LSU head coach Les Miles has a 110-32 record in Baton Rouge, with three SEC West titles, a national championship and a chance to finish 2015 with his eighth three-loss season. He's also on a scalding hot seat. Those things are all true.
Okay, go ahead and fire Miles, LSU. Let's talk replacements.
1. Miles has the head coaching experience you seek, LSU.
Representatives of the football program have begun to vet potential replacements for Miles through back channels, the source said, with a preference for an established head coach.
So, no young pups or longtime assistants, in other words. And it's hard to call the head coach at a lower-tier Power 5 job "established," right? No, what LSU's looking for is someone with a long track record at the big show.
Well, what's bigger than 11 years as a head coach in the SEC West, plus four more at Oklahoma State? A successful 11 at that, with seven 10-win seasons. There's no bigger stage in college football than the SEC West, and nobody's racked up as much experience on that stage as Miles has.
2. Miles has strong recruiting connections to the state of Louisiana.
LSU's coaching staff includes key local recruiters like Frank Wilson and Ed Orgeron. Miles hired them. Under Miles' watch, LSU has ranked No. 4 in the country in the 247Sports Composite over the last eight years and No. 3 over the last three, with the current No. 1 class for 2016.
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3. Miles would inherit a stocked roster at LSU, so that's pretty good.
The Tigers have had a rough November after a couple of questionable recent coordinator hires and as a lot of young talent sees the field due to many years of NFL attrition. But take a look at what the Tigers could bring back next year.
Quarterback Brandon Harris is currently a sophomore. So are star weapons Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre. Of every LSU carry or catch this year, only one went to a senior. Four of five starting offensive linemen could be back. Only one of LSU's top 11 tacklers is a senior. Actually, only three of LSU's entire list of tacklers are seniors.
Sure, there will be early NFL entries, perhaps including cornerback Tre'Davious White and linebacker Kendell Beckwith. There always are. But this is about as little turnover as you'll ever get at a top NFL factory.
4. Miles' history of coaching hires suggests he can build a good staff at LSU.
Miles has hired coordinators besides just current offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, I'll have you know.
He pulled DC Bo Pelini from Oklahoma and replaced him, after a co-DC experiment, with John Chavis from Tennessee, winning the SEC with each and having top-15 scoring defenses nearly every year until 2015. And Chavis leaving for Texas A&M was apparently beyond Miles' control. Replacing him with Steele was ill-advised, but not many head coaches have to replace coordinators in mid-January. Miles can do better with more time to prepare.
Cameron isn't the perfect fit for LSU's current personnel, but he's been effective at times, with 2013's Zach Mettenberger attack ranking No. 7 in yards per play. Even the current offense ranks No. 19. Miles has ridden offenses worse than No. 19 to two different title games, so simply let him get an actual crack at hiring a defensive coordinator, then watch as a grueling offense and hellacious defense win you some games, LSU.
5. Lots of good coaches have lost three games in a row at some point, but not very many coaches have won a national championship.
It was all good just a month ago, or at least good enough for Miles' many rich enemies to lay low as the Tigers made their way to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Since then, Miles' first-ever three-loss streak has important types speaking to reporters about maybe cutting him loose whether he wins out or not.
There are many underlying politics issues surrounding the situation, and that's fine. A coach with a school winning percentage of .774 could be fired for losing three or four games, is the thing.
Together, let us look at highlights of Nebraska's season after firing Pelini for doing the same.
Together, we will laugh at Nebraska.
6. Miles' stoic glee in the face of madness is the right mind set for LSU's head coach, and really any head coach. And he says words in funny ways. And I just like him, okay?
Miles' teams don't win like Nick Saban's do, but that goes for just about everybody outside of Alabama. They're more fun, and so is Miles himself. Please don't deprive everyone of a head coach who explains out of nowhere that he roots with all his power for Costa Rica's soccer team, LSU.
7. Instead of firing Miles and then replacing him with somebody who'll likewise be a roll of the dice, no matter how can't-miss he seems to be based on his feats in the ACC, just keep Miles! You could save tens of millions of booster dollars.
His buyout is huge at $15 million, but the Times Picayune says the Tigers Athletic Foundation can handle that. Can his team show enough spark against A&M to turn the tide? It sounds like it may be a long shot at this time. Then again, if LSU is going to can Miles and eat that buyout and an additional $3 or $4 million for his staff PLUS chase a guy like Jimbo Fisher who has a $5 million buyout and then set him up, you could be talking about money in the $50-$60 million range.