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The Latest Hubbub On The Bayou

Due to a doctor’s appointment today, we’ll have a few more links and a few less blurbs on the site this morning.  That’s one reason we went ahead and put together that million-word breakdown on all things expansion last last night (early this morning).

So in a rush, here’s a quick look at the latest from Louisiana State:

1.  Yesterday — for the first time — Les Miles stopped short of calling Jordan Jefferson his starter for the Oregon game.

2.  Eyewitness accounts are starting to come out and “the mood” around the LSU team “darkened” on Thursday as a result.

3.  But not all of the witnesses agree on what took place.

4.  In non-fight news, receiver/playmaker Russell Shepard has been ruled ineligible for violating an NCAA bylaw.

5.  Add it all up and it’s been a nightmarish summer for Miles and his Tigers.

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Miles Makes The Right (And Wrong) Decision To Stay At LSU

You just never know.

You just never know when what’s being reported really is what’s happening.  There are simply too many voices on the internet, on ESPN and on talk radio these days.  And not all of the people behind those voices truly care about buttoning up a story before reporting it.

Call it the Twitterification of Journalism.  Speed beats accuracy, which is a pretty sad development for those who do believe in finding a second (or third or fourth) source before running with a story.

These one-source, get-it-up-quick type reporters are the reason some fanbases learn during a BCS Championship Game that their coach is leaving.  Even though he isn’t.  Just as an example.

Well, that said, we can now report that Les Miles is definitely staying in Baton Rouge.  His boss — AD Joe Alleva — said so in a press release this afternoon.

“I am pleased to announce that Les Miles will remain the head coach at LSU.  Les has led this program to many great successes on the field and his players represent LSU well off the field.  We look forward to many great years of LSU football under his leadership.”

Spoken like a man who understands the old adage, “The devil you know…”

Miles’ decision should not surprise anyone.  Sources in Louisiana and close to the LSU program have said that Miles wanted to show respect to Michigan without actually taking their job.

When he announced publicly yesterday that he would speak with UM officials we noted what an unusual act that was for a coach.  In hindsight it appears even more likely that Miles was doing his alma mater a solid by showing the world that even the coach at LSU would consider the Michigan gig.

But a quick comparison shows that the LSU job is a better job at the moment.  Louisiana State is equal in money and facilities to Michigan, richer in recruiting base, and more successful on the field in recent years.  It makes sense for Miles to stay in Baton Rouge.

Only it doesn’t. 

The reaction to Miles’ decision to stay in Baton Rouge is mixed.  Some fans simply don’t like him.  To them, his many wins don’t make up for his many gaffes.  And if the fanbase is split over a man who just went 11-2 and won a national crown four seasons ago, well, that doesn’t bode well for the future.  What’s Miles gotta do to win all the Tiger fans over?

Successful coaches who have early success at a program are better off moving when they have the chance.  Miles could have re-set his coaching clock by taking the job in Ann Arbor.  Instead he’ll continue to try to please the same people who weren’t pleased by this season’s 11-2 campaign.  Good luck, Les.

We mentioned our “stay one step of the posse” theory yesterday and not everyone agreed.  One Tiger fan took to our comment boxes to suggest that Miles had more courage than the writer — who would be lily-livered ol’ me — and that he would stay on in Baton Rouge because of it.  Nice.  But taking a new job or staying in an old one has nothing to do with courage.  It has everything to do with making a good business decision.

You can bravely jump out a window… or you can wisely take the elevator.  I’ll salute your bravery as I calmly push the button for the ground floor.  As for Miles, sooner or later he might be pushed out a window in Baton Rouge.

Hopefully that won’t occur.  Hopefully he’ll win some people over with his latest show of loyalty.  For while he’s made the right choice when comparing program-versus-program, he’s made the dangerous choice in terms of long-term fan support.

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Week Eleven BlogPoll Ballot: Auburn Tigers Hold Clear Edge Over Oregon Ducks in Race for No. 1

Content provided by Dawg Sports.

I’m a little late in getting this to you, but here is this week’s BlogPoll ballot, which (a) is resume-based and (b) began with a clean white sheet of paper. Without further ado, I present the top 25 teams in the land, at least as they appear to me:

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Dawg Sports Ballot – Week 12

