If you don’t believe in miraculous events, I invite you to follow the 2010 LSU Bayou Bengals football team. Despite what appeared to be an unbelievably hard schedule before the season started, the Tigers have managed to go through the first quarter of the schedule with an unblemished record with the help of suspensions, overhyped teams, and a stellar defense. This alone is not miraculous. What is astounding is how we’ve won with an absolutely inept offense, with an emphasis on poor play-calling, QB play, and poor strategy.
The worst play in our playbook seems to be anything that involves Jordan Jefferson touching the ball for more than 3 seconds. Should Jefferson have to make a decision, all hope is sure to be lost. He was praised for a dual talent attack. He was recruited as a scrambler with a good arm and even better footwork. However, he can’t make up his mind on the fly and is usually rendered totally useless in most situations. In his defense, he was probably thrown into the fire too quickly. He had a stellar first game and expectations were lifted to nearly impossible heights. However, all LSU fans would like to see is moderate success and competence. We have won national championship with less than outstanding talent but with excellent game management. Jefferson fails in both categories. He often underthrows his receivers and decides to run when the opportunity is gone. That said, I can’t pin all the blame on Jefferson.
Gary Crowton should also take some heat. His grab-bag offensive style eliminates any advantage our skill players have against our adversaries. I trust Crowton can have success but he needs to recognize the tools he has and use them to their maximum potential. He should comprehend that running the option doesn’t work and that he shouldn’t call it, ever again, in his life. A good OC should adjust the playbook to his players’ aptitudes. His QB is a terrible decision maker so take the decisions out of the equation. If you have to stay with Jefferson, dumb down the playbook. It worked for JaMarcus, it can perhaps work for JJ.
When things are going south, you must look to the top for a solution and that’s where Miles comes in. Let’s face it, LSU is handcuffed. Miles has proven to be a not so good coach but somehow, he manages to win games. Currently, he is the best head coach LSU has had in terms of winning percentage. He’s won a NC and an SEC title in his 5 years as head coach. He did this by taking tons of risks which was, honestly, refreshing to see. It was a win at all cost type mentality that made him both loved and hated by the fan base. That attitude has turned into get the lead and hold on, which is precarious. Miles’ loyalty makes him a good person and a bad coach. In 2008, his commitment to then freshman Jarrett Lee was problem. He was diffident to switching QB’s on the fly and it took an injury to Lee to get JJ in the game. Now, when it is apparent the Lee might actually be the better choice, despite his track record for throwing pick-sixes, he refuses to yield from his game plan. Miles has stated that Lee is a strong contender for the starting role, why not put him in? Certainly, Lee has grown-up from his freshman year. He has a better understanding of the game plan than Jefferson. He has a superior throw to Jefferson, and I’m confident he has the enthusiasm to prove that 2008 was a fluke year. He’s displayed a commitment to the program; why not give him another shot?
If Miles wants security as head coach, he had better make some changes; He’s walking a perilously thin line between being a contender to falling off the map. We want wins, SEC and National titles but the fans of LSU are not blind to the reality that we can’t win it every year. Let’s put it in a cliché way. The program has the right ingredients for a winning team, an excellent gumbo if you will. We need the people cooking it to put the right ingredients in to make it work.