The fan was a little annoyed. He insisted on trying to put things in perspective.
It was noted last week in this
corner that in the six big, regular season games of the last season and a half –
Ellis Hugh, longtime observer of
Tiger football and confidant of the late, great,
That could well have been against
That BCS trophy is also the barometer, fair or unfair, by which everyone now measures Les Miles.
"The standard at LSU has been raised," Hugh philosophized, "because of that Sugar Bowl. People tend to think of that one game as representative of every one Saban coached. They have short memories. Not every game is a work of art, not for Saban, Miles or anyone else. It's the nature of the sport."
It's a cogent point. From the start of his LSU tenure to the end, there were moments when Saban fell short of reaching the coaching stature we tend now to think was always a part of him.
Remember Alabama-Birmingham in
2000, Saban's first year in
Remember Ole Miss in 2001, a 35-24 defeat? That was a watershed moment – and a perfect scale to weigh early Saban with the current Miles. That was the 19th game in Saban's LSU career, and the Tigers gave 21 points to the Rebels on two turnovers and a blocked punt (one broadcaster Jim Hawthorne, but not the LSU coaches, saw coming before the ball was snapped).
At that point, Saban's overall LSU record was 12-7 and 7-6 in SEC games. It's not exactly the same thing, I know, but Miles is 16-4, 9-3.
"This season may be disappointing, but, you know, somebody's doing something right," Ellis Hugh said.
In 2002, how much did Saban have
his team primed against Virginia Tech (8-26),
In Saban's farewell season of 2004,
was LSU the better prepared team against
"The point is," Ellis Hugh
reflected, "is Les Miles isn't the first coach at LSU to have a bad game. Nick
Saban had 'em, too, and he's right now viewed as a saint in
"Remember, this LSU team is about
where it is supposed to be:
"Let the season play itself out. Then we'll decide who to jump on."
Marty Mule' can be reached at MJM981@Bellsouth.net.