Joe Alleva just sent the Tiger faithful a letter about this season and the future of the football program. As always, as a public service, I translate it from AD-speak to plain English. You're welcome.
WHAT HE SAID: The end of the college football season always generates fervid conversation. We look back at the past year and reflect on both the highlights and the "what-could-have beens." Schools like LSU that play at the elite level of college football generate even more debate about what went right and what went wrong.
WHAT HE MEANT: Stop sending me letters and email. I don't want to get fired. Jeez, I thought the lacrosse scandal was bad at Duke, but you people are insane. We went 9-4! Isn't that good? I don't want to get fired for going 9-4. I didn't think that was possible.
WHAT HE SAID: Let me open this letter by emphasizing that I share the passion for winning that is the hallmark of LSU's faithful. I want to make it clear that LSU is committed to having a football program that regularly plays for championships.
WHAT HE MEANT: Nine and four! We went to a January 1st bowl! Come on, people! Work with me! I really don't want to move.
WHAT HE SAID: LSU did not win a football championship in 2009, so there is room for improvement. It is hard to be too critical of a season in which three of the four losses came against teams that won 11, 13 and 14 games, including the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in America. LSU led both Alabama and Penn State in the fourth quarter and, with a few breaks, could have challenged Florida. Very few teams in the country can make that claim.
WHAT HE MEANT: How can I put a positive spin on things? Hey, we lost to good teams! Pay no attention to the Ole Miss game. If we were just lucky like those bastards in Tuscaloosa, we'd have another crystal football. Yeah! Les tells me we're winning the title next year. Because if we don't, we're both getting canned.
9-4! How is that not good enough for you unreasonable bastards? I came here from Duke. Hell, it took Duke football three seasons to win nine games. Do you know how good you have it? Don't you people remember Curly Hallman? How am I on the hot seat?
WHAT HE MEANT: Jesus Christ, people. We're awesome! It's never been better! How on earth can your standards be so high? Why did Saban have to win a fucking title? No one wins more than us. Well, except Florida. But they are Florida. Please visit the national title trophies and calm down. And write more donation checks. We need the cash to pay for Crowton's buyout. Or else we're stuck with him.
On a personal note, whoever keeps keying my car... please stop. I get it.
WHAT HE SAID: Under the leadership of Coach Miles, LSU has 18 wins over Top 25 opponents, including eight over Top 10 teams. Until the Capital One Bowl, Coach Miles had won every non-conference game he had coached at LSU, including wins over the likes of Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
WHAT HE MEANT: Look at that resume! Oh, God. My wagon is totally hitched to Miles. If he doesn't win a title next year, I'm totally screwed. I don't want to be looking for a job in this market. I can't believe I'm in trouble here. Once again, you people are insane.
WHAT HE SAID: Every year, athletic directors and head coaches evaluate their programs, making whatever adjustments are necessary to stay on top of the game. I am personally committed to working with Coach Miles to evaluate and improve all aspects of our football program to keep us strong and competing for championships. LSU had a nice season in 2009 with nine wins and a New Year's Day bowl game. On the other hand, being "nice" is not our annual goal. We intend to contend for - and win - championships at LSU.
WHAT HE MEANT: 9-4! New Years Day! Top 25 ranking! Do any of these things register as good? Or is it really title or bust? Because if it is, we're gonna have to hire a guy to poison Saban's coffee.
Hey, Les. If you don't win the SEC next year, I'm taking you down with me. You're a nice guy. I like you. But I also like my big office and my nice house. Win me a title or else you're fired. Look at Frank Solich. Solich is a nice guy, too. But he lost at Nebraska. That guy is currently working for OHIO. Not Ohio St. Ohio. You screw with me and I swear by all that's holy you'll be coaching a MAC team in 2012.
WHAT HE SAID: Improvements are already underway. We will work hard in the off-season to make the adjustments necessary to compete for a championship in 2010. After a troubling season on defense in 2008, Coach Miles re-tooled his defense and the Tigers ranked No. 12 in the country in scoring defense this year. This season, our offense floundered as it slipped to a No. 112 ranking in the nation - a statistic certainly not indicative of a championship-caliber team. I am confident there will be the necessary improvement on offense in 2010.
WHAT HE MEANT: It's Crowton's fault. And we would fire him, but we can't afford the buyout. Please, someone take him off my hands.
WHAT HE SAID: LSU has just come off the greatest decade in school history. We have facilities that rank among the best in the country. We are playing in the greatest conference in America. Our program is committed not only to winning and flourishing in any one year, but to maintaining and energizing the tradition of victorious seasons, year in and year out. The passion of our fans is second to none. We will always try for bigger and better accomplishments, so let's celebrate the fact that LSU football is thriving and the crystal ball is always in reach.
WHAT HE MEANT: In - sane. I hate you. All of you. We haven't bought ANY goodwill with those two national title trophies? TWO! What's wrong with you? I want to move back to Duke, where people only flip out when a bunch of rich kids allegedly assault a hooker.
WHAT HE SAID: As always, we welcome your comments at email@example.com. Unfortunately we cannot answer every e-mail we receive, but please be assured they are all read.
WHAT HE MEANT: Please stop emailing us. We're just bulk deleting everything.
WHAT HE SAID: Geaux Tigers!
WHAT HE MEANT: Bartender! More whiskey!