Two years ago, you would have had a hard time convincing me that LSU would be able to keep up its recruiting prowess after the loss of Nick Saban. But you have to credit Les Miles and his staff for putting together back-to-back outstanding classes. He's done a better job than I -- or pretty much any purple and gold clad fan -- would have imagined and I think it's time for him to feel some major love from the Tiger nation. For the love, he's 22-4 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, if you throw out both initial recruiting classes for Saban and Miles, Les has actually been better at this point. Saban's first real class, in 2001, was ranked either No. 1 or 2 in the country with guys like Marcus Spears, Michael Clayton and Marquise Hill. But his second was ranked 15th. By comparison, Miles' first two have been seventh and fourth. Where Saban became revered were his 2003 and 2004 classes that finished 1-2. I fully expect Miles to challenge that status next year.
LSU's class this year ranked fourth on Rivals and was one player (what were you thinking Joe?) away from finishing second. And, if you believe that Rivals point system is consistent from year to year, it was actually better than the Tigers 2003 class that ranked No. 1 (2,695 pts this year, 2,626 in 03). Over the last two years, only Florida and USC have had better classes.
So, Les, you've got me pumped about 2007 already. You've officially won over this Tiger fan.