The national perception of the LSU program has taken a beating over the last two years and it is not getting any better after two games into the 2010 season.
In 2008, the Tigers finished 8-5 and although the LSU fan base was starting to loose faith in coach Les Miles, he was given a pass because he was in a quarterback predicament after kicking Ryan Perrilloux off the team in the Spring of 2008.
Although his team finished 9-3 in 2009, the wins were not pretty. It started with game 1 when the Tigers went to Washington to play the Huskies. The Tigers won, but it was an ugly game against a team that finished 1-11 the previous year. Thanks to a goal line stop by safety Chad Jones, the Bayou Bengals barely beat MSU, the next week they beat the Georgia Bulldogs with the help of a questionable celebration call on the Bulldogs WR AJ Green.
On prime time TV against the Florida Gators in Baton Rouge, the Tigers played not to loose. The game resulted in the Gators winning 13-3 in a game that was extremely frustrating to watch. In Alabama, the Tigers played the best game of the year, but lost in a close one. The following week, Louisiana Tech came into Baton Rouge and almost pulled off an upset.
Then things got worse for a very frustrated LSU fan base when the Tigers went into Ole Miss. The Tigers could have been in position to win the game, but poor clock management at the end of the game cost LSU a chance to win. Miles started to become the laughing stock of the sports world, but the next week the Tigers beat Arkansas in OT and would be invited to play Penn St in the Capital One bowl.
The Tigers lost to Penn St in the Capital One bowl in a game in which the field was all but destroyed due to rain during the week.
Before the season started, Miles claimed that his offensive line was the best offensive line he ever coached, but the offensive line ended up being one of the biggest problems and teams like ULL and La Tech were able to expose their weakness. During the season, Miles also limited freshman Russell Shepard although he was an explosive weapon who was arguably the most talented offensive player on the team.
During the off season, the popular question throughout the LSU fan base was what does Miles have to do to keep his job. For the most part, Tiger nation agrees that 8-4 could cost coach Miles his job, but it all depends on how the team wins and looses. Many LSU fans feel that Miles is an embarrassment to the program and if you visit www.quotablelesmiles.com you will understand why.
The only thing Miles has to hang his hat on is his recruiting classes, but many fans feel that he does not know how to use the talent he has.
I can go on and on, but in summary, coach Les Miles is viewed as a goof ball. The fans don't want to be represented by a goof ball and it is safe to say that Miles is damaged goods. With the recent success of the New Orleans Saints, many football fans in south Louisiana are becoming primary Saints fans. If I had to guess, I would say the Saints success is hurting LSU's merchandise sales and the LSU program has to make some sort of exciting "splash" before its too late. No matter what, LSU needs a new face of the football program and I look for a change after this season.