As much as it pains me to close my heart on the 2009-10 LSU football season—and the "what could have been" scenarios…the bottom line is that the Tigers were who we all thought they’d be.
Maybe Tiger Nation didn’t have exactly in mind as to the how…but I would bet that most of us knew the what.
A 9-3 regular season was what we thought. The bowl game was a toss-up.
And speaking of which…toss-up was exactly the field conditions for the "credit card" bowl—absolutely unacceptable.
However, as good as the Tigers have been in the past in post-season—this year's team underperformed offensively all year. What was supposed to change in a few weeks of preparation for Penn St…a better offense?
It was what it was…but is it is what it is?
Is LSU stuck in a system of suspect coaching and leadership? Are the boys in purple and gold tired of the same voices? Is there too much lose in the goose?
That’s debatable I suppose, but one thing for sure; if the Tigers have another sub-par year next year, the Miles era will be open game for "change".
Somehow mega-hype Alabama fans will be happy about that. They would rather see Miles leave than Florida’s Meyer which brings to mind the phrase "educated beyond your intelligence".
Nonetheless…there is no question that LSU will need to improve.
It’s no longer just the quarterback position now however that should be looked at under the microscope. The offensive line supremely underachieved this year.
I was certain that "changes" would be made in that coaching position—I guess not.
But as it is with Miles character, he is a tremendously loyal man who seems to give favor and grace to those who have proven themselves in the past in performance—and wants to give those in question an opportunity to rectify the problem.
I get that…and respect that. But most of Tiger Nation has a hard time swallowing that horse pill.
I know it’s here where I could go with the purple and gold haze of myopic dribble…but I’ll save that for another story. The fact is, LSU football is not on the down slide…nor in the Miles vortex of mediocrity.
Just ask Pete Carroll of USC how his program fared this year after his experienced quarterback Mark Sanchez left to go to the NFL. Even with Carroll’s "adopted son" and all-world freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, the Trojans failed to live up to expectations from years past.
And of course as a disappointing season will do to a coach…Carroll is publicly being scrutinized as the new Barry Switzer of the USC program—that the inmates are running the asylum.
Fair? Most likely not, but as Miles and Carroll now have in common—losing, no matter what you’ve done in the past…is the scarlet letter “L” and brings about those who love a good witch hunt.
Pretty sad when you think that the most important thing a coach can do is to help mold and instill good moral behavior and character in young men so that they have the tools from past trials and obstacles to draw on as they live their lives in the future.
But all the boosters, alums, and fans only care about are wins. Just ask Bobby Bowden— I’m sure he has a dadgum opinion on that.