Let’s start here, with Skip Bertman’s interview on 104.5 ESPN with Charles Hanagriff and Jimmy Ott. Because it’s great.
In the first hour, Skip discusses Nick Saban and then gets into Saban leaving and the hiring of Les Miles. He said people at Michigan State were kind of worn out with Nick Saban by the time he went to LSU in 1999. He was ready to go and sent his wife to go look at the school. When he told his staff he was going to LSU and asked how many wanted to go with him...no one did. But he immediately knew who he wanted for his staff at LSU. Skip said Mark Emmert was most responsible for hiring Saban and not him. His opening salary was $1.2m. Saban, like he’s done everywhere he’s been, asked for a bunch such as a football complex and athletics center. Skip joked that they called it “Sabanville.” Saban would have been the highest paid coach in America whether he won the Sugar Bowl in 2003 or not. He was getting the deal. Every year Jimmy Sexton would come with either the Bears, Jaguars, Lions, etc. about a pro team being interested. Miami however raised alarm bells and Saban got $6m and Skip said he couldn’t compete anymore. Skip quoted Saban, saying Nick told him “if I don’t take this offer, I’ll never get another one.” He really didn’t want to go, but Wayne Huizenga gave him a grandfather offer. Later on he talks about Saban sort of wearing everyone down with all his demands.
Now we get into some really good stuff on the Miles hiring. They talked to Houston Nutt, but Frank Broyles went to the media and said he wanted to go to LSU immediately, which meant Nutt needed a decision immediately but couldn’t get it. Skip tells the story of President Bush 41 calling him to recommend RC Slocum. But ultimately he wasn’t strong enough. A lot of this is also covered in a piece by Ross Dellenger of the Advocate which is linked too. Bertman wanted Steve Spurrier, who admired his baseball accomplishments. He liked him a lot, but some around LSU didn’t like Spurrier because of him running it up every year. However, he said he could not wait on LSU and was going to South Carolina. Skip says they looked at Frank Beamer and he went and talked to him, but he had some raise coming and wasn’t really interested. We get into Skip selling everyone on Miles. He said he did it in Daytona Beach, waiting for Jack Del Rio in his car to get off the phone with his agent whether he would or would not be breaching his contract by taking the meeting. Del Rio never left his car. He had Sean O’Keefe the Chancellor and his people plus some others. He spoke out for Les Miles, going to bat for his character beyond football. It was a bigger audience then usual, but convinced people and Les also had a good interview. Skip dances around the issue a bit, but seems to indicate O’Keefe was a pretty crappy chancellor. This was funny. Lots of praise for Les from Bertman, though he fully supports the decision because he’s all for whatever LSU does.
Skip makes a very good point about “fan fatigue” taking place with Les Miles, who as good as he was, slipped down and wasn’t getting it done for the expectations the fans wanted. Take it for what it’s worth, but he says he really likes Joe Alleva and think he’ll do a good job. Also believes that Alleva will make this hire and won’t have 16 other people on the board of directors or anyone doing it for him. You do need the attention and to get everyone on board, but he didn’t have it back in November of last year. After the Wisconsin loss though, he did and that put it all in motion. He has has same worries as others that LSU could become Tennessee or Michigan, going through coach after coach. He then mentions the great juicy detail of all this: Les Miles turned down the Michigan job in 2011, when Michigan offered him more money. He would never say it, but Skip says he was there and Miles turned down the Michigan job. Dave Brandon flew down on his Domino’s Plane saying he needed an answer or he’d hire Brady Hoke. Miles said no, Hoke got the job.
He has some great thoughts on potential candidates such as Jimbo and Tom Herman, who he’s big fans of, but the highlight was SKIP BERTMAN ROASTING BOBBY PETRINO ON RADIO. Oh man it was great. He basically trashed him as a human being, calling out his character and saying his interview was absolutely terrible. It was so good. He also says similar stuff about Lane Kiffin.
Anyhow, that was a long recap for a Gumbo, but there’s so much good stuff in there. (Hour 1, Hour 2 )The full two hours are here along with The Advocate piece on how they made the decision to hire Miles.
Coach O did his first radio show on Wednesday and it was pretty entertaining to say the least. There’s a lot of stuff on what he’d like to do with the offense, what he can do in such a short time frame for Mizzou. O also spoke French at one point - http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_bc758a10-85d4-11e6-b3b9-d37898d5175e.html
A scheduling change has occurred. LSU has scheduled Nicholls Stace in 2020 and will be dropping Idaho - http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_1eb8a6ee-85ad-11e6-9463-871fdc79f3e0.html
After his charges were dropped, Davon Godchaux has been reinstated to the team, but it’s wait and see on when he will be playing again. Leonard Fournette is also a game time decision vs Mizzou - http://www.tigerrag.com/ed-orgeron-davon-godchauxs-suspension-lifted-leonard-fournette-a-game-time-decision-for-saturday/
The first practice for Coach O on Monday was a lot different than what a Monday practice under Les Miles looked like - http://www.tigerrag.com/certainly-nice-body-interim-coach-ed-orgerons-refresing-new-approach-practice/
Couple of LSU’s defensive lineman are very happy to see Pete Jenkins working with the Tigers - http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_65320b20-84ee-11e6-a75e-935197884ccc.html
Changes continue to ring around with LSU. One of them is ex players being allowed to walk down Victory Hill with the team and attend practice - http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_dbcd9af6-84da-11e6-a366-c3b094fb1c4c.html
Piece on now new LSU OC Steve Ensminger - http://www.espn.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/121502/past-acquaintances-say-steve-ensminger-could-be-the-steadying-force-lsus-offense-needs
One prominent college football analyst has just the guy for LSU to replace Les Miles with. You probably know him - https://www.seccountry.com/lsu/kirk-herbstreit-says-tom-herman-is-perfect-for-the-lsu-job
Jimbo Fisher gave the usual non committal answer on LSU, which means absolutely nothing probably - http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/sports/lsu/article_1bfb86aa-859a-11e6-87a0-1397835d0247.html