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Saturday, 28 February 2015

College Football 2015:Is Les Miles on the Hot Seat?

Shortly before the December holidays, LSU head coach Les Miles gave Tigers fans and the athletic department an early Christmas gift.

After consideration for a second time, he would not be leaving the university to go to Michigan. The flirtation had been on everyone’s mind, including the media that appeared to be pushing for the move, mainly because Miles had discussed it before when the Big Ten School had an opening that was filled by then head coach Brady Hoke. With Jim Harbaugh on board, the LSU faithful and Miles can now concentrate on the 2015 season with him at the control of the bus.

As stated on back in December, as a former Michigan offensive lineman, graduate assistant and offensive line coach, Miles' name is always at the top of coaching candidates list when the Wolverines job becomes vacant, as it has thrice since the end of the 2007 season when Lloyd Carr retired and Miles led LSU to the program's third national championship victory.

He declined the opportunity (either an offer or the possibility of being considered for the position) at that time in 2007, a second time when Rich Rodriguez was fired in 2010 and now on a third occasion after Michigan has parted ways with Brady Hoke.

Miles, 61, is 103-28 over 10 seasons at LSU with a pair of national championship appearances (one win) and two SEC titles. His Tigers have won double-digit games in seven seasons and never captured fewer than eight victories over the course of a campaign. He has also taken LSU to the Sugar Bowl (2006 season) and Cotton Bowl (2010 season), holding a 6-3 in bowl games as LSU's coach.

Miles stay in Baton Rouge has been the highest of highs with a national title in hand and a highly competitive team in the famed SEC West. Last season, however, proved to be possibly his most trying of eras. Five major stars on offense left for the NFL. The replacements, although good and talented, did not fill the voids left and although tailback Leonard Fournette had football fans cheering for his first-year talent, he alone could not carry the offense on his back.

So now, with Miles firmly entrenched and the rumors of his leaving vaporized, does this mean Miles stance in Louisiana is firm, or does the coach have to become concerned with a potentially warm seat on campus?

I personally believe he is going nowhere.

The Tigers were 8-5 last season, riding through a path or curves and hills that would leave the most experienced of drivers a bit queasy. SEC losses to Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas, not to mention falling in the Music City Bowl to Notre Dame did not make matters easy for Miles or the program and truth be told, they narrowly won on the road in Gainesville – a game they should have lost.

Now is the time to prove the freshmen and new starters Miles molded last season will help the program rise up again in the SEC to the days of chasing Alabama for a national title, not just an SEC crown.

For now, the waters around the bayou are calm. But another season like last could have the natives a bit restless. Miles has been known to steer through muddy waters before. This time, another season like last could mean the liquid is just muddy, it could be a bit choppy, if not treacherous


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