LSU Quarterbacks: Why Is Jordan Jefferson Still the Starting Quarterback?

Billy DayCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2010

Jordan Jefferson
Jordan JeffersonChris Graythen/Getty Images

During the Spring and Fall in college football camps throughout America, you will always hear the Head Coach saying we are going to go with the quarterback that performs best and gives our team the best chance to win. 

They simply have to take this position as the quarterback position is the most important position on the team. Everything on the offense revolves around the quarterback. 

The quarterback calls the plays, executes the plays,  adjust to the defenses, and he is ultimately responsible for everything the offense does.  

Most coaches will judge the quarterback on how well he knows the offensive playbook, how well he can execute the offense, how well he can throw and make decisions, whether he can run if called upon, and last of all can he provide leadership to the team.

In the case of LSU, all we heard from Coach Les Miles going into the 2010 Spring camp was how much improved Jordan Jefferson would be over last year and how well he will able to execute the offense and do the things Coach Miles and Coach Crowton will ask him to do.

But, Jefferson began to show failure right from the start in the Spring game as Jarrett Lee out performed him, and then in the Fall camp it was just a repeat of the Spring camp.   

Now that all of this preseason talk has been put to the test in the 2010 season, Jordan Jefferson has proved to be just the opposite of what Coach Miles told us he would be. 

He still takes too many sacks, can't read coverages, is too slow making decisions, still doesn't understand the offense, and he can't seem to make the offense produce when he is in the game. 

In fact, Jefferson's performance is worse, maybe worse than it was last year when he led an LSU offense that finished ranked at an embarrassing 112th out of 120 team FBS Division 1 teams. 

Jefferson did seem to start out fairly well in the opening game against North Carolina as he threw two TD passes, but that was short lived as things have gone down like the Titanic every since that game.

To illustrate my point, Jordan Jefferson has not even thrown a touchdown pass in any game since the first game against North Carolina.  

So far in 2010, Jefferson has thrown seven (7) inceptions in seven games and his passing numbers are so pathetic that they are not even mentionable.

Now, one must wonder why a coach would continue to sing the praises of a quarterback that has performed so pitifully.

In the West Virginia game alone Jefferson was 3-10 for 30 yards and two interceptions with one that led to a short WVU Touchdown. 

As a result of the WVU game's paltry passing performance, LSU was forced to face the fact that the offense had become a one dimensional running offense with a non existent passing offense. 

In the very next game against Tennessee, Miles still started Jordan Jefferson again, and he quickly threw another interception on LSU's second possession to give UT great field position.   

However. it was in the Tennessee game after hearing weeks of demands from the angry LSU fans to make a change, that Les Miles finally inserted Jarrett Lee in the game at quarterback.

Lee responded with two big touchdown drives and threw some excellent passes that resulted in giving LSU the opportunity to pull out the victory.  Now, most Tiger fans were starting to say , "Thank God we now have a passing offense ". 

Then the very next week,  LSU goes on the road to play Florida and Les Miles again decides  to stick with Jefferson as the starter. 

Jefferson throws another costly interception which gives the Gators the ball on the 15 yard line and they scored a TD which kept the Gators in the game.

Then Lee appears, and the offense again moves the ball well and as Lee throws a touchdown pass and run to Terrance Toliver.   

But, then Miles goes right back with Jefferson, and they now they go conservative and try to run the ball on Florida to kill the clock, but that fails and Florida retakes the lead.  

Now, with LSU behind in the game and with their backs against the wall, Miles finally turns to Jarrett Lee once again and he leads them on the winning touchdown drive that ends with a beautifully thrown touch pass to Terrance Toliver for the winning touchdown with 6 seconds to go.

Ordinarily, one would think that a game saving performance like that would have earned Lee the starting job as he showed everybody that he is the best quarterback LSU has.

But, no, not even Lee's great Florida performance changed Les Miles' mind nor his plans as he started Jefferson as usual in the McNeese Game. 

Miles seems to like to stir the boiling pot with the angry fans, and his insistence on starting Jefferson over Lee is mind boggling to everybody. 

In other words, it make no sense at all.

Most Tiger fans felt Miles would surely use the McNeese game to let Lee start so he could get in the grove of being the starter and prepare for the future tough SEC games LSU will face in the coming weeks.

But, as usual, Miles defies logic and starts Jefferson.  After failing to move the team on his first possession LSU punts.

Then on the second possession Jefferson fumbles on the five (5) yard line which allowed McNeese to score their only touchdown on the next play. 

But, apparently Les Miles does not see it the same way the fans do, but that is nothing new as he and the fans have not been in agreement on very much at all this year other than the fact they both like being undefeated.

If using the premise of game performance and statistics to make the decision of who the starting quarterback should be, then it is only logical to ask the following question :

"Why is Jordan Jefferson even being considered in the LSU Starting quarterback mix at all ? "  

In the short time Jarrett Lee been allowed to play, he has proved he can perform and execute the LSU offense best,  and he has done so remarkably in every game he has played in and it is for sure that LSU would not be undefeated if it were not for the play of Jarrett Lee.  

To the contrary, Jordan Jefferson has been given more opportunities than Lee, but his performance and statistics on the field have shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is clearly not even a good  quarterback, let alone being the starting quarterback.

Jefferson may be a good athlete, but he simply does not possess the necessary quarterback skills required of an SEC quarterback.

But, as late as Monday (10-18-10) at his weekly press conference, Coach Les Miles continues to state, nothing will change at quarterback and Jefferson will most likely still start against Auburn.

When asked by the media for his preference to being a starter,Jarrett Lee answered by saying that he always wants and expects to be the starter, but he is ready when they need him.  

When Jefferson is asked if he feels pressure because of Lee's good performances to take his starting job away,  Jefferson responds by saying , No not all, as Lee just had some good plays called for him by the coaches and that is just the way things work out. 

Is Jefferson really living in the real World or is he living in the world of make believe ?

Now you have to wonder what in the world could make a person lie to himself in such a manner. 

If Jefferson is totally incapable of judging his own performance and/or giving others credit their accomplishments, then things must be worse than we thought in the first place.

I have learned through the years when things do not appear to be making good sense and of course, we must assume Coach Les Miles is a smart man, that there is usually something else going on with this team that we either don't understand fully or know anything about at this time.   

But, the sooner Coach Les Miles deals with this situation once and for all and makes the change in quarterback to Jarrett Lee, the better off the entire team will be.  

Most of the players see and understand which quarterback is performing best,and In fact, Terrance Toliver has already voted for Lee as he is finally getting passes thrown to him so he can make plays.  

Coach Miles has drawn a line in the sand with the LSU fan base, and if he continues to start and use Jordan Jefferson over Jarrett Lee to the point that the Tigers lose these last big games, Les Miles may as well call his moving van before this season is over.

He will need to win the SEC Championship and the BCS Championship to win these fans over.  The odds are against it, But stranger things have happened


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