It appears that, after a couple of weeks worth of speculation, the Les Miles era in Baton Rouge is indeed coming to an end.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that, at a booster club meeting, Miles informed those in attendance that Saturday’s game against Texas A&M will be his last as LSU’s head coach. One person in attendance said that while Miles didn’t come right out and say the A&M game would be his last, he heavily intimated that very thing.
“He didn’t use those words but he made it clear that Saturday is his last game,” an unnamed Gridiron Club member told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“He said , ‘We’re a second family to him and he’s going to miss us, he appreciates his real friends, and then he told us goodbye. It was very emotional but in control.”
Miles also reportedly stated that he would not coach the Tigers in a bowl game. Whether the parting of ways will be termed a dismissal or a mutual agreement remains to be seen, although it’s quite obvious the former is in play.
However, there is a different interpretation of both the scene at the booster meeting earlier today and the Miles’ current status:
If this is the end of Miles’ time with the Tigers — we’ll know for certain at some point after Saturday’s game despite today’s confusion — he’ll end his 11-year tenure as one of the winningest in the program’s history. Miles has won 110 of the 142 games he’s coached at LSU, a winning percentage of .775, the best ever at the school.
He won two SEC West titles, but none since 2011. His Tigers won the national championship in 2007, and lost in the ’11 title game to nemesis Alabama. Since going undefeated in conference play in that latter season, the Tigers have lost two, three and four games the next three seasons; they are 4-3 in conference play ahead of the A&M game.
If the 62-year-old Miles wants to continue coaching — and all the indications are that he does — there will not be a shortage of suitors as there are currently a dozen openings, including nine at Power Five schools. One intriguing possibility is Miles taking over for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, speculation that’s gained momentum over the past few days as the rumors of Miles’ imminent demise have grown in recent days.
As for LSU? Be careful what you wish for. That grass that looks greener on a replacement’s lawn may turn out to be nearly a decade’s worth of fool’s gold — just ask Tennessee.