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Les Miles Update – Miles Needed an Excuse

I just read a brilliant article on sportsillustrated.com written by Stewart Mandel….Check it out… Better Les unsaid: LSU’s Miles called out USC; now Tigers must deliver

Lets go through some of Stewart’s points on what Les Miles had to say:

“I would like nothing better than to play USC for the [national] title,” Miles reportedly said in a speech to a heavily pro-LSU gathering in New Orleans. “I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel. They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title [game]. “I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition.”

And then Mandel’s repsonse:

“Forget for a moment the numerous, logical flaws in Miles’ diatribe (i.e., the fact the team he’s bashing beat SEC West champion Arkansas 50-14 last season). Forget for a moment the seemingly arbitrary shots at innocent bystanders Washington and Stanford. (Is Pete Carroll out there dissing Vanderbilt and Mississippi State at his booster functions?). The real question is, why is Miles so worked up in the first place about a school 2,000 miles away? The answer: because his fans are.”

– We all know Pete Carroll is 4-0 against the SEC during his tenure at USC so we can throw numerous points at how easy or hard the Pac-10 and SEC are. The last sentence is really where the poison gets stung. LSU’s fans have nothing better to do than to think about LSU and the other power teams in the nation. Louisiana is a disaster state, literally speaking..Katrina wiped them out; their beloved New Orleans has not returned to its glory days (trust me, I have been there), the Saints are a side story, there is no baseball and the list ca go on and on. LSU fans have nothing going on right now so all they can think about is LSU football and this upcoming season and that means Les Miles is biggerthan the President right now. He is expected to take his talented team to an undefeated season and a national title that would be a home game in the Super Dome.

From Mandel: “The preseason mags have hit the newsstands, and the Trojans — for the third time in four years — appear to be a lock for No. 1. While there appears to be no consensus on No. 2, the most common choice — including this writer’s — seems to be the Tigers. It makes sense. No two programs have recruited more pure talent over the past five years (at least according to the recruiting rankings) than USC and LSU. Both went 11-2 and won BCS games last year. Both have playmakers up the wazoo on offense. Both return most of the starters from their already dominant defenses.”

– As a USC fan, yes I am one, I personally will be extremely disappointed if USC does not go undefeated and win the national title. They return 10 players on defense and that is before they add some super froshes like the E-Freak and Chris Galippo and you combine this with an always lethal offense that will be led by Booty time following an impressive first season under center; this team is ready to roll. Now, If I was an LSU fan, which I am not, I would have the same expectations on this upcoming season. LSU returns a ton of talent and recruited great players (minus Joe McKnight of course)….the pressure is on them! LSU should be in the title game. Plain and simple…NO EXCUSES.

From Mandel: “Now, LSU’s coach has gone so far as to insert himself into a war of words previously waged solely in cyberspace (or on billboards). That’s sure to work followers on both sides into a lather. But it still doesn’t explain why he’s mocking USC’s schedule. In a follow-up conversation with reporters several days after his initial comments, Miles harped on a theme that’s become almost nauseatingly redundant among SEC coaches over the past year: Why their league is so tough. Miles’ view may just be the most zealous yet. If college football were to go to an eight-team playoff, he said, “there’d probably be at least four SEC teams in the top eight.”

– I will let Mandel tackle this issue because he states it perfectly and loud and clear. “But it’s not like the league is indisputably head and shoulders above everyone else. Perhaps Miles needs a reminder that two of his league’s best teams last year, Arkansas and Tennessee, lost to the third- (Wisconsin) and fourth-place (Penn State) teams from the Big Ten in their bowl games. Or that the year before that, the SEC’s champion (Georgia) lost its bowl game to the Big East’s champion (West Virginia).”
– Lets look at the top 4 teams in the SEC last year:
Florida won the title so they would be in a playoff
Tennessee lost in their bowl game to a weak Penn St. team
Arkansas was destroyed by USC at home and lost their bowl game
LSU lost to Auburn, which was not a top 4 team in the SEC and lost to Florida and beat a terrible Notre Dame team in their bowl game.
These teams are not amongst the 8 best in the country by any means and their record and post season records prove it.

