Sunday, October 31, 2010

Miles to Go?

People in Baton Rouge are crazy, especially when it comes to LSU.

Tiger Mania has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. I haven't been keeping up with the Bayou Bengals, but when I heard the fans were coming down hard on the coaches, I had to find out why. Hearing allegations of poor clock management and poor play calling sounds like some heartbreaking losses were stacking up for the Tigers, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out they were undefeated at the time.

Only in Baton Rouge could you find a mass number of fans unhappy with a 7-0 start to the season. Just a few years ago they were cheering Les Miles for his gutsy play-calling on his way to LSU's second BCS championship of the decade. Now those same fans are berating that same style; I guess it's making the game too interesting for them.

I've only watched a couple of games this season, and only half-heartedly at that. What I've see from Miles and his coaches is solid work. In the Auburn game, it wasn't anything the coaches did that led to that loss. The defense played a great game to keep the score close, and that game showcased some of the most outstanding punting you'll probably see all year. Auburn had to fight for nearly every yard of turf, most times starting on their own goal-line.

It was the play of the offense that let everyone down in that game. The plays called were dead on, as were many of the passes, but key throws were dropped by receivers that should have been able to catch them. Open men dropping balls that, if caught, would have meant serious yards, and maybe more points.

In the end the defense spent too many minutes on the field and were worn down by the stellar play of the probable Heisman Trophy winner for this year. LSU fans will try to blame the coaches, but they're not on the field. If the players can't get their heads in the game, the coaches can't step in and play for them.

I'm a fan of Les Miles. He seems to be a decent man who cares about the players in his charge, and has faith in those players to make the plays. Otherwise he wouldn't call the fake punt or go for it on 4th-and-1. I'd love to see more coaches like Miles, who bring excitement to the game, and I'd hate to see anyone fired over the fickle nature of the fans.