STFU, Les.

I realize that the Sturm und Drang we hear from the coaches at the SEC meetings is essentially window dressing – don’t forget, last year they unanimously voted against the roster management rules that were passed by the presidents a day later – but that doesn’t mean Les Miles hasn’t been showing his ass in a major way this week.

Yesterday I wondered if Miles’ complaint about LSU playing Florida on a permanent basis was about him or if he was making a bigger argument about the conference as a whole.  I guess with his AD whining about other schools’ selfishness on the issue, the Hat chose to go all in.

“Mississippi State is going to play Kentucky every year, and I think that is disproportionate,” Tigers coach Les Miles told reporters Wednesday at the gathering in Destin, Fla. “I’m not for Auburn playing Georgia every year. Again, it’s disproportionate. I think there should be an opportunity to see a greater segment of the conference.”

It turns out that Dan Mullen isn’t for Les Miles.  Booyah!

… This, of course, led to the response from Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, which was a G-rated version of what he really wanted to say.

“I’ve been in this league for a while, and I have a national championship ring from when my crossover games at the University of Florida that year (2006) were Auburn, Alabama and LSU,” Mullen said. “Is that fair? But we still won a national title. I don’t see how there’s any relevance to that.”

I know it’s hard to believe, but it doesn’t appear that Miles and LSU are winning many converts (“Reporters struggled, though, to find other coaches coming forth in agreement with Miles…”) on the issue.

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UPDATE:  Make sure you read this terrific post at And The Valley Shook.  Particularly this:

That said, permanent rivals are important. They also strengthen the bonds of the conference, and it ensures programs of relative quality play each other every year. More importantly, it preserves two of college football’s greatest rivalries. Alabama-Tennessee gets the press, but I think saving Auburn-Georgia is more important.

Auburn is an Eastern team playing in the West. Their traditional rivals were largely the eastern schools, and they took one for the conference when they agreed to move West. The SEC predates 1992, and Auburn’s already been asked to sacrifice the Florida game, but asking them to also give up the South’s Oldest rivalry is just obscene. That’s not progress, that’s slapping tradition in the face. I think preserving one of the oldest rivalries in sports is not some incidental goal. Auburn’s given up a lot for the SEC, and as their conference mates, we can give them this. Tradition matters. It matters a lot. Even if it’s not my tradition.

It’s sad that the fans grasp this, while the folks in power grow less and less concerned about it.

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35 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

35 responses to “STFU, Les.

  1. Puffdawg

    Les has abruptly and decisively changed his tune in less than a year. So much for it being an “honor” to play the best…

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/feed/2011-10/lsualabama/story/lsu-alabama-nick-saban-les-miles-trent-richardson-jarrett-lee

  2. Lrgk9

    Les needs to go back and practice his cliches…

  3. Senator, regarding your quote of the day, for once I agree with Saban:. If the games outside your division cease to matter in the divisional races, then just schedule those dates with any school you want in the entire country. Branch out and play in areas that might boost recruiting and give your program more exposure. This proposal of Spurrier’s is pretty much just him crying over spilled milk. i say “cry on ‘Ole Ball Coach!”.

    • Scuttlebutt is that Saban was pushing hard yesterday for the conference to go to a nine-game schedule. If that’s true, he deserves credit for taking that stand.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t want to beat it to death but if the SEC goes to a 9 game conference schedule it really ought to go back to the pre-1992 league with 10 teams with all of them playing each other every year. That is the only way to get a true conference champion. Will that happen? No way in hell!

  4. Go Dawgs!

    So now that ass hat is straight up going after the Auburn-Georgia rivalry on the record.

    Eat a dick, Les. The Auburn-Georgia rivalry is one of the most important things to me in the entire world of football. I grew up in Columbus. It’s more than just a game. You take that game away from me, and I’ll seriously start giving MUCH less of a shit about college sports.

  5. Cojones

    So Les thinks it’s disproportionate that he plays FU while we play Auburn? Is it even more disproportionate that we play FU while LSU plays Auburn every year? Duh! Give it a year or two with SC playing A&M for Spurrious to join in when A&M’s spread dumps him a few times. Who said the expansion wasn’t exciting?

    “East is East and West is West” introduces the song “Buttons and Bows” that Spurrious is singing. When the meeting is finished, he’ll go back to Columbia singin’ “Cuttin’ nem Joes” to finish getting his team numbers corrected.

  6. Bulldog Joe

    35-0 in the second half and he puts us on level with Kentucky.
    Ouch.

  7. JasonC

    This is when you want a CBS exec to step in and say, “Florida – LSU, UGA – Auburn and Bama – Tennessee are the type of games we want to showcase on our network. I’d say it’s the difference between an expansion in our current contract and something like an ACC deal.” You know that would be the last we heard on the subject from Les and his p-$$y AD.

  8. Andrew

    Les doesn’t help himself out with SEC fans, but he does have a fair point. He has to play UF every year (over the long haul, a toss up game) while Arky and UA play inferior teams. If your school doesn’t have the traditional rivalry, why make it harder on yourself? Could you imagine if UF drew Miss St. every year from the West? UGA fans would go ballistic when they win 8/10 against MSU and UGA goes 50/50 with AU.

    • Over the long haul, not sure you can differentiate between Florida and Tennessee as you’re doing.