Rank Team Delta
1 Auburn Tigers
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Boise St. Broncos Arrow_up 1
4 TCU Horned Frogs Arrow_down -1
5 Michigan St. Spartans Arrow_up 1
6 LSU Tigers Arrow_down -1
7 Nebraska Cornhuskers Arrow_up 2
8 Wisconsin Badgers Arrow_up 2
9 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_down -2
10 Oklahoma St. Cowboys Arrow_down -2
11 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_up 3
12 Ohio St. Buckeyes Arrow_down -1
13 Missouri Tigers Arrow_up 3
14 Arkansas Razorbacks Arrow_up 1
15 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_up 3
16 South Carolina Gamecocks
17 Texas A&M Aggies
18 Nevada Wolf Pack Arrow_up 3
19 USC Trojans
20 Mississippi St. Bulldogs Arrow_down -3
21 Arizona Wildcats Arrow_down -8
22 N.C. State Wolfpack
23 Florida St. Seminoles
24 Northern Illinois Huskies
25 Virginia Tech Hokies Arrow_down -5
Dropouts: Iowa Hawkeyes, Utah Utes, Central Florida Knights, Temple Owls, San Diego St. Aztecs, Fresno St. Bulldogs

SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings

I watched portions of the Connecticut-Pittsburgh game on Thursday, the Boise State-Idaho game on Friday, and the Georgia Tech-Miami, Ole Miss-Tennessee, and Fresno State-Nevada games on Saturday. I watched all of the Georgia-Auburn game on Saturday, which explains why I wasn’t in a place where I had any interest in watching the important evening games.

I also considered ranking the Miami Hurricanes, Navy Midshipmen, and Syracuse Orange, in that order. I will be happy to explain any particular placements that appear peculiar to you, but here is the short course on the upper echelon:

  • As a resume ranker, I continue to be amazed that anyone anywhere, much less a majority of pollsters, could possibly rank Oregon ahead of Auburn. The Tigers have beaten five Division I-A teams with winning records; the Ducks have beaten two. The Tigers’ best win was over No. 6 Louisiana State; the Ducks’ best win was over No. 9 Stanford. The Tigers’ second-best win was over No. 14 Arkansas; the Ducks’ second-best win was over No. 19 Southern California. The Tigers’ third- and fourth-best wins were over No. 16 South Carolina and No. 20 Mississippi State, respectively; the Ducks’ third- and fourth-best wins were over . . . whom, exactly? A .500 Cal club in a nailbiter? A home demolition of a UCLA outfit with a 4-5 ledger? Seven of Oregon’s ten wins have come against Division I-AA teams or Division I-A teams with losing records. The Ducks are destroying bad teams every week while winning one or two big games, which is exactly what we excoriate mid-major teams for doing. Auburn is the No. 1 team in the country, and it isn’t close.
  • The Broncos inched ahead of the Horned Frogs by virtue of the increasing value associated with Boise State’s season-opening win over No. 25 VPI. Texas Christian did not impress against San Diego State, and their supposedly marquee wins over Air Force, Baylor, and Utah have lost considerable luster.
  • Among 9-1 clubs, the Spartans edged the Bayou Bengals by virtue of Michigan State’s best win (over No. 8 Wisconsin), which eclipsed LSU’s top triumph (over No. 11 Alabama). The Cornhuskers’ best victory (over No. 10 Oklahoma State) actually is better than the Tigers’ premiere scalp, as well, but Nebraska was penalized for falling to six-loss Texas and Louisiana State was rewarded for a quality loss in a close game on the road against undefeated Auburn.
  • The Badgers were buoyed by wins over No. 12 Ohio State and Iowa, but every other Division I-A victory carded by Wisconsin came against a team that is 4-6 or worse. The Cardinal likewise suffers from a lack of quality wins after those over No. 19 USC and No. 21 Arizona. There’s only so far victories over a pair of 7-3 teams will carry you when you’re claiming wins over two-win clubs like Wake Forest and Washington State, as well.
  • I believe the Crimson Tide are better than the Cowboys, but the Pokes’ 9-1 ledger (featuring six wins over teams at or above .500) was superior to Alabama’s 8-2 record (including four wins over teams at or above .500). Likewise, the Buckeyes haven’t beaten anyone I deemed deserving of a spot in the top 25, while Mizzou has defeated two (No. 15 Oklahoma and No. 17 Texas A&M), but Ohio State is 9-1 with a loss to my No. 8 team, whereas the Tigers are 8-2 with a loss to a Texas Tech team that sits at 5-5.
  • The Razorbacks are ahead of the Sooners because the Hogs’ top two triumphs (over No. 16 South Carolina and No. 17 Texas A&M) are superior to Oklahoma’s (against No. 23 Florida State and Air Force). The character of their respective losses influenced me, as well; each lost at least somewhat respectably to an 8-2 opponent (Arkansas to Alabama and Oklahoma to Missouri), but the Razorbacks’ other loss was to No. 1 Auburn and the Sooners’ second setback was to No. 17 Texas A&M.

After that, it’s a bit of a hodgepodge, but feel free to fire away with your questions and constructive criticisms in the comments below.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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