This Mandel point speaks for itself: USC’s easy “path” last year included a BCS team (Notre Dame) and two major-conference division champions (Nebraska and Arkansas). LSU’s non-conference schedule, meanwhile, consisted of Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, Fresno State and Arizona. Under the BCS’ old strength-of-schedule formula — the one that shined so favorably upon the Tigers in ’03 prior to its removal from the standings, the Trojans played the nation’s toughest schedule; LSU’s was 11th.

Man these points are easy to make!!!

And here is Mandel’s final point: “So what, then, was the motivation behind his unexpected boisterousness? Here’s a guess: He’s covering his butt. Yep. That’s right. Miles’ comments were one big excuse-in-the-making. He’s seen the prognostications. He knows the experts are projecting a USC-LSU matchup. He knows his fans are foaming at the mouth for just such an outcome. And he’s trying to diffuse those expectations — and temper the possible letdown — by saying, “Hey, I’d love to play USC, too, but if they get there and we don’t, it’s because we had to play Florida while they got to play Stanford.” You can read it between the lines in this follow-up comment to the Baton Rouge Advocate: “To say that the only achievement and the only positive ending is with one game and one game’s ending, that’s near-sighted, and that’s a long way away.” Well, here’s one person who’s not letting you off the hook so easily, Les. You and your people have laid down the gauntlet, so now, you better make this thing happen. If the Trojans hold up their end of the bargain and reach the Superdome, we better see some purple and gold on that other sideline. You worked up the crowd, coach — now give ’em what they want.”

Mandel says it all. Miles is simply trying to cover his butt. He is afraid of the upcoming season and needs an excuse. If I were the AD of LSU, I would fire him on the spot for making these excuses for his team this early in the season. If USC loses a game, they do not deserve a shot at the national title and if they go undefeated they absolutely do. Les Miles should hold his team up to these same standards….Take care of the matter at hand, win all of your games and you certainly will be playing in the BCS title game. Lose a game and you can go play Notre Dame again in the side game. Be afraid Les Miles, excuses will not save you this season and all of Trojan Nation wants a piece of the team you are making excuses for already. Actually, USC wants a piece of the team that wants to live up to their potential, go undefeated and have a shot at an undisputed national title. Mr. Miles…. your excuses will only carry you so far!!!!!

Flash Flash

July 7, 2007 - Posted by | BCS, Les Miles, LSU, LSU Tigers, NCAA, ncaa football, Notre Dame, Pac-10, Pete Carroll, SEC, Sports, Stewart Mandel, thoughts, USC, USC Trojans

12 Comments »

  1. Within the same few sentences he contradicts himself:

    “LSU lost to Auburn, which was not a top 4 team in the SEC and lost to Florida and beat a terrible Notre Dame team in their bowl game.
    These teams are not amongst the 8 best in the country by any means and their record and post season records prove it.

    This Mandel point speaks for itself: USC’s easy “path” last year included a BCS team (Notre Dame) . . .”

    So, when it comes to making LSU look bad, Notre Dame is a terrible team. When it comes to making USC look good, they are a “BCS team”, as if that alone indicates their worth…

    Comment by AG | July 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. The bottom line is that when you play in the PAC 10, you play high schools every other week. When you play in the Big 10 or SEC you get banged up, lose starters, and you don’t skate through your conference like USC.
    USC is a good team, but not half as good as the “west coast media” wants you to beleive. I think LSU will run the table, and I beleive USC will finally understand what it means to play some competition. Truth be told, USC would average 1 or 2 losses every year if they played in the SEC.
    There are always more SEC and Big 10 teams in the top 25 than PAC 10 teams, because it is better competition week in and week out. I would have a little more respect for the PAC 10 if they played a conference championship game, even though it would be USC vs some high school. Hey USC, “The party’s over.”

    Flash Flash

    Comment by Anonymous | July 7, 2007 | Reply

  3. USC lost to UCLA last year, but knowing them…they will declare themselves the national champions and buy rings.

    P.S. Mandel is an idiot. USC beat Arkansas in the first game of the season, it would have been a different game latter on in the season. (Notre Shame is a joke too).

