Les Is More! Why This LSU Fan Doesn't Miss Nick Saban

Henry BallSenior Analyst IJune 6, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 07:  Head coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24 in the AllState BCS National Championship on January 7, 2008 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Dear Alabama Fans,

I should be more specific as I realize that everyone who cheers for the Crimson Tide is not a back-wood toothless delusional redneck.  This is directed at those who incessantly post articles on the LSU page trumpeting the superiority of Nick Saban over Les Miles and Bama over LSU. 

Enough already with the inferiority obsession, the relentless accusations that LSU fans hate BAMA because we supposedly think Nick left Baton Rouge for Tuscaloosa, or that we are afraid the ‘Golden Years’ are over now that Nick has finally ‘replaced’ the Bear, or that we ‘know’ Les Miles is not as good as Nick Saban is ridiculous.

There may in fact be a few Tiger Fans that still are not sure about Les Miles, and there are some that are not happy that Saban wound up at an SEC (worse SEC West) program especially considering how quickly it happened but to assume that this is representative of “ALL”, “EVERY” or even ‘MOST’ LSU fans is about the same as me assuming that “ALL”, “EVERY” or “MOST” Alabama fans are back-wood toothless delusional rednecks.

To the majority of Bama Fans, who probably don’t frequent the LSU board or spend much time obsessing over why other Team’s fans may or may not like your team, please disregard this note and except my congratulations on landing a great Football coach in Nick Saban, I have no doubt that he will be successful but selfishly I hope I am wrong.  Also, congratulations on your great history and last year’s victory in Saban Bowl II. (We will get ya back!)

But for the rest of you back-wood toothless delusional rednecks, let me explain to you why Les is more.  While Nick Saban is a great coach, he is NOT Bear Bryant.  As the completely misguided Heath Mcguff pointed out in his ridiculous article “Calling All LSU Fans: Nick Saban Is a Better Coach Than Les Miles Period” Saban has had 14 Coaching Jobs in 35 years, that’s 2.5 years per assignment, if you think he’ll be in Tuscaloosa 20+ years from now then I want to talk to you about my beachfront property in Arizona, I swear it’s a great deal. 

Les Miles to this point has averaged almost six years per post and this is only his second Head Coaching post compared to Nick Saban’s fifth.  Mr. Mcguff apparently feels that Saban’s 14 gigs makes him a better coach.  When I interview someone who has not held a position for more than 2.5 years over a career I consider them unstable and a risky hire.

I also appreciated one of the central points of Mcguff’s article where he writes “Of late I find myself often reading articles on B/R about how LSU is now Les Miles team. One writer on bleacher report had this to say "LSU has officially begun the Les Miles years. What I mean by that is the very last few players on Les Miles team that Nick Saban recruited are gone." We all know that Nick Saban is a great coach and he never had any negative feelings towards Les Miles and his LSU team, but they seemed to have a lot against him.” – Genius, that article was written by another ALABAMA FAN, L.C. May. 

He goes on to say, “When Alabama arrived in LSU last season they were happily greeted by a giant billboard with some harsh feelings expressed towards Saban and his team. Why Les Miles would allow this to happen, I have no idea?” Brilliant, do you really think Les Miles determines what fans can put on signs?  Do you think that’s how it works?  Is it Nick Saban’s fault when some illiterate moron spells the word GEAUX with only two letters?

Finally I really appreciated some of his comparisons to ‘prove’ that Saban is a better coach than Miles.  For example, he sites Saban’s overall record and says he has ’40 More Wins’, great he also has a lot more losses and do the math, Les Miles has a HIGHER WINNING percentage (.693 to .683)  Moreover, Les has a much better Bowl record, 5-2 to 4-6 for Nick.  (And Miles’ .792 winning percentage @ LSU is better than Nick’s .750 @ LSU and FAR better than his .703 @ Bama)

Finally, let me address the Les Miles won with Nick’s team Crap, LSU was a sleeping Giant when Saban arrived because he ‘INHERITED’ a VERY DEEP AND TALENTED team that Gerry DiNardo left behind.  (From Wikipedia - Nick Saban was named as DiNardo's replacement on November 30, 1999, and guided the Tigers to the 2001 SEC Championship with many of DiNardo's recruits in the starting lineup.)DiNardo began the ‘Golden Era’ of LSU football by shoring up the Louisiana recruiting base and beginning to take advantage of LSU natural advantages in the region.  (DiNardo was 3-0 in bowl games and beat Saban Head to Head in the independence bowl)  Gerry’s downfall was that in 97 and 98 expectations were sky high and he was stung by a VAST number of key injuries in both years. 

That being said, Nick did a great job with what he inherited and continued to recruit well thus leaving the cupboards full for Les Miles.  In turn, Les did a great job with what he inherited and HAS CONTINUED to recruit very well and has been very successful.  To further make the point, by trying to give credit to Nick Saban for Les Miles winning a NC 3 years AFTER his departure, then you have to give Mike Shula credit for Nick Saban winning the SEC west last year and IF Bama has a good year this year then maybe Shula should be considered for SEC coach of the year.  Should Ron Zook be given credit for Florida’s two championships?  After all some of his players were still on last year’s team and MOST of his players were on the 05’ team. 

Of course that is ludicrous; you can kind of make that argument in year one but even that is not fair.  To go beyond that or to think Les Miles has racked up 42 wins and 4 bowl victories in four years because some of Nick’s recruits were still on the team at various points is either disingenuous or just plain stupid!!

The bottom line is this, Les is More!  I will always be grateful to Nick Saban for the job he did at LSU and I hated to see him go, but LSU got the slightly better end of the stick.  Les is a more likable man, he is vastly underrated which makes him even more dangerous, he has a better record, has achieved as much or…MORE and he is a…, come on, say it with me, “Damn Fine Football Coach!”

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day and Geaux Tigers!!