LSU head coach Les Miles
Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the BleacherReportinbox, Twitter and email.
Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at email@example.com.
You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. And if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.
And we're off:
— Andy M. Johnson (@GeorgiaGunOwner) October 31, 2012
@barrettsallee Do you feel the world wide Haters Of The SEC will be watching LSU vs BAMA Saturday praying the Tigers claw out a victory?
Oh, without a doubt.
If Alabama loses, there will be talk of how a one-loss SEC team can conceivably play for the BCS National Championship. But it would take two of the undefeated teams (Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon) in the top five losing for that to happen.
That is a bit hypocritical considering that the goal of the BCS is to match the top two teams in the country in a championship game, but a loss is a loss and that will be too difficult for any SEC team to overcome if there are other viable options.
SEC fatigue is real, it's widespread and it is only gaining momentum now that Alabama and LSU is a top-five matchup. Human polls still make up two-thirds of the BCS equation, and that fatigue will play a role in the votes of some people.
It will be Alabama versus the world on Saturday night. Well, the college football world outside of the SEC, anyway.
@barrettsallee who is the first coach to go?— Sports Fan (@BamadawgATL) October 29, 2012
Based on what we've seen and heard from the Arkansas camp, it's John L. Smith.
He was unlikely to be retained anyway, but after last week's 30-27 loss to Ole Miss, his fate is sealed.
Even more sealed than it was before.
Arkansas plays LSU on Friday, Nov. 23, so the Hogs have a one-day offseason jump on the rest of the field, which means that Smith will be dismissed perhaps before the other coaches on the hot seat have wrapped up their seasons.
Athletics director Jeff Long has already stated that he is conducting a coaching search, and because of that, I would expect Smith to be eliminated of that race officially as soon as the season ends.
That is, of course, assuming that Auburn doesn't lose to New Mexico State this weekend. If it does, then my vote will sway heavily toward Gene Chizik.
@barrettsallee Here's my question: Do you miss the Mad Hatter and doesn't LSU have to have him back to beat Bama?— Patrick Netherton (@PTNetherton) November 1, 2012
Yes and yes.
What the esteemed update man from the Tim Brando Show is referring to is Les Miles' crazy persona that made him such a lightning rod for discussion during the early part of his career at LSU.
Miles made a name for himself going for it and converting five straight fourth downs versus Florida and calling a fly route versus Auburn when he only needed a field goal en route to the 2007 BCS National Championship.
But lately, Miles has used a more conservative ground-and-pound approach on offense. For the most part, it works.
LSU was outplayed last season in Tuscaloosa but squeaked out a win because Alabama couldn't hit field goals, and then got throttled 21-0 in the BCS national championship game by that same Crimson Tide team.
If Miles learned his lesson—and we all hope that he did purely for entertainment value—he should know that going toe-to-toe versus Alabama and just relying on talent to win out won't work.
If LSU is going to beat Alabama, he's going to have to revert back to the old school "Mad Hatter," even if it is only in select situations.