The LSU administration didn’t mess around this year.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva flirted heavily with firing Les Miles last year after the Tigers lost their #2 ranking by losing three straight games to Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss, but they ended up letting him stick around after beating Texas A&M in the season finale.
But this year, they aren’t even waiting for October. Miles is reportedly out at LSU after 11 seasons and four games this year. They also got rid of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and named Ed Orgeron interim head coach for the rest of the season.
Arkansas was involved in several memorable games against Miles’ Tigers over the years. The 2007 “we got that wood right here!” upset against top-ranked LSU is an all-time college football classic, and the 2014 Catharsis game will always be remembered fondly in Arkansas. And how could we forget Miracle on Markham II, the night War Memorial sparkled with sugar, or Bielema’s statement in Baton Rouge last year?
Of course, Miles’ teams also delivered the Razorbacks their share of heartache. I’d rank my level of distraught-ness at the hands of Miles like so: 1) 2006 2) 2011 3) 2013 4) 2009 5) 2005 6) 2012. I don’t really want to talk about any of them.
Miles was 114-34 in Baton Rouge, their second-winningest coach ever. Arkansas was 5-6 against him.
The LSU job is one of the most coveted in college football, and speculation on who will get it will now likely be one of the preeminent storylines of the rest of the season. And as Hog fans know all too well, a long coaching search will bring up pretty much any name in the country at some point. I would expect Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Houston’s Tom Herman to be mentioned frequently. Fisher was considered a possibility last year when Miles was almost fired, and Herman is the top coach considered “up-and-coming” because of how well he’s done at Houston.
Whoever LSU hires, it will have an impact on Arkansas. Many fans consider LSU to be Arkansas’ biggest rivalry game and the direction of that program under a new coach (and you never know if it will be good or bad) will have a great effect on the rest of the conference.