      • Senator, I completely agree. You didn’t hear Fulmer complain about playing Bama when Spurrier was overmatching the run of idiots that were in Red Stick until Little Nicky showed up. Until Arkansas wins a conference championship, I wish people would quit talking about how they’re part of the West’s Big 3. The real Big 3 of the West is Bama, LSU & Auburn.

        • Andrew

          Whether Ark is a part of the Big 3 is irrelevant. They have an easier road to Atl by playing Mizzou instead of UGA,UF, or UT. Is that fair?

          • Andrew, I actually think Ark and Mizzou should be a pretty good match-up given their offenses. The scheduling issues are clearly the result of the law of unintended consequences related to conference expansion.

      • Andrew

        Maybe true, but the long haul doesn’t matter for Miles. He’s been at LSU during UF’s run – not UT’s. And all indications are that UT won’t give UA a game for the next few years. His biggest rival, Saban, will have aneasier road for the bulk of their careers.

        • So why are you talking “over the long haul”? Historically speaking, it’s just a blip.

          • Andrew

            I said that UF LSU is a toss up game. Do you disagree. I then said Mizzou is not on the same caliber as UGA, UF, or UT. Is that fair? If Les cares about winning more than tradition (no crim for a guy paid to win, yea?), how can you fault him for wanting Arkansas to play equal competition?

            • You said, “He has to play UF every year (over the long haul, a toss up game) while Arky and UA play inferior teams.”

              As for your question, how can you guarantee equal competition? In the short run, you can’t. In the medium term, it all averages out. And in the long run, we’re all dead anyway. ;)

              • Andrew

                Ha true and I’m not too burned up about it, but I don’t like that USc has a weaker West game than we do. LSU and UF are pretty balanced and project to be balanced based on resources. Same with UGA and AU. To a slightly lesser degree, I would argue, does UT and UA.

                Mizzou, Ark, SC, A&M, I would say are slightly behind. Should they get an easier road bc they’re generally (not always) behind. I think Les is right that LSU has to fight harder to get to Atlanta than some of his competition.

                • The best way to address his complaint is to go to a nine-game schedule where this would even out more quickly. But that’s not likely to happen.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    In reply to the LSU-Florida game flap, I looked it up and those years in the early/mid 90s when Spurrier-led Gator teams were winning the SEC East almost every year coincide with when LSU was down (4-7ish teams). So SOS has been the beneficiary of a little luck on this issue himself.

    • Bubs

      Meh, you can’t predict where some programs will be in 5-10 years. Look at UF. Who would have thought they would be where they are now after their dominating mid-late 2000s runs? 10 years ago you wouldn’t have guessed that UTk would be where they are now either. Two traditional powers in a down period. Nothing new. Bama was irrelevant in the early 2000s and now have 2 championships in 3 years. We dominated a good part of the early 2000s, went through some average years (and one bad year) and now are on the way back up. Even Vandy seems to be trending up right now, so you never know. These games all mean something despite who you’re playing. You’ve still gotta play and you’ve still gotta win.

  9. stoopnagle

    How’d Les fare the last time he played at UK?

  10. Biggus Rickus

    “Mississippi State is going to play Kentucky every year, and I think that is disproportionate,”

    On the flip side, Mississippi State will be Mississippi State every year, which I think is also unfair.

  11. Slaw Dawg

    I’ve generally respected Miles and thought he’s good for the occasional laugh, but anyone who “does not favor playing Florida from the East each year because each school can and has cost the other a national championship” has a hard time keeping my respect and my laughter becomes a derisive snort. I thought it was EXACTLY the opponents that put national titles in jeopardy that you want to play and that become great rivals. By this thinking, UGA should avoid playing AU, UF, GT, UT, among others, because they’ve played games that have cost one or the other (or both) a shot at a national title. If you want to avoid playing the teams that endanger your chances of winning a championship, why the Hell are you playing the sport in the first place?

  12. Cosmic Dawg

    I think Mississippi State ought to come out and say, “Les, if you want Kentucky, we’ll take Florida. The only caveat is this: before each Kentucky game you have to wear a tiny button – you can even wear it under your collar, so it doesn’t make the TV’s. But you have to put it on. The button reads ‘sissy’. Now, how badly do you want to drop Florida?”

    • Dog in Fla

      NOAA satellite monitoring of the weather system around Dan Mullen’s head in Destin shows significant neuronal unit spike activity and compound field potentials of cell populations in the big brain manifesting themselves in microbursts of neuroelectrical activity to retard any progress whatsoever toward volunteering for that duty.

  13. Edawg

    This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if they would go to a 9 game schedule. The permanent cross-division game is a much bigger factor when you only play 2 games against the other division instead of 3.

  14. TomReagan

    His line about strengthening ties within the conference is important. I’ve always wondered why the Big12 ended Oklahoma-Nebraska and believe it ultimately made Nebraska’s decision to leave much easier.

  15. Thanks for the link and the praise.

    The mere suggestion of dropping the Florida game makes me so angry I could spit. Last year was great precisely because we played so many great teams. Les didn’t back down from squat. Fast forward one year and we are arguing for the coward’s path, scheduling patsies like Towson, and trying to torch other schools’ traditions. It’s sickening.

    We should play Florida precisely because it is so difficult.