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Monday, October 21, 2013

Colonel Reb is Laughing

The Daily Hat Trick discusses the world of sports, but I'm a Louisiana guy and a Louisiana fan. I could not remain completely silent on the stunning upset of the then-sixth ranked LSU Tigers at the hands of the Ole Miss Rebels this past Saturday on the gridiron.
There is plenty for which to criticize LSU in this game. Playcalling was poor, particularly on offense in the first half. However, I'm cautious about criticizing game plans as the next game I coach at any level will be my first.
However, clock management isn't a matter of game-planning; it's math. LSU stopped Ole Miss short of the first down marker on a third down running play by the Rebels. Why LSU Head Coach Les Miles did not call his final timeout with 25 seconds left in the game to give the offense a chance to get into field goal range on the ensuing possession is a mystery.  Instead the clock ran down to three seconds. Ole Miss kicker Andrew Ritter split the uprights with a 41 yard field goal. The game was over and Ole Miss won.
I'm as staunch a Les Miles defender as there is; I think he's over-criticized by LSU fans. To some fans, he could cure cancer and AIDS and "(Miles' predecessor) Nick Saban was still better". But this is not the first clock blunder for which Miles has been responsible. This goes beyond The Mad Hatter quirks; this is negligence. Miles, an experienced major-conference coach who has won a national championship and been a BCS national runner up, has no excuse for these types of mistakes. 
How hard can this problem be to fix? Couldn't he appoint a position coach (or a grad assistant) to be in charge of advising on clock management in close games?. Dudes sitting around buzzed while playing Madden 25 would not make that type of mistake.

For most of us, this would be a souvenir. Most Les Miles, this is a gag gift. 

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