Photo above by Butch Dill / Associated Press. Story with picture in tweet below.
By Ryan Decker
Sunday was not a good day in the sports world.
On Sunday we learned of the tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and the sad news that golf legend Arnold Palmer at age 87 had reached the end of his life.
Sunday afternoon, just one day after Miles and his LSU team suffered their second loss of the season, it was reported that the Tigers head coach had been fired after 11 full seasons at the helm, along with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Despite having the highest winning percentage of any coach in LSU program history, and never winning less than eight games in a season, it was the rough end to last season, and the rocky start to this one, that became Miles’ down fall.
The Tigers went into this season as the No. 5 team in the nation, and after just four weeks of play, have a .500 record at 2-2 and are currently unranked.
As you can see by some of those comments, Ed Orgeron has taken over as the interim head coach for the remainder of this season. However, the question on all LSU fans’ minds, and most college football fans’ minds, is who will eventually become the next head coach at LSU?
With his seat getting progressively warmer, but still in charge of the Tigers, Collin Cowherd gave his opinion on who he believed should replace Miles last week on his sports show on FOX Sports, “The Herd”.
When looking at the SEC, you’re hard pressed to find a more tuned in source of information than Paul Finebaum, who reports on the SEC on Sirius XM radio and on the SEC Network for ESPN.
One guest on his show today told him that Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, who coached under Miles at Oklahoma State in the early 2000s, would be the, “top guy for the job,” this according to Mark Schlabach.
However, it was later said that Fisher and Houston’s Tom Herman are likely both “pipe dreams” for the LSU fan base, which appears accurate.
Fisher is under contract in Tallahassee through the 2022 season, having just signed a contract extension last year. Fisher also turned down the LSU job offer last November, which ultimately allowed Miles to keep his job a while longer.
Herman signed a four-year extension last December, and likely wouldn’t leave Houston anyways if the Cougars are picked to join the Big 12. Even if Houston is left out of the potential expansion of the Big 12, Herman will certainly have numerous schools calling his name this offseason, likely at least one in better shape than the one LSU is currently in.
As some fans pointed out, it is ultimately LSU’s own stubbornness that led to Miles’ dismissal.
Miles-led Tiger teams won 10 or more games seven times during his tenure. During Nick Saban’s five years in charge at LSU, the Tigers accomplished the feat twice.
However, in the 20 years prior to Saban and Miles, LSU shuffled through six different head and interim coaches, while only winning 10 games in a season twice.
In fact, the Tigers had as many seasons finishing with a record under .500 as they did seasons with a winning record. They also went six-straight years without a bowl appearance from 1989-1994.
LSU fans may hope for a big name, such as a Fisher, a Herman, or even Art Briles, to replace Les Miles, but realistically speaking, Tiger fans may have to accept the fact that the head coaching job at their school isn’t as attractive as they might think.
Dan Woken of USA Today Sports wrote it best yesterday when he said coaching jobs like LSU, “don’t come along very often, any anyone LSU pursues will have to look closely. The recruiting terrain, financial resources and overall potential are matched only by the likes of Alabama, Texas, Florida, Ohio State, Southern Cal and maybe a few others.
“But this is also a job interwoven with a lot of politics, insanely high expectations and administrative unrest.”
Despite all the positives the LSU job presents, it’s the negative factors that can deter a lot of the big-named potential hires from heading to Baton Rouge.
LSU fans beware, although there is potential for a quick fix, it’s just as possible Tiger fans could be in for a few seasons even tougher than the last two.