clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

...What the hell happened?

A little more insight into the past week's events.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Well, as widely reported, Les Miles will be staying as LSU's head coach, per the postgame press conference from Saturday night's 19-7 win over Texas A&M.

So what the hell happened? How did Miles go from being so fired that we couldn't see any other scenario playing out to now, with Mark Richt's ouster, the sitting dean of SEC head coaches?

Per a source, there was no third-quarter decision, as Joe Schad reported. There was no "if he wins on Saturday."

The answer is what you should probably expect in Louisiana most of the time: politics. Ultimately, LSU is a university ruled by them right now, and nobody has a coalition or a consensus on just what to do going forward. And so the result is nothing is getting done, and the program will simply have to pick up the pieces going forward.

Yes, LSU had reached out to Jimbo Fisher. Not Joe Alleva, but parties in the athletic department's behalf. The kind of entreaties that get made in these situations. Is he interested, what would he have in mind for the program, numbers, etc... And we all heard the talk get out regarding names of possible assistants, who on LSU's current staff was staying and going, etc... Of course, without an actual opening, all of this was irrelevant. And until there was an opening, the man making the decision here, Joe Alleva, would not be in touch with Fisher or agent Jimmy Sexton.

Meanwhile, as the public sentiment swung wildly behind keeping Miles, the consensus behind the scenes further splintered among the people who are, ultimately, Alleva's bosses. Boosters, university leadership, Board of Supervisors members, university president F. King Alexander, etc... Should we keep Les? Should we hire Jimbo? Is Fisher the only coach worth firing Les to get? Are we willing to spend some $15 million to fire one head coach, plus another $5 million just for the right to pay the next one $6-7 million a year? If Fisher balks, does LSU make a move anyway and figure out where to go from there?

There was no consensus, and so there was no decision. Paralysis by politics. Fisher told people on the FSU side that he would be staying Saturday morning. Maybe this was a simple Sextoning and FSU came through with some new incentives or concessions to keep it's coach. Or maybe Fisher observed how disorganized the situation was on LSU's end and decided to simply stay put rather than get involved. Either way, without a sure thing in Fisher, LSU chose to stay with Miles.

Some have speculated that this situation will leave to Alleva's ouster. He has a contract that runs through 2020, so I'm not sure he'd be outright fired, but I wouldn't blame him if he started looking to move on to another job himself. Ultimately, if your bosses won't allow you to run your department as you see fit, is it even worth it?

As for the football program, there is certainly still change coming. Nothing seems set, but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's contract is up, and there was very little talk of an extension even when this team was 7-0, which is part of what led to Feleipe' Franks looking to move on. Frank Wilson or Ed Orgeron could both pursue head coach vacancies, of which there are many. Those openings could also lead to possible promotions for defensive backs coach Corey Raymond. To say nothing of the near universally unpopular Bradley Dale Peveto, although with his significant recruiting presence in this class, any move on him would almost certainly wait until February.

If I'm a betting man, I don't think Kevin Steele moves on, especially if Orgeron stays. I imagine Miles will want to give him a chance to work with more players, and this defense simply had too many depth problems. In terms of an OC, I would definitely expect Missouri's Josh Henson to come up. He played for Miles at Oklahoma State and was the tight ends coach here on Miles' first staff. Whether or not Miles will be pushed to hire a stronger, more independent coordinator is a question I can't answer right now. But again, trying to force something on a head coach that doesn't want it is never a good decision. As for other names that could be involved, we'll work to put together a list as soon as we get some more clarity going forward.

For the time being, LSU has answered at least one question for the football program. But there are still a number that remain.