By Serenity Bishop
For years, Louisiana State University has been a staple in college football. The rivalry between Alabama and LSU has lifted countless college football seasons. From recruiting to the Heisman Trophy to the NFL Draft, LSU and Alabama have been in countless competitions.
Before Nick Saban dawned the Crimson and White, he was the Head Coach at LSU. In 2005, he left for a head coaching job in the NFL. While Saban was finding out what the NFL was really about, Les Miles was hired as the head coach at LSU and brought the school’s relevancy back.
Just two years into his tenure, Coach Miles brought LSU their first BCS National Championship. Some could say Les Miles was the brains behind LSU football over the past 12 years, but on Sept. 25, 2016, Miles’ reign in Louisiana came to an end.
Les Miles and offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, were both relieved of their duties following their 2-2 start and low scoring loss to Auburn. Yes, the same offense that boosted players such as Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, James Wright and currently Leonard Fournette is the same reason why Miles no longer has his job.
Even though LSU has been dominate over the last decade, the lack of offense, the constant short term success and the failure to keep up with their rival Alabama, is the reason why Coach Miles may be on ESPN College Gameday instead of on the sidelines.
In terms of player success, Miles has been more successful than Alabama’s Coach Saban at getting his players to the next level and having them succeed. Everyone can see that Alabama players don’t perform the way they did at Alabama once they reach the NFL. It’s as if they’ve all hit their peak in college.
Looking at former Tigers, there’s a reason why LSU has more players in the NFL than any other school. Les Miles is a big reason for that, but it’s not the individual success that the college was worried about. LSU wanted championships. After losing to Alabama in the 2011 BCS Championship then seeing them win it two more times in 2012 and 2015, and before in 2009, LSU decided it needed a change.
As I mentioned before, everything is a constant competition with Alabama and Nick Saban. Alabama’s four championships compared to Les Miles one at LSU began to be too much and something had to be done.
The story of LSU cannot be written without a chapter on Les Miles. His greatness at LSU has been well documented in the record books as well as in the individual hearts of every single player he has coached. Miles’ legacy will continue, but just not in Louisiana. Miles isn’t too worried though. He’ll count his 9.6 million dollars from LSU over the next six years as he prepares for his next college football takeover.