LSU Tigers

LSU plans to pursue John Chavis’ buyout

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When John Chavis left the LSU Tigers to become the defensive coordinator of the Texas A&M Aggies, he walked away from a $1.3 million contract.

Chavis reportedly wanted his annual salary increased to $1.7 million to make him, along with Auburn’s Will Muschamp, the nation’s highest paid defensive coordinator.

When LSU brass decided that wasn’t going to happen, Chavis refused to sign a new contract. Instead, Texas A&M stepped up to the plate and lured him away to College Station.

Whether or not Texas A&M matched Chavis’ asking price, the assistant coach won’t see the full amount of his contract next season due to a buyout in his previous contract with LSU.

Chavis owes LSU $400,00 as part of the provision, according to The Shreveport Times‘ Glenn Guilbeau. The school intends to pursue the money it is owed.

“I’m not sure if we’ll get it, but we’re going to try to get it,” LSU board member Ronald Anderson told Guilbeau. “That was part of his contract. It’s his obligation.”

Whether or not LSU receives the payment may determine the future of former defensive line coach Brick Haley. Haley is currently on staff, but he was replaced by Ed Orgeron. Unlike Chavis, Haley signed a new contract offered after the season. However, his status along with the $450,000 contract remain uncertain until Chavis’ situation is finalized.

Haley is currently serving as a staff “intern.”

“I’m told that by June, if he decides to stay, they’ll decide what he’ll be doing and that title would change,” Anderson said.

Former Crimson Tide safety takes shot at LSU’s new defensive coordinator

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You can take the football player out of Alabama, but you can’t take the Crimson Tide out of the football player.

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix left Alabama as a highly decorated safety before becoming the 21st pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL draft.

The safety didn’t take to Twitter Friday to rip the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions or even the Minnesota Vikings, though.

Clinton-Dix’s contempt for the rival LSU Tigers remains strong, and he made sure to point out what type of hire the program made when Kevin Steele was named its new offensive coordinator.

The game Clinton-Dix referred to was the 2012 Orange Bowl. Steele was the defensive coordinator of the Clemson Tigers at the time. His defense surrendered 595 total yards to the West Virginia Mountaineers on their way to scoring 70 points.

The embarrassing performance eventually cost Steele his job.

Despite the pitiful performance and being a few years removed from defensive coordinator duties, LSU head coach Les Miles was excited about Steele’s inclusion to his coaching staff.

“He has a great defensive mind and he’s an outstanding recruiter,” Miles said when the hire was officially announced, per ESPN. “He knows our players and our system and his knowledge of the SEC and the SEC Western Division makes him a great fit. We are very excited the Kevin will be joining our staff.”

Miles and LSU might be excited about the hire, but Clinton-Dix obviously thinks it’s a joke.

LSU names Kevin Steele its new defensive coordinator

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After high-profile names such as Alabama’s Kirby Smart and Chicago Bears’ Mel Tucker were floated Monday, the LSU Tigers had a different target in mind to replace John Chavis as the team’s defensive coordinator.

LSU was able to lure a quality coach from the Alabama Crimson Tide. It just wasn’t Smart.

Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele will take over Les Miles‘ defense.

Steele came to Alabama after he was replaced as the Clemson’s defensive coordinator in 2012. It was his second stop in Tuscaloosa. In 2007, Steele served as Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator before Smart took over play-calling duties.

The move to Baton Rogue also isn’t a first for Steele. The assistant coach spent the 2004 season as Saban’s secondary coach.

Miles has been searching for a new coordinator the Texas A&M Aggies hired Chavis on Dec. 31. Chavis left the Tigers in good shape after leading them to a Top 10 defense in 2014.

The lasting impression of Steele as a defensive coordinator, however, remains the West Virginia Mountaineers hanging 70 points on his Clemson Tigers during the 2012 Orange Bowl.

Steele is considered a top-notch recruiter, but he has big shoes to fill down in the Bayou.

