LSU Football: 5 Things That Will Keep Les Miles Up at Night

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IMay 8, 2012

LSU Football: 5 Things That Will Keep Les Miles Up at Night

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    Les Miles has established himself as one of the top coaches in college football over the past several years.

    Since arriving at LSU back in 2005, Miles has led the Tigers to a bowl appearance in all seven years, including three BCS Bowls, two of which were National Championship Game appearances. He has a combined 75-18 record at LSU and has totaled 41 wins in the always-competitive SEC Conference.

    But despite all of this success, not everything is perfect in Baton Rouge. From poor quarterback play, to losing out in recruiting battles, to that dreadful showing in last year's National Championship Game, Les Miles is not always cracking that million dollar smile.

    Let's break down five things that still keep Les Miles up at night.

    Bleacher Report style!

1. Sticking with Jordan Jefferson

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    Jordan Jefferson was not a good college quarterback.

    Yes, it's bold, but yes, it's true.

    Jarrett Lee started the 2011 season at quarterback after Jefferson was suspended to begin the year. But once Jefferson was reinstated midway through the season, he worked his way back into the starting role and stuck with it throughout the remainder of the season.

    But Jefferson was horrible in the SEC Championship game, which LSU won because of their dominant defense and special teams play, and he was even worse in the National Championship Game. But despite how poor Jefferson played, Les Miles chose to stick with him and not give Jarrett Lee a shot.

    That decision to stick with Jefferson is still on Miles' mind to this day. No doubt about it. 

2. Losing out on Gunner Kiel

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    Gunner Kiel, the nation's top quarterback prospect, verbally committed to LSU and was all set to enroll early and possibly even compete for the Tigers starting quarterback job.

    After four years of poor quarterback play, Miles was finally going to get a stud at the position to come to Baton Rouge. But then, it all went south from there.

    Kiel made a spastic decision to give up on his verbal commitment to Miles and the Tigers and enroll at Notre Dame.

    Miles was this close to finally having an elite quarterback, and then, just like that, it all slipped away from under him. 

3. How to Make Four Great Running Backs Happy

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    While the first two slides in this article were negative problems keeping Les Miles up at night, this is a great issue to have, but one that keeps Miles' mind constantly running.

    Between Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard, the Tigers have four great running backs, so how in the world is Miles going to keep all four of these guys happy?

    Ware and Ford had the majority of the workload last season, but Blue and Hilliard were both very good in limited time, and that should earn them more playing time this season. With a first-year starter at quarterback, the Tigers will look to run the ball early and often this season, but how do you divvy out the carries among four backs?

    Again, this is a great issue to have, but an issue nonetheless. 

4. Robert Nkemdiche

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    For those of you who aren't yet familiar with the name, Robert Nkemdiche is the consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation for the 2013 class, and he has LSU as one of his four college finalists, along with Alabama, Clemson and Ole Miss.

    The 6'5", 280-pound prospect was expected to make his much-anticipated college decision on May 18, but now he has said that he would like to make a second round of visits to his top four school choices before making a final decision.

    Landing Nkemdiche would be a huge score for this LSU team, who are putting together a nice 2013 class thus far, but could use a top-notch recruit like Nkemdiche to really push it from being good to great. Reports have said that LSU are the favorite, and then other reports have said that LSU is at the bottom of those four schools.

    The thought of Nkemdiche wearing the LSU purple and gold had to be beyond appealing to Miles, but the fact that he has now put this much-anticipated decision on hold, has to keep the Mad Hatter up all night thinking about this.

5. Last Year's BCS National Championship Game

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    Those other four things on this list probably keeps Les Miles up at night.

    Getting humiliated in last year's National Championship Game absolutely keeps Miles up at night.

    Miles' LSU team was flat-out embarrassed in a 21-0 loss to Alabama in this year's BCS title game. The Tigers became the first team to be held scoreless in a National Championship Game since the BCS came into play back in 1998.

    Not only did the Tigers not score in this game, but they never even crossed midfield. Their offense was humiliated and dominated by an explosive Alabama defense in this one-sided contest.

    This is what truly keeps Miles up.

    Make no doubt about it.