Sorry, but with LSU looking at a possible undefeated season which would include SEC and national titles, I can’t help but revisit Heisman/College Football Pundit’s spectacularly wrong assessment of Les Miles as the worst college football head coach in America.
1. Les Miles, LSU — You could put a potted plant on the sideline at Tiger Stadium and get the same results Miles has gotten for LSU. And there would probably be better clock management. Selling his soul to the devil in exchange for wins in close games puts him over the top here.
What makes that especially delicious is that the potted plant’s success this season is significantly attributable to one of the smartest moves of his coaching career, ditching offensive coordinator Gary Crowton and his complexity-for-complexity’s sake system for a much simpler power football scheme. LSU has an identity on offense. It doesn’t screw up as much as it used to. And it’s become a much more efficient scorer.
It’s a contrarian approach in a college football world of spread attacks. And in the land of defenses built to stop the spread, the power football offense can be king.
Which is why we Georgia fans need to be careful as we beat our chests saying things like LSU hasn’t faced a balanced team like the Dawgs this season. Because the truth is that Georgia hasn’t seen an offense like LSU’s this season either. (The closest was probably South Carolina’s, but even there, the Gamecocks ran a zone-blocking scheme and not the straight ahead power stuff we’ll see Saturday.)
As a certain head coach we know puts it,
“Their goal is not to trick anybody,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt, whose team will face the Tigers this weekend in the SEC championship game. “Their goal is to line up and play real sound football in all three phases and basically physically maul you — wear you down and wear you out, make you quit. They’ve been able to do it most every game they’ve played.”
They’ve got the big, physical line and the deep backfield to do that. But they’ve got other personnel that contribute to that, as well. Rueben Randle will be the best receiver on the field tomorrow (even if Georgia gets the edge in receiving based on depth); he’s the most formidable wideout the Dawgs have seen since Alshon Jeffrey. Both of LSU’s quarterbacks complete a higher percentage of their passes than does Aaron Murray and while they’ve combined to throw 13 less touchdowns than Murray, they’ve also combined to have a better TD/INT ratio than he does.
And don’t sleep on Jordan Jefferson’s ability to run. He’s LSU’s fourth leading rusher. Against Arkansas, they used the option brilliantly during the early part of the game when he couldn’t get untracked throwing the ball.
These guys don’t screw up much on offense. Their job is to wait for the other team to do that and then capitalize. And then pound the other team’s defense into the dust. They’re damned good at it.
There’s only so much Todd Grantham can control. If Georgia’s offense and special teams commit their share of errors, it’s going to put an enormous amount of pressure on the defense. That didn’t work out so well in the fourth quarter of the South Carolina game when Lattimore took charge and never let go. But if the Dawgs can stay away from making mistakes, LSU may indeed find out about what that balance we’ve been bragging about means.
One thing’s for certain, though. It’s final exam time for those vaunted changes in the Strength & Conditioning program. Strap it on, boys, and show us they’re for real.