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Miles Goes From Genius To Goof In One Night

Heading into Monday’s BCS title game, most writers across the country had jumped on the Les Miles bandwagon.  I can tell you that this one sure did.

The job Miles did this year was fantastic.  He negotiated on-field and off-field obstacles from season’s start to season’s end and he made it look rather easy in the process.  He pushed just the right buttons with his team as they rolled through the nation’s toughest schedule.  He’d gone from the goofy, lucky Mad Hatter to a guy who — dare we say — might be a better overall coach than Nick Saban in the span of three months.

And then on Monday… the clock struck midnight.  His team’s offense didn’t look prepared for what Alabama showed them on defense.  It appeared as though the Tigers were content to roll out the same gameplan they used in Round One in Round Two.  And that wasn’t anywhere near good enough.

For those reasons, Miles’ long list of unexpected accomplishments in 2011 are filed away and far from top of mind as we begin 2012.  Instead, the headlines from Louisiana read like this:

Bad night for LSU’s Les Miles

Title-game embarrassment detracts from an impressive season for the LSU football team

LSU football coach Les Miles needs to explain why Tigers were unprepared for title game

We’re not saying the coach’s team didn’t seem befuddled on Monday.  They did.  His moves on Monday deserve to be questioned.

But it’s far from fair to expect a coach to march 14-0 through a killer schedule, win the toughest league in America, and then beat the other best team in America twice in the same season.  It’s called perspective.  Disappointment with the Tigers’ finish is to be expected.  Anger over their demise — after a season filled with so many positive surprises — well, that’s not just.

Miles did too good a job through the season’s first 13 weeks to be butchered for the failings displayed in Week 14.



Too great a year to allow one brain fart ruin it - bad night for the Tigers, but they and Miles will be back.

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