    Comment by BB | July 7, 2007 | Reply

  4. You guys are all like Les Miles…excuses excuses excuses. LSU played Notre Dame in a bowl game so they did not chose their opponent. The point is that the SEC continues to schedule the bottom of the barrle scrap heap teams from 1-A and 1-AA. This is a travesty and a joke. So you play the Louisiana-Lafayettes and the Tulanes of the world at home and you actively schedule these teams so you get easy wins. So LSU, Auburn, Florida all schedules these patsy home games. Then when you throw in the Miss. St. Ole miss and Vandy “juggernauts” you have a complete joke of a schedule. LSU basically needs to prepare for 2-3 games a year when they play an SEC schedule. USC plays their conference games, which has been proven is more difficult to go undefeated in over the last 30 years (4 SEC teams have gone undefeated and only 2 in the Pac-10) and then you throw in a team from the SEC (Auburn and Arkansas, a team that won its SEC division) and then a team from the Big-12, yet another team that won its division and you beat all of these teams easily, USC is clearly challenging itself and playing the more difficult schedule. Is it USC’s fault they played Arkansas on the road and it was the first game of the year…NO. How about Arkansas get pumped up to play a national contender at home and represent how good they are? So SEC teams are supposed to be bad to start their seasons? I do not understand the point. I thought the point was to win and compete in every game and take responsibility when you take a complete ass pounding in front of your home fans.

    C’mon LSU fans……Stop making excuses.

    If USC loses a game this year they will not make excuses and they will take their loss like men. you boys in the South need to learn this. Stop playing 1-AA schools. I would not put it past LSU to start playing Division III schools so they can rest more of their starters during the season for those mammoth monumental tasks of playing Ole Miss at home and Vanderbilt. Give me a break.

    Comment by Flash Flash for the Cash | July 8, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hey Flash,

    I honestly feel sorry for you. I think you you actually beleive your own bs. Tell you what, good luck to your trojans, and I hope to see “you guys” in New Orleans. We will let the teams settle this debate.
    I honestly think you know the pac 10 is a weak conference, that is why you are trying to justify USC’s non conference schedule. I still say USC would average 1 or 2 loses a year in the SEC, and I really wish LSU got to play in the pac 10 so we could win out every year too. Truth is, we have beaten all the pac 10 teams we played (Arizona ST, Arizona). So remember that when you blast our non conference schedule. Have a good year, and hopefully we will be playing each other in New Orleans.

    Comment by BB | July 8, 2007 | Reply

  6. So what you are saying is USC last year would have been the exact same team as LSU. 2 losses in conference play. I just hope Les Miles has not psyched out his own team by coming up with these pre-season excuses on how hard the SEC is and how easy the Pac-10 is so the nation already knows USC will be in the title game. Yes, they need to settle it on the field. USC will not and does not make excuses. I just hope LSU can suck it up this year and win those 7-3 games where they beat each other up so bad that they make it to the title game. Good luck.

    Comment by Flash Flash for the Cash | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  7. Dude,

    Have the Pac-10 schedule a conference championship game. Let USC go more than 1 season without being beaten by a chump Pac-10 team. Then we’ll talk.

    Funny how the morons are detracting from LSU’s non-conference play when USC’s CONFERENCE play is laughable. And their tendency to blow key games to the Pac-10 powderpuffs is nothing short of hilarious.

    LSU didn’t pick Notre Dame. The Tiger Nation wanted a much more formidable opponent. Unlike USC, we like playing tough opponents (aside from the 1-3 fluff teams that ALL teams play) and proving we are the best.

    I can’t believe the Pac-10 doesn’t even have a championship game…how incredibly lame.

    Comment by AG | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  8. Fools all around. The SEC has 12 teams and the Pac-10 has 10. USC plays every Pac-10 team every year. They do not skate by and play weak non-conference teams instead of their so-called toughest Conference in football foes. Conference championship games were set up to make more moeny for the schools and conference. So you want the Pac-10 to have a championship game so USC can play a “powder puff” team twice in one year. I think they do it the right way and play Notre Dame, SEC foes, ACC foes. Interesting that none of you talk about USC picking up Ohio St. for a home and away series in 2008 and 2009. Who is LSU picking up then, East Chattanooga State? On no my bad…they pick up Troy St. and continue to play Tulane. That is SOLID!!!! The SEC fans make me laugh. You guys are sheltered and need to get out more.

