LSU: Where the Program Stands

Mark DavisContributor IFebruary 4, 2010

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head Coach Les Miles of the Louisiana State University Tigers runs onto the field during pregame before playing the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin' Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Arguably one of the best teams of the last decade, LSU finds themselves in unfamiliar territory.  In the past two years, Coach Miles and his Tigers have compiled an 8-8 SEC conference record.  However talented the Bayou Bengals might be, the Tigers have suffered from questionable coaching and the inability to develop an SEC caliber quarterback.


Since the 2009 season has ended, Miles has revamped the coaching staff, by adding running backs coach Frank Wilson and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzalez.  Wilson has already made his impact felt due to his recruiting ties to the state of Louisiana.  More impressive is that Miles was able to lure them away from SEC foes Tennessee (Wilson) and Florida (Gonzales).


Besides some new faces that should bring a new element to the offense, LSU was able to land a very solid recruiting class.  LSU had a great signing day finishing with the 6th  best recruiting class according to  In what was considered a down year for talent in Louisiana, Miles and co. were able to look out of state to fill key positions. Headlining the 2010 recruiting class is five-star running back Spencer Ware from Ohio.


With the spring game set for March 27th on ESPN2, the Tigers have a lot of work to do if they want to be contenders next season. 


In the trenches, LSU was dominated in 2009.  Jordan Jefferson did hold the ball too long and would take abnormally long drop backs, but the offensive line sure didn’t help. LSU allowed 37 sacks in 2009, which ranks them all the way at 105th in the country.  The Tigers were also never able to find a consistent running game.


The defensive line seemed to get manhandled as well.  Continuously the defensive line failed to generate a pass rush. Defensive end Rahim Alem led the team in sacks with only 4.5.  As a team they only managed 21 sacks, coming in at 87th in the country for total sacks. 


While LSU continues to reel in the top high school talent in the country, the production seems to be lacking. The days of a power running game and a dangerous play action passing game seem too far and apart.  The blitzkrieg style of defense that Saban and Bo Peleni ran seems like a distant memory.


For a coach that has a national title, an SEC conference title, and a 51-14 record, he could certainly find himself on the hot seat if he doesn’t produce next season.  Whether the LSU faithful are spoiled or not, fans on the bayou are getting restless.