Programming note: We will be broadcasting live at Saltgrass in Sugar Land today from 4-7 p.m. Texans safety Quintin Demps is scheduled to join the show at 6 p.m.
So the firing in college football has already started. Notre Dame whacked its defensive coordinator. Florida International parted ways with its head coach. But the biggest bombshell came Sunday night when LSU fired Les Miles.
Miles is 114-34 at LSU, played for two national championships and won one. In his 11 seasons, Miles failed to win nine games twice. Both times, the Tigers won eight. That kind of record is simply amazing.
Since 1987 before Miles, LSU won as many as nine games six times. Three of those were under Nick Saban. So Miles did it nine times in 11 years. In the prior 18, it only happened six times.
But this is a what have you done lately world. LSU was just 12-10 against power five schools in its past 22 games and 4-5 in the past nine.
LSU fans and donors have been frustrated with Miles, because they believe they should win the national championship every year. But so do fans at Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State, etc. Miles suffered from facing Saban every year. That’s a tough standard, because Saban is the best coach in football. Everyone suffers by comparison. Fans’ frustration with Miles and his occasionally goofy coaching decisions and inability to be Saban is the real reason he is being fired. That it all came down to a last second loss at Auburn — a game that it briefly looked like LSU had won — is a little bizarre.
This is a “be careful what you wish for” kind of firing. LSU fan who is celebrating today might want to think twice. Miles’ recruiting was terrific year in and year out. His biggest mistake was hanging on to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who was also fired. Had Miles gone with a more vibrant, creative OC — and not been so conservative — he might still be employed.
Fans want a Tom Herman or Jimbo Fisher. It’s highly unlikely they get Herman. Fisher has won a national championship, but in the much easier ACC. Could he do it in the SEC West? Could he win nine games year in and year out? Could he compete with Saban? The reality is, probably not.
Miles’ biggest sin? He is not Nick Saban. But then who is?
Welcome back: The one positive out of this is the return of Ed Orgeron as interim head coach. Expect to hear this a couple hundred times over the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, on the field...Texas A&M came up with a big win, knocking off Arkansas. The unbeaten Aggies might be establishing themselves as the second-best team in the SEC West…Houston had no trouble with Texas State. The Cougars have a game with UConn on Thursday, the only team to beat them over the last two years…Baylor remained one of the last two unbeatens in the Big 12, passing its first test of the season with a win over Oklahoma State.
In the NFL: The Dallas Cowboys picked up another win, knocking off the Chicago Bears. Every win they get while Tony Romo recovers is a bonus. Dak Prescott has been more than serviceable and Zeke Elliot finally had a game worthy of the No. 4 pick in the draft…Former Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had a game to forget.
Swing and a miss: The Astros salvaged the last game of their series with the Angels, but they are three games out with only six to play and badly beaten up. In the end, it will be a good season, but they will come up short of the playoffs.
Gambling recap: We continue to kill it on the colleges with a 4-1 mark on Saturday. (4-0 for me because I don’t play UH). Our two “others to watch” would have been losers, but the numbers never got where we wanted them, so they were no plays. (Although Marshall did get to 31 on some sites and would have been a push). But the NFL continues to be a struggle: 0-2 with one play left tonight (Saints over). Add in an easy CFL win and we are 5-3 for the weekend with a chance to go 6-3. (Personally 5-2 and guaranteed a winning week).
R.I.P: Golf legend Arnold Palmer joined the ridiculous list of celebrities that have passed in 2016.
Judgement day: The only thing standing between us and Skynet taking over the world? It might be the animals, especially this moose.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Maybe poker’s just not your game Ike. I know! Let’s have a spelling contest…”
— Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday in Tombstone