LSU Football: Les Miles' Holiday List
If Les Miles had a Christmas list devoted to LSU football, you better believe wins would be atop the list.
After attending 20-plus Les Miles press conferences this season, I can assure you that winning, no matter the fashion, is all this man wants.
But of course, a few things have to happen in order to pile up those wins in the new year.
The obvious contributing factor is recruiting. Miles and his staff have done a tremendous job of that as of late, for example landing 5-star outside linebacker Clifton Garrett.
And though No. 1 running back recruit, Leonard Fournette, and company will be high on his list, winning is undoubtedly most coveted on Miles' list. Here is Miles' hopeful gifts this Holiday season, ranked in order of most important to least.
1. An Outback Bowl Victory
First thing's first, Miles wants to start the new year with a bang.
And really, Miles is desperate for a bowl victory, especially after his Tigers blew last year's Chick-fil-A Bowl game to Clemson. In case you've forgotten (you haven't), LSU lost 25-24 on a last second field goal. Sorry to twist that dagger in your heart a little more.
For the record, Miles' bowl record hasn't been too shabby lately either. The Mad Hatter is 1-3 in his last four bowl games.
And actually, Miles' bowl record leaves a lot left desired, as he is 6-5 in bowls (5-3 at LSU).
But hey, it's a new year, right? Miles is in the perfect situation to bump that record up against Iowa. He just has to get his players up for the job. Easier wished than received.
2. The Greatest Signing Class Ever
All I want for Christmas is the best recruiting class in history.
The stars are falling in line for Miles and LSU. Outside linebacker Clifton Garrett's commitment to the Purple and Gold ignited momentum for a signing class that now currently ranks at No. 10 on 247 Sports' big board.
Indeed, Garrett, safety Ed Paris, wide receiver Trey Quinn, quarterback Brandon Harris and guard Garrett Brumfield put the Tigers in a position to have the best class in the nation.
However, if targets Leonard Fournette, Speedy Noil, Tony Brown, Jamal Adams, Malachi Dupre and Gerald Willis all come to LSU, the Tigers will have the greatest recruiting class in school history.
Excluding Dupre, all of those recruits are scheduled to announce their decision during the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 2. With LSU regarded as a favorite for each of these recruits, Miles' best Christmas present may arrive a week late.
3. Surprise Returns
What would Miles give up to see Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham at wide receiver again?
Logical thinking would have you believe Landry and Beckham are both gone, as the dynamic duo grades pretty well at the next level. Interestingly enough, I spoke with Landry Saturday morning, and while the temptation to turn pro is there, the opportunities to finish his degree and compete for a national championship are enticing as well.
But will La'el Collins, Jeremy Hill, Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson return?
Miles has a good shot of getting two of those four back. Hill, like Beckham and Landry, is likely NFL-bound, as he's proven he's ready to make an impact in the pros.
However, don't be surprised to see Johnson return after a lackluster junior season. Miles would gladly welcome Collins and Ferguson back to the team as well.
4. A Few More Decommitments from Alabama
Second thoughts, Hootie?
After committing to Alabama on Dec. 2, Louisiana's Laurence "Hootie" Jones must have gotten cold feet.
Apparently he's not the only recruit to have second thoughts. In fact, four Alabama commits have changed their minds since November, and in the current world of recruiting, that's just the nature of the beast.
Jones might still play for Alabama in the end though, but it's quite a coincidence that he decommitted a day after Garrett committed to LSU.
I'm sure Miles wouldn't mind a couple extra presents under the tree—if a few more (ahem, Cameron Robinson) decide to stay in-state and play for the Tigers over the Tide.
5. Tiger Stadium Returning to Form
Lastly, I think the Mad Hatter would enjoy a Death Valley that made opponents' dreams die again.
What happened to the roar? Week after week, I sat in Death Valley waiting to see a full attendance, anticipating a ruckus crowd to rattle the stadium.
Unfortunately, that never happened in 2013.
Fans blamed it on the parking (it's always been a problem) and the weather for the poor turnouts, but come on, does LSU really possess that fair-weathered of a fanbase?
Tiger Stadium is one of LSU's greatest selling points when trying recruit, and it's without a doubt one of the greatest settings in sports. Along with Miles, we all hope the Valley shakes again.