Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rebuttal to Pete Fiutak's "Hail Miles"

As I was searching the web yesterday, I visited one of my favorite college football web sites ( I came across the weekly Cavalcade of Whimsy by Pete Fiutak (

For the most part I agreed with Fiutak's observations...for the most part.

After reading Fiutak's thoughts about LSU coach Les Miles's late game decision against Auburn, I could see that Fiutak, much like many other writers, is still confused on Miles's call.

Fiutak's entire claim is based around how "unnecessary" it was for Les Miles to take a shot at the end zone.

I have got two words for you Pete: Colt David. Those two words together are what makes Miles's call the right one. Why? On the season Colt David is 14 of 19, which is not that bad...until you look at the fact that during LSU's last home game against Florida he was 0 for 2, and on the season David has never made a field goal past the 40 yard line. Had LSU needed to kick a field goal it would of been from about 40 yards out. In the eyes of many, Colt David is seen as an inconsistent kicker.

I hope you realize these thoughts had to be in Miles's head in the closing moments of the game.

Furthermore you make the claim the call was downright "stupid." Referring to something as "stupid" is clearly a statement with no validity. When I think of "stupid" I think of two grade school kids arguing over whose favorite basketball player is the best. When one kid says his favorite player is better, the other kid simply states, "I don't like him. He's stupid." There's no substance to saying the call was just "stupid."

Now let me say, LSU should of managed the clock late in the game much better. As we all know that did not happen. Even so, Miles wanted to take two chances at scoring rather than one. He did not want to put all his chips on Colt David winning the game just right yet.

Miles basic thinking was, "There is time for one more play before the field goal. Let's take a shot at the end zone. If we don't get anything we'll go for the field goal. Let's just try it."

Well his attempt did work. Now I am sure it's been said countless times, but when Demetrius Byrd hit the ground after his TD catch at least 3 seconds were left on the clock. So what if the pass was tipped? There easily would of been time left in the game. How about an interception? In single coverage that is not nearly as likely. It was a small risk.

But if you are going to sit there and play the "What-If Game," how about this: what if there was a bad snap for the field goal attempt? What if Colt David shanked it?

And finally the reason I felt inclined to write my rebuttal to your "Hail Miles" paragraph Pete, is for the simple fact that you fall into the category of the many people who consider Les Miles to be stupid. Face it, Pete, you think the guy is not that great of a coach and is only winning off of pure luck, or as you would like to say it "stupid" calls. Now granted, I do not think Miles is a god, but I will give him his credit when it is due. (Cough! Auburn game.) I have heard all the excuses regarding how Les Miles's being a good coach is overrated. "Come on the coach has gotten so lucky this year. He coaches LSU! How can't you win there?"

Pete, I do not know why guys like you continue to shy away from giving Miles any credit. Is it because of the way he comes across during interviews; that long, slow speech of his? Or maybe it's the hat? One thing is for sure Les Miles is not an idiot (Degree in Economics from Michigan), and his call against Auburn was not "stupid."

It was gamble, that can separate the good coaches from the great ones.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Had you actually checked with me first, I'd have given you what I wrote what I wrote. You proved my point for me. David is risky from deep, so why not go with the correct call and try for a safe play for five or ten more yards? If the TD pass attempt missed, David still has to hit the 40 yarder. Also, had you ever read my stuff, you'd know I've done nothing but praise Miles from the start. This was just one bad call.