Tagged with "Florida"
LSU-Alabama Pregame & Other Thoughts
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football Alabama Arkansas Clemson Florida Les Miles LSU Michigan Michigan St. Nick Saban Oklahoma Oklahoma St. South Carolina Texas

I’ll start off by mentioning a couple other writings of mine that might provide some interesting backstory. I wrote the first last week about Les Miles’ record at LSU, but it also compares his record to that of other coaches, including Saban’s at LSU and Alabama. Then of course there is my blog about the LSU/Alabama rivalry, dominated for decades by Alabama but controlled by LSU for much of the first decade of the 21st century before becoming competitive again of late.

This is unrelated, but I also wanted to share a couple of links about Marcus Lattimore. Spurrier got a bit of criticism for his sort of backhanded acknowledgement of Dabo Swinney’s kind words about Lattimore. Dabo didn’t go quite as far as “Hog Lady” though. The SEC isn’t just great defenses and running backs, you have to love the fans and personalities as well.

Back to the important goings on, we do have two of the most successful active head coaches with their current programs facing one another, and of course LSU was fortunate to have had them both.
If you’ll look at the stats I gave in the Les Miles blog, I think it’s an even bigger coaching match-up with Urban Meyer at a new school and with Pete Carroll in the NFL. It’s harder to argue there are other guys doing as well or better.

There was a time where the Red River Rivalry had two coaches that were at about the same level Miles and Saban are now, but I think both Texas and Oklahoma have gone a little downhill in recent years. And there was never a point where that game featured two programs with a combined 3 national championship and one runner-up in 5 seasons, with of course one runner-up in that time (LSU last year) as well. (It took 10 seasons for Oklahoma and Texas to accumulate two national championships and three runners-up between them; two national championships and one runner-up took place in the six seasons between 2000 and 2005.)

Of course, when Urban Meyer was still at Florida, his game against the Tigers in 2009 represented 4 combined championships since 2003. So that was bigger at the time, especially being that Saban hadn’t won one at Alabama yet.

Saban and Miles followed similar trajectories on their way to LSU. A little bit of NFL experiences, but they were hired from being the head coaches at second-fiddle state universities. I don’t mean to take anything away from them, but the great programs in Michigan and Oklahoma are not the ones that end in “State”, although Sparty has a little more of a substantial history.

I wanted to talk about Miles vs. Saban head-to-head and mention a few notes about the series overall before assessing this season’s game.

Continue to Full Post, including "Miles vs. Saban" and "Game Notes and Preview"

The Mad Hatter’s Mad Accomplishments (so far)
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football Alabama Florida Georgia Les Miles LSU Michigan Nebraska Notre Dame Ohio St. Oklahoma Ole Miss Penn St. Texas

I was talking to a Florida fan the other day, and shortly after we talked about Spurrier, he mentioned that Miles wasn’t doing a very good job at LSU.

I’m as frustrated as a lot of LSU fans with some issues. Clock management at the end of certain games against Ole Miss and Tennessee, refusing to give Jarrett Lee a chance in the BCS championship game in January, sticking with former OC Gary Crowton as long as he did, and so on.

But the man wins games and somehow finds a way to take teams that don’t seem particularly strong and have them win 7 of 8 or 6 of 7 and so forth. There was sort of a 2-year rebuilding process after the national championship, but take away Lee’s interception affliction in 2008 and a couple two-point losses in 2009, and those teams have similar records to the teams in Miles’ other 5 full seasons before this one.

The gold standard in recent coaching stints is Pete Carroll at USC, who went 110-20. I think Miles would have to have a few 1- or 0- loss teams in a row to even come close to 85% (Carroll won 84.6%), but he’s competitive with or ahead of other recent luminaries, particularly if you limit it to tenures in the last 10 years or those that (have) lasted longer than his. I’m not looking at career winning percentage but only at a particular school.

Saban (Ala.) 62-12 (83.8%)*
Spurrier (Fla.) 122-27-1 (81.7%)
Meyer (Fla.) 65-15 (81.3%)
Tressel (Ohio St.) 94-22 (81.0%)
Miles (LSU) 71-17 (80.7%)*
Stoops (Okla.) 144-35 (80.4%)*
Brown (Texas) 146-41 (78.1%)*
Richt (Ga.) 122-39 (75.8%)*
Carr (Mich.) 122-40 (75.3%)
Saban (LSU) 48-16 (75.0%)

*=active; record and percentage as of Week 8

Before I continue, I wanted to mention that of course I realize winning 70 games is nothing like winning 150 or 400. Being able to keep ahead of the other great programs over a decade or more is no easy task. Urban Meyer seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown after 6 seasons at Florida.

But nonetheless, this is pretty good company to be in as far as how often your team wins games, and any fan of these teams will tell you that.

