LSU Football: Gunner Kiel Decommitment Shows Turmoil Within Program

Joshua BergeronContributor IIIJanuary 17, 2012

LSU freshman receiver Odell Beckham jr. reflects Jan. 9 after losing 21-0 to the Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship.
LSU freshman receiver Odell Beckham jr. reflects Jan. 9 after losing 21-0 to the Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A couple weeks after committing to LSU and abandoning his home state of Indiana, highly-touted prospect Gunner Kiel has committed to Notre Dame, according to reports by LSU's student newspaper and USA Today.

Reaction has been mixed up to this point, with some fans disappointed and others indifferent to the decision. 

While we all knew rising junior Zach Mettenberger would take the helm at quarterback, many fans were excited to have such a bright future at QB with the addition of Kiel. His decision was surely made in regard to playing time but also because Notre Dame is closer to home.

However, the real question is: Why are so many recruits choosing other schools over talent-rich LSU? Kiel is the latest of many commitments, including No, 5 inside linbacker Denzel Devall and No. 1 safety Landon Collins, who have later changed their minds. Not only have the recruits chosen another school over LSU, they have chosen another school over their home.

These commitments have abandoned their home state for "greener pastures" of Alabama. They have left and gone to a much more stable program because there is no leadership withing the Tiger football organization. It is a rag-tag group of incredible talent left to fend for themselves on the field of play.

Les Miles, often known for questionable decision making, made an impression on Jan. 9 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It is an impression LSU fans will remember forever: Les Miles is a lesser coach than Nick Saban. Miles may be a great coach with a championship ring, but Saban is a great coach with three championships.

Unconfirmed reports surfaced hours after LSU's embarrassing loss in the BCS National Championship that there was a fight in the LSU locker room. These unconfirmed reports confirm what we already know to be true: LSU is a program surrounded by luck. 

LSU fans cannot question that the current program is Nick Saban's doing. Without Saban, Miles would have had to build the team from scratch, rather than inheriting a talent-rich team.

LSU needs a strong leader to pull them together in times of turmoil for Miles to shed his antics-plagued reputation.

That leader is going to have to be Zach Mettenberger, whether he likes it or not. The success of the Tigers hinges on how well he performs next year.

The quarterback position is usually one that comes with a large leadership role. For the sake of my fanhood and the future of Tiger football, I hope he can not only be a leader for the offense, but also the defense.

Miles is superior to most within the NCAA coaching profession. After the turmoil this season, Miles has to win a championship to win the hearts and minds of his supporters and critics. LSU has the chance to be special again next year. Not many teams get a realistic shot at a BCS title multiple years in a row. 

Miles has had incredible talent each year he has coached. If he cannot take advantage of that talent next year, look for him to be on a surprisingly warm hot seat. LSU fans do not take losing lightly, but they would certainly lose a loser instantaneously.