Is LSU Les Miles among the next to go?
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From rock stars to the hot seat, these SEC coaches are suddenly under pressure
By Pat Forde
On Monday, the first day of SEC media days, it was Gus Malzahn of Auburn. You remember Gus – in 2013 he was the smartest offensive football coach in America, leading the Tigers to the last BCS championship game before falling in a thriller to Florida State. The future was limitless then for Malzahn and Auburn, nothing but continued glory on the horizon. But after that 12-2 debut season on The Plains, Malzahn stumbled to records of 8-5 and 7-6, just 6-10 in SEC play.
“We weren’t able to reach our goals,” Malzahn said. “That was very frustrating and it was very humbling to go through an experience like that. I think you got to evaluate everything.”
Tuesday, it will be Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M in Evaluate Everything Mode. Like Malzahn, Sumlin arrived in the SEC with a rising profile and immediately struck gold, going 11-2 in 2012 and finishing the year in the top 10. Since then Sumlin has gone 9-4, 8-5, 8-5, with an SEC record of 11-13. He, too, was swiftly downgraded from the hot coach list to the hot seat list.
Thursday, it will be Les Miles of LSU. Miles has one thing neither Malzahn nor Sumlin possesses – a national title. But he’s also come closer to losing his job than either of those men, sweating out a surprising, 11th-hour administrative change of heart in the middle of the regular-season finale last year. The pressure will return this season. After finishing in the top two in the SEC West in seven of Miles’ first eight seasons, the Tigers haven’t finished higher than third in the past three. That trend likely must change for Miles to see a 12th season in Baton Rouge.
Three coaches who were on top of the world at some point in the past five years. Three coaches who have since discovered how hard it is to stay there. Especially when you share a division with Nick Saban.
Nick Saban is truly a focus person who is not a Show for appearance sake at all. As the other college football coaches keep staying back in the pack very much like LSU Les Miles, who is nothing but a Side Show all by himself.
And as I keep seeing Les Miles using his rah rah cheering talking nonsense, appealing to the immaturity of his college football players’ stairway to the stars day dreams. LSU just keeps losing to Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, etc.
On the other hand Nick Saban is always focus on the substance of the staircase that keeps maintaining the structure that we climb getting to the championship. As Les Miles is only pandering to the people around him in his own limited coaching sensibilities that we see as the LSU Les Miles Side Show, that is nothing but a lot of frustrating bull talk to me. The results of which speaks for itself.