There we've said it. Tiger Rag magazine proclaims Les Miles as the SEC Coach of the Year for 2005.
All right, let's be realistic, Les Miles will likely not get the nod as the league's top coach this season. It most probably will not happen.
There are too many other big names within the league that could qualify for the conference's top field general.
Steve Spurrier is the obvious choice.
The Gamecocks, who had little
talent coming into the season, weren't expected to make much noise in the SEC
Eastern Division race, much less the SEC. After a 2-3 start and a 48-7 blowout
How about Mike Shula?
Sure his Alabama Crimson Tide
collapsed at the end of the season. Following a 9-0 start and a No. 3 national
ranking, the Tide dropped its final two regular season games to LSU and
The more obvious choices for SEC
Coach of the Year could be
Two teams decimated with losses,
including starting quarterbacks,
But beyond all of this – there is Les Miles.
Miles came to LSU with very little fanfare. Fans were left scratching their heads when Miles was named the successor to "King" Nick Saban last January. With the likes of Bobby Petrino, Butch Davis, Jack Del Rio, even Steve Spurrier, available, no one saw the Miles hire coming.
LSU was criticized by the national
media for going after the coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. What had Miles
done outside of winning a couple of games against
Not only was he the man, Miles had the heat turned up to well above the boiling point before he ever coached a single game in purple and gold.
Miles inherited a team laden with national championship level talent, but then was dealt a hand from a deck so stacked against him most people would have folded.
Hurricane Katrina slammed into
To make matters worse, a second hurricane hit Louisiana, postponed the Tennessee game two days to the following Monday, in which Miles' team blew a 21-point lead and lost 30-27 in overtime.
Miles was booed out of Tiger
Stadium the night of LSU's meltdown against
But the Tigers adopted a
refuse-to-lose attitude and nine wins later, LSU founds itself with a
ticket punched to
It wasn't always pretty though.
The Tigers won five games by four
points or less, including three point wins over
As LSU Sports Network analyst
So again, we dub Les Miles the SEC Coach of the Year. Again, we will say he is more than likely not going to get the nod, but if Alabama can recognize national championships awarded by Football Thesaurus, a former Princeton player named Park Davis who put out a poll until 1935, the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Litkenhous brothers Fred and Edward, then we can name our own Tiger Rag SEC Coach of the Year.
Here's to you Les.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.