Poor decision costs No. 3 Ole Miss as Rebels lose to No. 24 LSU 10-7

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Death Valley claimed another victim Saturday night.

The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels fell to the 24th-ranked LSU Tigers 10-7 even though Les Miles‘ squad nearly had the game slip away.

With nine seconds remaining, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze made a dumbfounding decision. After initially allowing his kicker to line up to attempt a game-tying field goal, Freeze decided to take one shot toward the end zone after LSU called a timeout.

Senior quarterback Bo Wallace rolled to his left after the snap. He lobbed the ball toward the end zone for one final attempt to claim a victory. The quarterback didn’t put enough loft on the ball, and it was intercepted by LSU safety Ronald Martin. Game over. Ole Miss kicker Gary Wunderlich never got a chance to prove himself in adverse conditions.

Freeze’s decision was immediately panned on social media:

Those are just a few examples.

Wallace played his worst game of the season at the wrong time. Even if his mind-boggling poor throw at the end of the game is excluded, Wallace was still 14-of-32 passing for 176 yards.

The Rebels were never able to get on track on offense, while LSU dominated in the trences.

LSU ran the ball 55 times for 264 yards against a defense that was ranked fourth overall in stopping the run entering the contest. Ole Miss’ undersized front simply couldn’t hold up as LSU continued to deliver blow after blow. Freshman running back Leonard Fournette led the way with 113 rushing yards.

The Tigers’ resiliency under Miles has been remarkable.

Even after a season-defining victory for LSU, the Tigers won’t be the happiest program due to this outcome. With the loss, Ole Miss will likely drop out of the Top 5 and create a spot for another a one-loss program to slide into the top four once the College Football Playoff committee releases its initial rankings Tuesday.

The No. 5 Auburn Tigers, No. 6 Oregon Ducks, No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and No. 8 Michigan State Spartans will all be vying for that final spot. With Ole Miss out of the way (for now), one of those program are expected to make a very important move into the upper echelon of college football.

The Rebels season isn’t over, though.

Ole Miss can reclaim its status as one of the nation’s top teams. Next weekend’s contest against Auburn will be vitally important to the program’s future.

It doesn’t get any easier for LSU either. The Tigers host the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in two weeks.

Les Miles promises one of LSU’s quarterbacks will start against Florida

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Maybe LSU would be better served by operating a single-wing offense.

Against the No. 5 Auburn Tigers Saturday, LSU quarterbacks, freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings, completed a total of eight passes. Now LSU head coach Les Miles needs to choose one to start this weekend against the Florida Gators.

Miles and his coaching staff are currently splitting repetitions between the two signal-callers.

“They split reps right down the middle,” Miles told The Advertiser‘s Glenn Guilbeau after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ll likely wait until we get to the game to name a starter.”

While the man known as the “Mad Hatter” wouldn’t give any indication who the favorite is to start behind center, the two quarterbacks should have a relatively good idea.

“The players know much more than you guys do, and so we’re good with that,” Miles said. “And we’re really playing both guys, giving them a bunch of reps.”

Last week, Miles decided it was time for the freshman Harris to take over the starting duties. Two quarters of below average play against one of the nation’s top teams  was enough for Miles. Jennings took over during the second half and didn’t fare much better.

There was a reason why Harris previously looked like a better option at quarterback. Jennings is barely completing 50 percent of his passes, and the sophomore threw a pair of interceptions against the lowly New Mexico State Aggies to finish the Tigers’ September slate of games. The freshman was meant to provide a spark. Instead, Miles risked striking a blow to the young man’s confidence by not allowing him to play during the second half against Auburn.

Florida is another talented team with a defense which can be ferocious at times.

Miles’ eventual decision will have long-term repercussions for the program. Either the coach decides to try and win now with the slightly older quarterback who hasn’t shown much, or the future is now with Harris behind center. At least one will provide hope if he’s named the starter. The other already received a chance to prove himself.

Part of what Miles is currently doing is gamesmanship so Florida is forced to prepare for both quarterbacks. But the joke is on LSU since both signal-callers haven’t played well.