Winning a BCS National Championship is guaranteed to bide a coaching staff several years no matter what the results. That is, unless, one studies the Les Miles' guide to coaching.
LSU entered their game against a struggling Tennessee Volunteers team, one that needed 2 overtimes to defeat the University of Alabama-Birmingham. What ensued at game time, left every member of the Tiger Faithful speechless.
First and foremost, Tennessee deserves a tremendous amount of credit, as their team and coaching staff developed an excellent game plan and performed it admirably. Tennessee should have truthfully won the game as they out played the Tigers throughout the day. Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, should have proven to any doubters left in Knoxville, that he truly was the right choice, with the performance his team displayed today.
As for the Tigers, what can be said, besides Tiger nation is left in total embarrassment. The offensive situation for the Tigers was desperate to say the least before the game, but after it has the potential to self-implode.
The offensive game plan for the Tigers was uninspired, confusing, and extremely predictable. Make no mistake, that the Tigers offensive players played hard, but they were placed in a position to fail.
There was absolutely no imagination, as fans were able to predict exactly what play was being ran, by the formation presented. There was also the matter, of the constant QB changes in the Tigers' now-two QB system, that allowed neither Jordan Jefferson, nor Jarrett Lee to develop any sort of rhythm.
And then there was the final drive, one that left anyone that had ever watched a football game amazed. Tiger QB Jarrett Lee effectively drove the Tigers, who were down 14-10, down within striking distance with less than a minute to play. Then the LSU coaching staff did the unthinkable.
With the LSU offense finally developing life under Jarrett Lee, the coaching staff pulled Lee in order to bring in the struggling Jordan Jefferson. Jefferson was stopped short on third down, and mishandled the snap on fourth down effectively ending the game. Luckily for the Tigers, Tennessee was flagged for 13 men on the field and the Tigers were left with one last chance. RB Stevan Ridley then fought into the end zone for the winning score.
Tiger Nation has to ask itself, how did it come to this? Forget the rest of the game, but in the final minute, Les Miles proved, yet again, that he does not understand time management. The Tigers burned off second after precious second in the last four downs, and Les Miles even admitted in his post game press conference, that there was confusion.
The more important question that needs to be discussed, is what has Les Miles done to the players in the most important position in football. Throughout the game they were tossed in and out, but what happened in the final seconds was inexcusable.
Jordan Jefferson should not have been brought back into the game in that situation. First off, Jarrett Lee had engineered that drive, one in which he completed a 3rd and 13, and a 4th and 14 to expand the drive. Secondly, Jefferson has been in a tailspin throughout the year and to place him in that situation in front of a Tiger nation that was expecting an easy victory over one of the statistically worst teams in the SEC, was certain to draw questions from the crowd, further shaking the young man's confidence.
Not only that, what is Jarrett Lee thinking? He could never seem to do enough and was often brought in 3rd and longs with no opportunity to advance. LSU is already desperately thin at the position, and placing doubt in the minds of the only two experienced players at the position is not advised.
The bottom line for Tiger nation is, despite the efforts of the defensive staff and unit, this team will not compete. As it stands right now, the Tigers should expect to lose to the likes of Auburn, Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas as all are more complete teams than the Tigers. The sad part is, that it is not because of talent at all, it is strictly because of coaching. Les Miles and Gary Crowton are unorganized, un-innovative, and at times look lost with their actions.
After two straight seasons of late quarter blunders, it should be apparent that the team is in need of new leadership. Les Miles seems to be a great person, who does many admirable things for LSU, but this is a program, that in the last decade is used to winning, and the ever present decline will no longer be tolerated among the Tiger faithful as evidenced by the crowds reactions as of late.