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Alabama Beats LSU: Les Miles Made Too Many Coaching Blunders

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers looks on from the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

Should Les Miles have gone with Jarrett Lee at quarterback in the second half?

It will be a question that will remain on every college football fan's mind throughout the next couple of days. It will be a question that fills the sports airwaves for days to come, with plenty of arguments for both sides.

But when it comes down to it, LSU simply couldn't have done any worse on the offensive end, so why didn't Miles at least give it a try?

Jarrett Lee started the season as LSU's starting quarterback, but Jefferson took over the job for good when LSU and Alabama played back on Nov. 5 and Jefferson was simply more effective. But while Jefferson was solid in the first meeting between these two teams, he was far from solid in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game on Monday night.

Jefferson was downright pathetic at times in the 21-0 loss, failing to get anything going on the offensive end.

However, when it was all said and done, Miles defended his coaching blunder to stay with Jefferson at quarterback.

"We felt like with Jordan Jefferson's speed and ability to move and get out of the rush, it was fair that he finish the game," Miles said. "As much as I would have liked to put Jarrett (Lee) in, I felt like it would be unfair to him with the pass rush he would sustain."

Well, coach Miles, how would you know that if you didn't give it a try?

Furthermore, if you watched the game, LSU called for Jefferson to drop back and be a pocket passer late in the contest, which is not his speciality. If they are going to call drop-back passes, why not go with the guy who is the better pocket passer, which is Lee?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers talks with Jordan Jefferson #9 on from the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Sup
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Now, this isn't to say that Miles' decision was unwarranted.

As bad as Jefferson was tonight against Alabama, Lee really hasn't been much better throughout his career in games against Alabama. Lee has passed for just one touchdown and had been picked seven times against the Tide throughout his college career.

But again, how would you know if he would play that bad again, without giving it a try while down by two scores?

Down 15-0 late in the fourth quarter, it became apparent that the game was slipping away from LSU. The Tigers simply needed a spark, and that spark was not going to come with Jordan Jefferson under center.

The LSU faithful were cheering and calling for Lee to enter the game, and—who knows?—maybe that would have sparked this LSU team, which simply looked dejected and uninterested as the game went on.

The worse-case scenario would have been that Lee goes in, turns the ball over and Alabama scores a touchdown. 

Well guess what? That happened anyway on the Tide's next offensive possession.

It's tough for any coach to go against his gut feeling and put in a quarterback who has traditionally been terrible against a dominant Alabama defense. But it was something that simply had to be done at that point in time, and for some reason, Les Miles chose not to give Lee a shot.

Perhaps Lee would have sparked the LSU offense, perhaps not.

But the bottom line is that Miles didn't pull the trigger and go with Lee, and now fans everywhere can't help but wonder two simple words.

"Why not?" 

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