    Comment by Flash Flash for the Cash | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  9. “USC plays every Pac-10 team every year.”

    Is this supposed to be impressive? It isn’t.

    USC “skates by” by playing in a very weak conference and generally ends up playing few highly ranked teams.

    USC didn’t play one top 5 team last season. The closest they came was a Highly Overrated #6 Notre Dame. #8 Michigan was the only real game USC played. They LOST to 2 UNRANKED teams in 2006.

    LSU played 3 (Three) top 5 teams AWAY, 2 of those resulted in their only 2 losses, 1 to the National Champ, Florida and 1 to a hot Auburn team that finished #9 with only 2 losses.

    SO…if 2006 is the tale of two teams, USC lost to 2 chumps. LSU lost to two highly ranked teams, one of which went on to be the National Champ.

    SOLID? USC plays chumps and often drop 1-2 games to them. Yeah, that’s impressive. USC denial is a serious mental disorder, however it is probably not treatable.

    Comment by AG | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  10. Auburn, Are you serious? Auburn lost to Arkansas at home, the same team USC decimated, then lost to a sucky Georgia team that lost to Vanderbilt and still Auburn beat Florida. What kind of garbage comparison is that? As I stated many times, over the last thirty years more SEC teams have gone undefeated than Pac-10 teams. It is simply more difficult to run the table in the Pac-10. That is fact and undisputable.

    Comment by Flash Flash for the Cash | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  11. Also, Just to throw this out when all the SEC whiners start it up again during the season. USC’s defense will be one of the best in the nation this year. They return 10 starters on Defense and have 5 Pre-season all Americans on defense….First Team = Taylor Mays and Rey Maualuga, Second Team= Sedrick Ellis and Keith Rivers and Third Team= Lawrence Jackson. This defense is sick!!! When we beat teams it is expected, when we lose it is because the team did not live up to expectations and underperformed. There are no excuses, the schedule is not an excuse, injuries are not an excuse. You play the games to win!!!! USC will have a top 10 defense this year and will face more offenses in the top 25 than any SEC team.

    Comment by Flash Flash for the Cash | July 9, 2007 | Reply

  12. SEC Homers,

    You guys are insane!! The SEC, next to the Big Ten, is the most overrated hype-machine IN SPORTS. Not even just college football. IN SPORTS!

    How can you homers even make an argument with a straight face that they play the toughest teams and have the hardest schedules?!?!?!? Making the reasonable assumption that Auburn, Florida and LSU are the cream of the SEC crop, let’s look into this more:

    Auburn: Their first 4 games of the season are at home. They don’t even leave their campus until the last Saturday in September to play Florida. Of those first 4 games, with the exception of S. Florida, NONE of those teams are good. Not one. New Mexico State?!?!?!? C’mon!!! Their schedule tells me that they believe the SEC hype and schedule JV teams so they can be “undefeated” heading into their match-up with Florida. What a joke! The best part of that logic is that they are going to lose to South Florida!! F them. They’d finish in 4th place is the PAC 10 or the Big East.

    Florida: Could be the worse schedule of any defending champion. They open the season at home against Western Kentucky and Troy!!!!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? Any team with Western Kentucky on their schedule should be barred from all Bowl Games. Then to end the season, they play Florida Freakin’ Atlantic right about the time Bowl hype really kicks into high gear. The furthest west they will go is to LSU. They leave the state of Florida only 5 times out of their 12 games. That is pathetic. Florida is a joke and Urban Meyer is a genius-their 2007 schedule will pretty much guarantee they will be in Bowl contention this year.

    LSU: By far the toughest schedule of anyone in the SEC, but that doesn’t say much. They open the season at Miss State, but then do stay home to face VaTech. That will be a good game, but then they stay home to face Middle Tennessee State. What the F is that?!?! They play Tulane and LaTech. as well. Terrible schedule. No basis at all to tout them as having a hard schedule. It is the hardest in the SEC, but again, they doesn’t say much.

    Comment by runnypelvisthefat | July 9, 2007 | Reply


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