Mr. Miles,

Let me first say that your ability to put down numerous teams and conferences in such a short time span is both impressive and admirable. Your recent diatribe concerning USC, the Pac-10, and the Big 12 was the most entertaining rant this side of the ol' ball coach.

Furthermore, the reason I'm writing is not to criticize the content of your statements. I've read them numerous times, and I, literally, haven't found one point with which I disagree. No sir, the reason I felt the need to write is not because of what you have said, but because I'm not sure you should have said it. Quite frankly, I don't think you've earned the right to run your mouth to that degree, at least not yet. Just because you're in a position where people put a mic in front of you and ask for your opinion, doesn't mean you should always give it (see: Ben Affleck's reaction to the Yankees trading for A-Rod (scroll to "Ben Is At It Again) a few years back).

Sure, your LSU teams have gone 11-2 in each of your two seasons there, but all that did was push your career record to 50-25. A quick review of arithmetic reveals that you were a pedestrian 28-21 (at Oklahoma State) before inheriting this talent rich Tigers squad. It seems just a tad bit premature to be calling out entire conferences when you've been mired in mediocrity for the majority of your coaching career.

And speaking of inheriting talent, how many of the major contributors to your Sugar Bowl-winning squad did you bring to Baton Rouge? Any players that have been in college for 3+ years seemingly were all recruited by you predecessor, Nick Saban. More specifically, the juniors and redshirt sophmores from this past year's team were brought in after LSU won a share of the national title. Now I may not have much, or any, experience with recruiting, but something tells me that being the defending national champs serves as a decent draw to the top high school talent.

As to your comments on the Big 12, once again, I agree. It's OU, Texas, and a bunch of teams that don't matter. Your exact words, in case you've forgotten, were: "The Big 12 is a conference that might have two really pretty good teams, maybe four." But that's just the thing, your OK State teams were part of that group that didn't matter, the "maybe four" as you put it. A review of your in-conference records in 4 years there shows that your teams never did better than 5-3 (2-6, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4; respectively). So you were .500 in a conference that has "two really pretty good teams." Nice. Next time, instead of adding unnecessary superlatives to your quotes, you should stop and think about what you're saying.

Seriously though, did you learn nothing from Tommy Tuberville? Last year, he too came out and made such a convincing case for the strength of the SEC, that his own team seemed to believe him (Auburn got drubbed by Arkansas 27-10 the next week, at home). Have you any idea what kind of message this sends to your team? It's not a positive, confident one, I can tell you that much. Think your guys might be checking out how easy USC's schedule is when they're in the middle of a particularly brutal stretch (Florida, @Kentucky, Auburn, and @ Alabama in the span of 5 weeks)? I'll bet they do. And just when they start feeling sorry for themselves, that's when they're going to lose, which will allow a 1-loss Michigan team to sneak into the title game. Truly good work, Lester.

Look buddy, I'm not saying you don't have the support of nearly every SEC fan, because you do. All I'm saying is that you and your team have the best chance at keeping the Sears Trophy here in the South, where it belongs, so don't muck it up.



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