These are some historically great coaching tenures that had lower winning percentages (ties counted as half a win) than Miles has had so far:

Full post

Week 8 Top 25 and Commentary
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football Alabama Clemson Florida Georgia Kansas St. Mississippi St. Notre Dame Ohio St. Texas Tech Toledo Wisconsin

Top 25

rank / team / prior

1 Alabama 1

2 Notre Dame 2

3 Florida 5

4 Kansas St. 4

5 Ohio St. 3

6 Oregon 7

7 Oregon St. 6

8 LSU 12

9 TX Tech 8

10 Rutgers 11

11 Miss. St. 15

12 Louisville 16

13 Toledo –

14 Oklahoma 13

15 S Carolina 9

16 Florida St. 24

17 Boise St. 18

18 Stanford 19

19 W Virginia 10

20 Texas 23

21 Georgia 25

22 Clemson –

23 USC 21

24 Wisconsin –

25 TX A&M 14

Out of rankings: (17) Cincinnati, (20) N’western, (22) La. Tech


Full 124 permalink

(Prior rankings can be found via the link at the bottom of the post.)


Note about the SEC:

Mississippi St. is interesting at this point, even though they do have the games coming up against Texas A&M, LSU, and Alabama. The SEC has 9 of the top 27 best schedules and 11 of the top 44. The outliers are Alabama (#84), Mississippi St. (#107), and Georgia (#116). The bad ones may be better and the good ones may be worse, because when I factor in the third level (opponents’ opponents’ opponents), it evens out a little bit (or Alabama wouldn’t be in the top 3), but that gives you an idea of why Georgia is so low also.

Tennessee is Georgia’s best win, and they lost once again. Also, Georgia lost to South Carolina, which has since lost two in a row.

Not surprisingly, the SEC also has high numbers in the ratings. 4 in the top 11, 5 in the top 15, 6 in the top 22, 7 in the top 26. That’s half the conference in the top 26. There is a bit of a gap before the next SEC team (Ole Miss at #47), and then there is a four-team cluster (Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Arkansas) between #65 and #71. This leaves only Auburn (#97) and Kentucky (#107) as lower teams.


Full post

LSU vs. (Steve Spurrier and) South Carolina
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football Curley Hallman Florida Georgia Lou Holtz LSU Michigan St. Nick Saban South Carolina Steve Spurrier

I’ll just write a brief intro to bring this current (some of which is a repeat from my blog from earlier this week), and I’ll also provide the updated records instead of what I had on the original blog (replaced by ellipses).

LSU is 17-2-1 against South Carolina all time, which now includes three wins in the Spurrier era. South Carolina won the first game between the two schools in 1930 and didn’t win the second until 1994 (its only win in Baton Rouge), then earning the tie in 1995.

This was the 9th time in the LSU/South Carolina series that the game was decided by 8 points or fewer, so LSU is 6-2-1 in such games against the Gamecocks.

If you’ll look at my LSU/Florida rivalry post, I included a list of the larger point totals in that series. In four of the five instances in which the Gators scored over 40 and two of the three instances in which they scored over 50 against the Tigers, Spurrier was their coach. Obviously this game yesterday was a huge game anyway, but it always adds a little extra to the spirit of LSU fans to have Spurrier there.

Spurrier has now fallen to 11-4 against LSU now that he has lost all three games against the Tigers since beginning in South Carolina. Spurrier is now 67 years old, so there may not be too many more games against LSU, particularly if the league sticks with the 6-1-1 format, which means that every year LSU would only play one of the 6 teams in the East apart from Spurrier’s alma mater, who the Tigers play every year. If they continue on the same rotation, LSU will not play South Carolina again until 2018 and then not again until 2024. I have a feeling he won’t still be coaching at 79, but I guess it’s conceivable.

Continue to full post.

(if you follow that link, it will also take you to the other "rivalry" entries, including LSU/A&M.)

Week 7 Top 25 and Commentary (including LSU post-game)
Category: NCAA
Tags: NCAA Football Alabama Florida Kansas St. LSU Northwestern Notre Dame Ohio St. Oklahoma Oregon South Carolina Texas Tech Texas A&M WVU

Top 25

rank / team / prior

1 Alabama 1

2 Notre Dame 2

3 Ohio St. 3

4 Kansas St. 9

5 Florida 7

6 Oregon St. 8

7 Oregon 5

8 TX Tech 14

9 S Carolina 4

10 W Virginia 6

11 Rutgers 17

12 LSU 20

13 Oklahoma –

14 TX A&M 23

15 Miss. St. 18

16 Louisville 19

17 Cincinnati 15

18 Boise St. 21

19 Stanford 10

20 N’western –

21 USC –

22 La. Tech 11

23 Texas 12

24 Florida St. 22

25 Georgia 16

Out of rankings: (13) Iowa St., (24) Toledo, (25) Duke

Full 124 permalink




Since losing his first home game against Tennessee (in which the Tigers gave up a 21-point lead before going on to lose in overtime), Les Miles has only lost 5 home games. Three of those losses occurred in the 2008 season (Georgia, Alabama [in overtime], and Ole Miss), with one loss each in 2007 (Arkansas, again in overtime) and 2009 (Florida). From 2005 to 2007 (Arkansas was LSU’s final home game in 2007), the Tigers won 19 straight games at home. Their current streak, however, is the longest in LSU history at 22 games. Nick Saban, who incidentally won his last 10 home games (and 14 of his last 15) as LSU’s head coach, will be the next coach to attempt to put a stop to that streak.

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