I come here to bury Saban, not to praise him;
The games that past coaches have won live on after them,
and the lost games are oft forgotten with their leaving,
So let it be with Saban.
The most popular message threads on LSU message boards nowadays are about Les Miles and specifically about how every one of the posters knows more about not just football, than Miles, but also about the personnel and players and the opposing teams and their game plans and abilities
Often people on either side of the debate go on endlessly about
- Why Saban who ranks a 10 as a girlfriend is not as good for us as reliable old Les at 8.5
- How Les manages to be a good CEO without actually being a technical person.
- How we will lose recruits based on the lack of play calling or defensive masterminds
A sample conversation on the TD rant goes on like this
Ranter 1: "Do you have any proof to suggest that Les Miles is merely a game manager who brings donuts to the table - anything at all - a link or quote or even audio clipping from a player/coach/administration member ?"
Ranter 4: " Why don't we bring back Hallman."
Rival Ranter : "Teh Miles Sux - thank god that doofus is your coach --- hyuk hyuk hyuk"
Who started or where did it start that Les is only a CEO who hires Coordinators and then gets in their way and god willing our Xtreme Athelets somehow manage to come through and save the day or lose it thanks to Les.
Everyone compares the ranking analogy of "10" with the "8.5" and don't realize that the 10 itself is only based on perception and not on real results as is the 8.5
Someone starts this somewhere (ala our corndog story) and soon it propagates around and is then often thought of and accepted as a fact. When all that matters is just one thing - the results at the end of the game - NOT EVEN DURING THE GAME - ONLY the end of the game.
The guy who has won more games is the Champion - If it be because he worships at the altar of Fortuna and is on top of her Rota so be it - that is indeed then his lucky fate.
The national media does its part for this by implying that certain coaches are superstars - they have to do this because they do this with everything otherwise people don't pay attention to them.
Why is it that Big game Bob (stoops) is still thought of as a superior coach when he has lost so often during the season to lesser teams and then in the Big Bowls as well? My guess is he generates big offenses and that makes a bigger impression that mere Wins.
For that matter why is it that these same rantards keep forgetting that Les beat BGB Stoops with lesser talent - did his players win those games?
Why is it then that GREAT coaches like Saban or Stoops get their ASS handed to them in Bowls on a not infrequent basis (stoops more than saban)?
I can understand that there is always a reason why they lose in the regular season - What is it for the Bowls?
Parity has equalized the talent level across top schools that only game planning and strategy matters - so why is it that they fail so badly?
I think we are in uncharted territory for the first time in many years.
We had a coach win the NC in 2003 ( with a lot of luck and help from many other schools including Hawaii to get to the Title game) and then he punted the next season (2004) and pissed the fans(and players/coaches?) off at the end of the season as well.
We had a coach win the NC in 2007 ( with a lot of luck and help from other schools to get to the Title game) and then he punted the next season (2008) and pissed the fans (and players?) BUT he showed them a glimpse of great fortune again at the end of the year and DIDN'T LEAVE the team to go somewhere else.
So now we have a coach who has recruited well and is staying even after winning the NC. We still retain the insecurity of being the stepchild(and maybe even orphan) with regards to championships and more importantly Perception in world's eye that not even 2 NCs are able to vanquish.
This is a good sign in any organization that we want to aspire for greatness but to confuse not achieving perfection with mediocrity is a sign of stupidity. We should see where we are with regards to everyone else and then judge whether we are indeed failing and falling. ( This needn't affect our personal desire to achieve perfection).
I agree that on paper the two greatest coaches of our time are Meyer and Carroll and they have had the right location, resources and players at the right time. Even so had Carroll had the Cal/Oregon/Stanford/UCLA losses that prevented them from playing for another NC. No coach can have complete control every single game and shit happens.
We can't have it both ways - say that the players won it for Miles but the losses are solely on him.
Folks assume that he was fine with last year or any of the earlier losses BUT his actions clearly show that he has taken steps to rectify the issues. I am not saying that he might not be Bad at game planning but I am willing to reserve judgment till the time that he actually deserves it - not when he is keeping us constantly at the top.
We are really in a great period of time where the National Media ( despite all of its whining) is still ranking us in the Top 10 based on our Historical strength (which is what we used to accuse the ex-powers Nebraska, Miami, ND and Michigan of doing).
Remember to enjoy this period more than to complain lest you regret missing this feeling later.