Ed. Note: The SBNation blogs of the SEC are working to determine what is the biggest disaster in SEC history. Some blogs have chosen coaching hires that crippled programs while others have chosen specific horrific games. Instead of polling our readers, the ATVS staff has decided that there is only one option for LSU's submission to the list.
There are two words that terrify every LSU fan right down to his or her very core. They hold such power, it can make a grown man weep. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to LSU's football program in over one hundred years. These words portend disaster.
Don't say his name three times in a row or he might show up again.
Look, every fan of every program has a coach that they can't stand, and use as a stand in for every lousy coaching decision the program has ever made. Alabama has Mike Shula. Florida has Ron Zook. Mississippi has pretty much every person they have hired since 1970, but especially Ed Orgeron. But Zook and Shula at least had winning seasons. OK, Orgeron didn't, but how is that different from the average Ole Miss coach?
When Curley Hallman took the LSU job, LSU had never had more than two consecutive losing seasons in its entire history. Well, Hallman took that as a challenge and completely rewrote the LSU record book on futility. He inherited a 5-6 team coming off of two straight losing seasons, and he righted the ship.
Right into the iceberg.
Curley Hallman guided LSU through the worst period in its entire football history. His tenure is not just the biggest disaster in LSU history, it is simply THE Disaster in LSU history. His mismanagement of the program has permanently scarred an entire generation of LSU fans. Heck, I can't even look at a Golden Flake potato chip without busting out into hives.
His record of ineptitude stands unmatched in the annals of Tiger football history. Four seasons, all of them below .500. So not only is he the only coach in LSU history to have coached at least ten games and post a losing record, he posted a losing record in each and every season. Every one of his teams allowed more points than they scored. This wasn't a team that was on the cusp and just got unlucky, the Curley Hallman teams flat out stunk.
He was hired in 1990 and he immediately showed all Tiger fans what we could expect over his tenure: losing. His first game was a 31-10 loss to Georgia. Showing that was no accident, he followed that up with a 45-7 loss to Texas A&M. To put that in perspective, the 1990 team under Archer actually beat A&M. His team closed out the year with a legendary fight in Broussard Hall with the basketball team. There's no word on who won the fight, but he probably lost that, too.
His 1992 season was his true masterpiece. The Tigers went 2-9, LSU first two-win season since World War II. Bernie Moore's 1944 team went 2-5-1, but he gets a bit of a pass because it was during a world war, and his next two teams would go a combined 16-3-1. The 1992 team lost to Colorado St. they lost to Kentucky. They were shut out by Tennessee and then again by Ole Miss. LSU suffered its single worst lost to the Rebels in the program's history, losing 32-0. And Ole Miss wasn't terribly good either. If it wasn't for Tulane and Mississippi State, well, let's not even go there.
His teams didn't just lose, they lost in such soul crushing manner that the losses still resonate twenty years later. The Six Interception Game has become lore. The less said about the 58-3 beatdown to Florida in 1993, the worst loss in LSU history, the better.
He also made the single dumbest decision I have ever seen a college coach make. In 1994, LSU trailed Texas A&M in its season opener by five points with about two minutes to go. Holding two timeouts and the ball just short of midfield, LSU faced a fourth down. Curley, unbelievably, decided to punt. It was a call so stupid that the other team couldn't quite believe it. They sent out a 4-3 defense against our punt unit because it had to be a fake, because surely no coach is stupid enough to punt in this situation. Curley was. And he did. A&M got the ball, ran out the clock, and won the game. It's been almost 20 years and I still can't believe that actually happened.
What's amazing is that Curley wasn't fired after 1992. Like other dictators, he had a Five Year Plan. Remember, this was a program that had never endured three straight losing seasons in its 100 year history. Hallman took the two year losing streak and tacked on four more. Six consecutive losing seasons, known here as the Dark Ages of LSU football.
His Five Year Plan came to an early end when our AD, Joe Dean, took a few seconds out of his busy day of getting sued over some of the most egregious Title IX violations in intercollegiate history to finally can the head football coach. The final straw was when Southern Miss came into Tiger Stadium and walked out with 20-18 victory.
Curley got the LSU job because his Southern Miss teams pulled some big upsets of Auburn and Alabama when he was the coach. This could reflect on his coaching ability, but it probably reflected the fact that Brett Favre was his quarterback.
Curley Hallman never had an All-American at LSU, which was a neat trick considering he had Kevin Mawae on his team (recruited by Archer), and he is probably going to be in the Hall of Fame. He mismanaged talent, made terrible in game decisions, and brought a once proud program to a historic low.
There is simply no contest here. Curley Hallman is the worst thing to ever happen to LSU football. Hiring him was a mistake, and every year he was not fired was an even bigger mistake. His first two years was so disastrous, it is amazing he was given two more years to further destroy the football program. Hallman is the Hindenberg of LSU football coaches.
Oh God, the humanity.
Notable Hallman Losses
@ Auburn, 1994. LSU blows a 24-9 lead as Jamie Howard throws 4 INTs in the 4th Qtr
vs Florida, 1993. Worst loss ever in program history
P.S. What ever happened to Curley Hallman? After bouncing around for a few years as a defensive coordinator and position coach at Alabama and Mississippi St, Hallman ended up at Muscle Shoals High School in Alabama, where he resigned in 2008 after 4 losing seasons.