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Why Les Miles was finally fired at LSU

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s out, too, and it’s the end of an era in Baton Rouge.

Mississippi State v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

LSU has finally done it, and we don’t think the Tigers will renege this time. The school has fired Les Miles.

Sunday afternoon, the school announced that both Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron have been fired. LSU also announced that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron would take over as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Orgeron was the interim head coach in USC in 2013, where he led the Trojans to a 6-2 finish to the season.

"Coach Miles has done a tremendous job here and he’s been a great ambassador for our University, which makes this even more difficult." LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said.

The news comes less than 24 hours after LSU lost a wild game against Auburn on the road, 18-13. LSU, ranked No. 5 in the preseason, opened the season by losing to an unranked Wisconsin team at Lambeau field, 16-14. LSU beat both Mississippi State and Jacksonville State, but the loss to Auburn brought the Tigers to a 2-2 record by Week 4.

Who'll replace Miles? We're keeping track of reasonable rumors here, as they arise.

After the fiasco that was the end of the 2015 season for the Tigers, Les was brought back for another year. The great Louisianian Rust Cohle said best, that "Time is a flat circle, everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again — forever."

But for Miles, that meant the offense was going to stay one-dimensional with a quarterback that had a cannon for an arm, but nothing else. Brandon Harris would end up being replaced by Purdue transfer Danny Etling. Etling’s middling performance cannot be entirely blamed on him because he at one point played football at Purdue. That’s kinda the way things work.

The offense had ancillary bells and whistles with Leonard Fournette and receivers Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre, but the engine that made the kitty purr was not at the level it needed to be ... again.


We will take this space to reflect on the gifts Les Miles has given us throughout the years. Those gifts can be found here, here, here, here, and here. We also have some more here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

For all the antics and hijinks, the man was beloved by his players and brought LSU its third national championship in program history. When the dust settles, he’ll be remembered as the best coach to ever walk the sidelines in Baton Rouge. He was quirky as all hell, but Les Miles is one of the things that makes college football great. My goodness, we will miss him.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Wisconsin game was a disheartening beginning to the season that signaled not much had changed in the program. The defense almost bailed the Tigers out, but as usual it was the offense that held the team back. Cam Cameron at offensive coordinator could not get the most out of a talented group, and when the dust settled LSU had fallen short.

This is where we are as rubber-necking onlookers to the situation in Baton Rouge and it’s in the same spot as last season. It’s not so much that the team got worse, it’s that the situation stayed more or less the same. That’s what finally forced a change the school got really close to last season before pulling back.

The thing about LSU is "the same" is still pretty damn good, and there are probably 100 FBS programs who would take LSU’s situation in a heartbeat. Most programs would not get rid of Miles, but most programs shouldn’t or don’t expect a coach to be much better than Miles. LSU does and that means just like that Bill Connelly story says outright, Miles essentially has to be Nick Saban. That is always the problem in Baton Rouge. So time is a flat circle.

The Tigers played again like the same old team, and the leadership at LSU returned to covet the same thing they have for nearly a decade. LSU wants so badly to be Alabama. That is the biggest mistake in Baton Rouge, and the Tigers may have just sold the soul of the program to get there.