Because he won with Saban’s players…

Chris Low writes one of those posts where he doesn’t really argue a position, but just lets the numbers speak for themselves.  In this one, he compares the SEC careers of Urban Meyer and Les Miles.

Meyer Miles
Vs. SEC foes 20-8 22-6
Vs. Top 25 foes 11-5 16-5
Vs. Top 25 foes away from home 7-5 10-5
Vs. Top 10 foes: 6-2 6-2 8-3
Vs. Top 10 foes away from home 4-2 6-2
In postseason games (bowls and championships) 3-1 4-1
In games decided by a touchdown or less 9-5 13-4
Record at home 21-2 22-2
Record on the road 8-6 12-3
Losses to unranked teams 4 1
Top 25 finishes 3 3
Top 10 finishes 1 3

After seeing that, can someone explain why the general perception is that Meyer is a much better head coach than Miles?


UPDATE: Bruce Feldman has this to say about the two.

… Miles is underrated and doesn’t get the respect he deserves for a couple of reasons: (1) He is quirky, shooting more from the hip than a lot of other top coaches; and (2) He took over Nick Saban’s program, and a lot of folks still believe he’s won with Saban’s players. Then again, some point out that Urban Meyer won with a starting lineup of mostly Ron Zook recruits.


Filed under SEC Football

12 responses to “Because he won with Saban’s players…

  1. Christian

    None – there is no reason. Les Miles is very under appreciated. You see his energy and hear him express his confidence in his players and I think he’d be great to play for.

    I’m going to enjoy watching the UF/LSU game this weekend.


  2. Because Miles had a much better team when he arrived than Meyer did, and Miles routinely makes completely bone-headed decisions that end up working out better than they should.

    Miles is appreciated at least as much as he should be, although maybe the case to be made is that Meyer is overrated.


  3. I would say it’s because Miles is more a Tubby/Bowdenesque “CEO”-type coach who lets his assistants do the X’s and O’s work while the Gator offense comes direct from Meyer. While I think it’s silly to give more credit to one type of coach than the other, I do think it feeds the “Meyer = genius” vs. “Miles is winning because of someone else’s players” memes.


  4. Because Miles had a much better team when he arrived than Meyer did

    Really? Are you under the impression Urban Meyer built that ’06 defense (one of the best this entire decade)? FYI: Meyer didn’t recruit Jarvis Moss, Derek Harvey, Brandon Siler, Reggie Nelson, etc., etc.

    “Miles routinely makes completely bone-headed decisions that end up working out better than they should.”

    Ahhh, I love that talking point.

    Maybe he just makes great calls that win football games. Nah… he has to be some drooling idiot who just keeps getting lucky, game after game after game…


  5. montgomeryaldawg

    TD, yes, he doesn’t get the cred bc of that “drooling idiot’ persona, yet the numbers are hard to argue against. Miles IS a better coach, Meyer is a better seller. I’m friends with a lot of coaches in S Georgia as well as some guys that have been recruited by Meyer under these guys….Meyer IS SLICK. He is so smooth they (the coaches) say. Randy McPherson (sp?), head coach at Lowndes (#2 prep school nationally per ESPN)was speaking last year with Meyer when Meyer came to town to visit athlete Greg Reid. Randy mentioned in passing that his wife was a UF fan (although Randy is not). Somehow, independant of Randy’s knowledge, Meyer later THAT DAY, finds out where his wife works (teaches middle school) and shows up to her class. Randy and Valdosta’s Rick Tomberlin say that Meyer is always doing stuff like that, remembering everyone’s name, winning people over. Does Miles do that? Maybe, but you have to admit he doesn’t seem nearly so polished as Meyer. This charisma and self-assurance is what wins him the media love, not Utah, not his MNC. Miles just keeps winning…and for me, I hope he does this Saturday.


  6. Ally

    Wonder if Kirk Herbstriet reads Low’s blog?


  7. NM

    Meyer was labeled a genius when he won at Utah because people liked his new-and-different scheme (which people have only recently figured out and he had the good sense to get to a talent-rich program so he would be ready when they did), so commentators are more likely to dismiss his flaws as “young team” or some such, because they want to confirm their initial thoughts.

    Miles has no such cushion. Miles’s signature moments include beating OU a few times (must have been luck, it certainly wasn’t players and nobody can outcoach Stoops!), converting tons of 4th downs against Florida (luck! Who goes for it on 4th?!) and that weird TD call against Auburn (luck! … OK, maybe that one…)

    So Meyer is a genius who’s just underachieving. Miles is just waiting for his luck to run out. At least if you believe the media…


  8. Miles has had the most talented team in the SEC every year he’s been there, and yes it is extremely hard to go through the SEC unscathed, but that team last year had no business losing two and were *this* close to losing three more.

    And just because a call works doesn’t make it the right call, and the opposite is just as true.

    But Meyer is overrated as a coach.


  9. Dawg 05

    It sounds like some of ya’ll are calling Les Miles the Forrest Gump of head coaches.


  10. Sam

    The national media has given Meyer a pass and has not examined the number of losses Meyers has had, especially to unranked teams. While I don’t understand the love affair that blinds the media to Meyer’s shortcomings, I am beginning to hear some undercurrent of concern within the UF inner circle of supporters. Things just don’t seem so rosey in Gainesville to me, and the next season or two will be interesting to watch.

    While I wouldn’t put Miles at the top of the list if UGA were able to choose any coach they wanted for any potential vacancy that might occur, you have to give him credit for the results he has obtained. Sure he is quirky and inherited great talent, but he was winning big games against OU before he got the job on Baton Rouge with lesser talent. I know I would significantly prefer to see Miles on the sidelines in Sanford than Urban. In fact, I cannot think of any circumstances that would make Meyer acceptable for UGA (and that is more about character issues than coaching concerns!)


  11. Joe

    Would you rather inherit a team that had been coached by Ron Zook, or one that had been coached by Nick Saban? Which team do you think would be readier to win right out of the box?

    Frankly, it’s almost miraculous that Meyer put together that championship season in ’06, given the amount of Zook contamination left over. UF was a veritable Love Canal when Meyer was hired.


  12. On the other hand, Meyer was spared having to deal with the aftermath of Katrina, unlike Miles.