The time to close out the LSU football season is now. Even though the Tigers had a great season, this is going to seem like an obituary column.
That's all you can really say about the season that saw Jarrett Lee lead the Tigers to eight straight wins when Jordan Jefferson was suspended and trying to get into football shape. Then after a bad game against Alabama, Jefferson took the reigns from Lee for good. The coaching staff cashed it all in with Jefferson, and in perhaps the worst game in his career (and his last), Jefferson was the 60-minute gamble by Miles and his offensive staff which rolled up snake-eyes. The whole scene was reminiscent of when New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett did the same with Aaron Brooks in 2002 with a bum shoulder, when a healthy Jake Delhomme was on the bench and could have delivered a trip to the playoffs for the Saints.
I know all about the one touchdown and seven interceptions that Lee had in a career against the Crimson Tide, but could the outcome been any worse than it was sticking with Jefferson? Really?
From the outset, you could see that Alabama had the better team, the better gameplan and the better coaching staff to carry out the victory. As the first half came to a close, I actually thought we would see a motivated and refocused LSU bunch, but when all I saw was the same old sleepwaking team, I knew the outcome would not be good, unless something or someone would give the Tigers a spark. I still think Lee could maybe have given the offensive players the feeling the coaching staff did not give up on them, but when it was still 12-0 early in the 4th quarter, the team pretty much quit on the coaches when they stuck with Jefferson.
All the national media was proven right when they pretty much said that Alabama beat themselves in the first meeting in November. Miles could not beat Saban twice in the same season based on what we saw last night.
The scary part is that the Alabama defense has many pieces coming back, and a now experienced championship winning quarterback in McCarron. LSU does have key pieces on their defense coming back, but the Tigers will have a new quarterback and receivers in Kadron Boone, James Wright and Jarvis Landry who were so forgotten to cause a situation to make one wonder why they recruited them in the first place. Landry did at least contribute to the special teams this year.
As someone who witnessed James Wright first hand as a prep play-by-play announcer and reporter, I feel he would be better served elsewhere. If someone with an offensive mind like Doug Williams got him to Grambling, I bet he could prove Miles wrong about his ability. Williams could get him NFL-ready in the two years Wright has left. At least in my opinion.
The fact that Miles won in 2007 with Saban's guys was proven last night, even though the players are now all his. He just doesn't have the ability to outcoach a great coach in Saban. It's also time to give up on all the "Satan" stuff since he left LSU for the Miami Dolphins before landing in Tuscaloosa when he was looking for a job in college. Saban left LSU in great shape.
As for as 2012 goes, will the Tigers be able to pass more downfield with bigger guys with stronger passing arms of the new quarterbacks taking over? Or will the staff continue to run, run, run.
That's why Bobby Hebert hounded Les Miles last night, and really did not get an answer. There is no answer for it.
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