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Program Direction

I think the LSU football program has suffered from some bad luck this year.  It is clear that the unfortunate quarterback situation has probably cost us at least one and possibly two games this year.  I think if we had average quarterbacking, we probably would have won the Bama game, and may have won the Georgia game.  If that had happened, where would this team be now?  Would we have played so listlessly against Ole Miss?

Granted, I don't think there was much LSU could have done to beat Florida the way they played that day.  Florida had laid its egg for the season against Ole MIss, and they just didn't do it again.  If Florida had played like they played against Ole Miss, we could well have beaten them, but the Florida team we faced was very different from the one that had lost a couple weeks earlier.

But LSU has not just suffered from bad luck.  We also took a couple of missteps, most notably I believe it is apparent that the defensive coordinator position must be shaken up.  I don't necessarily think either Bradley Dale Peveto or Doug Mallory need to be sacked, but the defensive schemes and plans have failed miserably, particularly in the secondary.  

Sometimes, when a team goes to a multi wide receiver set, it looks like we are playing with 10 men.  The players miss a lot of assignments, and often play so softly in coverage that they just concede first downs or solid gains without a fight.  I don't know if that problem is a) the players, b) the fact that their position coach is responsible for the defense as a whole and does not have enough time to devote to them, c) that the position coach is not a competent coach, or d) some combination, but whatever it is it has to be corrected.  If it can be corrected by moving Mallory back to a full time position coach, that's fine.  If we need a new secondary coach, that's fine too.  

I think Les Miles has been a good coach for us, and he will certainly have an opportunity to right the ship here.  But he MUST right it, or at the very least he must do something that will have a good chance of righting it.  If Les Miles sticks with the status quo, he is betting his job on the gamble that the secondary play will improve dramatically next year.  

Even if Les Miles genuinely believes that Mallory and Peveto are doing a fine job as co-DC's and as position coaches, he would be smart to make a change anyway to avoid the perception that he's blind to the problems and digging his head in the sand.  He must do something to win back the confidence of the fan base, because if he thinks they showed little patience this year, he should see what happens next year if he changes nothing and the problems persist.  If he changes nothing, the fans will be merciless the first time a receiver is left open down the field, even if that's in the 10th game of the season.

Which brings me to the last topic in this discussion of the direction of the program: the fans.  Guys, the leaving early and the booing have to stop.  This is not the New York Knicks or the Philadelphia Flyers.  We are not a fickle, negative group of hard-nosed yankees who revel in our love-hate relationship with the team.  We are a proud football program in the southern tradition of worshiping the ground our team walks on, even when they're not as good as hoped.  Plus, it actually does hurt the program to have the stadium half-empty midway through the fourth quarter, even when the game is pretty much decided.  

I'm not saying everyone should stay to the bitter end, but having so many of us leave so early is getting embarrassing.  And the boos?  There's just no way that's helpful.  The boos do nothing but hurt the team and embarrass the program.  You should never do it.  NEVER.