Heading into the 2010 season, LSU’s Les Miles sat on the hottest seat in the SEC West. His program had lost nine games in a two-year span and with his salary, Louisiana’s depth of talent, and the success LSU had enjoyed in previous seasons, fans were talking dismissal.
Heading to the 2010 season, Georgia’s Mark Richt sat on the warmest seat in the SEC East. His Dawgs finished 2008 with five losses… his worst mark to date in Athens. A year prior they have failed to live up to preseason #1 expectations. And the coach continued to lose to Florida.
In 2010, both coaches had their struggles. Miles was the butt of jokes — and the target of fans’ anger — after his team nearly blew a home game to hapless Tennessee through game-management issues. Richt saw his team get off to an 1-4 start en route to a 6-7 finish.
But from 2009 to now, both coaches have silenced many (if not all) of the critics demanding their ousters. As Mike Herndon of The Mobile Press-Register writes:
“Yet, here they are two years later, preparing for the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Saturday. One with a shot at a second national title and the other with his first division title in four years. Patience may be a virtue after all, even in the win-now world of college football…
LSU and Georgia could have gotten antsy a couple of years ago. They are being rewarded for their patience this week.”
Patience. It’s an interesting idea considering Kansas and Memphis both fired coaches after two short seasons and, inside the SEC, many fans at Kentucky and Tennessee would like to see their coaches dismissed after just two years, too.