I’ll get to the shoes, but before that even came up again, I was planning to write about Les’ coverage by the Oklahoma St. media. After last season, I wrote this blog about Les Miles’ tenure at LSU so far as compared to previous coaches. I didn’t write anything about that other school where he was the head coach. (By the way, let me know if my links are not to your liking. I know some people like to know where they’re going before clicking on a link.)
I found this tribute by “News OK”/The Oklahoman interesting. Check out the video and the article.
Miles “only” went 2-2 against “Bedlam” rivals Oklahoma, including a 52-9 loss, but a few notes about that series that the Oklahoma St. media didn’t care to remind people about (and I don’t blame them). The Cowboys have only beaten the Sooners 16 times in 97 games. Only 7 of those Oklahoma teams had winning records (1917, 1930, 1944, 1966, 1976, 2001, and 2002), so the only two of those instances in the last 34 years were under Miles. 1976 was the only other time Oklahoma had what I would call an impressive record (9-2-1). The best Oklahoma record in the other seasons was 6-3-1. The Oklahoma teams that the Cowboys beat under Miles were 11-2 and 12-2, respectively. You would never hear Les call this a success, I’m sure, but the Cowboys only lost to the Sooners by three points in 2004, a year Oklahoma would finish 12-1 (the only loss being in the national championship game). The Sooners have won every game against the Cowboys since, and 4 of the 6 games were by 20 points or more.
I don’t understand what he did in leaving to upset the Oklahoma St. fans, but maybe some of the resentment is because they miss him a little, at least during one game a year. Despite the one blowout, there had to be a better feeling going into Bedlam then than there is now or than there has been any time in memory. He told people goodbye? That seems like a nice thing to me. Maybe someone could explain to me what he did. It’s not like he pulled a Saban and started coaching another Big XII South team (the only ones comparable to Alabama would be Oklahoma or maybe Texas) a couple of years later.
Mike Gundy had his tirade ("I'm a man, I'm 40"), but I prefer a guy being funny because he doesn’t take himself too seriously rather than because he's prone to drama. It might have even been somewhat calculated too. He had to show he was just as committed-to-the-point-of-insanity (or at least a high level of eccentricity) to his program and his players to replace Miles in people’s eyes.