Hobbs Column: Expect more of the same from LSU

By By Scooter Hobbs / American Press

Overheard in the lobby before Les Miles addressed the now semi-annual LSU Tiger Tour at L’Auberge Tuesday night, spoken by

an obvious fan:

“I’m afraid this could be another 10-2 season.”

Mind you, it was muttered, not with excitement, not with typical LSU bravado, but somewhat with resignation.

As in … not much of a parade this year.

And this guy was old enough to remember LSU’s lost decade of the 1990s when 10-2 seemed like a pipe dream.

So that’s what Miles was dealing with in this Golden Age of LSU football. That’s the monster he has nurtured with the Tigers,

where anything less than a national championship is only barely tolerated and anything less than an SEC title is considered a waste of time.

Even with Alabama in the same division — maybe especially with Alabama as an archrival.

Sky-high expectations — often bordering on unrealistic — has always been one of real charms of that special species known

as the LSU fan.

Miles’ eyes were wide open when he took the job, and it hasn’t gotten any easier with the success he’s had.

But it wasn’t really so tough a crowd

inside Tuesday night — it’s still April, after all. But even if it had

been, we’ll probably

never know.

Miles can be a funny guy. As we know, he has his quirks, his puzzling turns of a phrase, his occasional need of a translator

for an adopted state that sometimes strays from the King’s English.

It has potential for comical Q&A.

So there was a packed ballroom of eager LSU fans who surely had some pertinent questions, maybe some pointed ones too.

They paid good money for this. Miles gets paid much better money to put up with this stuff. The alums anted up some more in

an auction. There were in a good mood.

They also couldn’t get a word in.

This event would be so much better if LSU would just trust Les to be Les.

Instead, like so many big institutions these days, the school seems obsessed with controlling the information flow.

Gordy Rush, former co-host of one of the best postgame college football radio shows in the country, is an able interviewer.

Which is fortunate because he was the only one in the ballroom who got to question Miles.

Rush does a good job, and give him credit for bringing the pesky Jeremy Hill situation to Miles’ attention.

There was a separate room set aside for local media to pepper Miles with questions, so this isn’t a personal complaint.

But we media get Miles all year.

So what’s the harm in letting fans and alums have a chance to fire one up at their head coach?

In the past, Miles always handled that part well. But in recent years, the audience seems expected to remain just the audience

and lap up whatever LSU decides to dish out.

Believe me, Miles could handle them.

It’s basically preaching to the choir anyway.

One of the biggest ovations of the night responded to the word that Tiger Stadium’s new south end zone upper deck, built above the club suites, will

include a convenient upper-upper-deck to stash visiting fans.

When asked to address the fact that his top running back, Hill, has been suspended indefinitely, courtesy of the misdemeanor

charges that arose from his part in an off-campus lounge dust-up last weekend.

”He will be separated him from this team and allow him to work through what are his issues,” Miles said, sounding as annoyed

and frustrated as the fans who’ve wondered all weekend how you fix stupid.

Miles probably spoke for the entire room when he related the conversation he had with Hill, the Tigers’ leading rusher last

year, along with his parents and minister.

“I asked him what his grade point was?” Miles said. “He said 3.2 (GPA). I said, how can you be such a good student, be such

a good player, and not have it all together? What put you in this situation?”

Miles said Hill told him, “Coach, I’m going to fix that situation.”

“I like that answer,” Miles said. “I told him you do your business, you communicate with me along the way, and let’s see how

it goes.”

Miles had a ringside seat in New York last week, commentating for the NFL network, which afforded him the perfect view to

watch his defense disappear before his very eyes.

Six starters went in the first three rounds — which has never happened to any school before — and when the pros were done

picking him clean, he’d lost nine underclassmen. 

“That’s what our players are supposed to do,” he said proudly before the event, sounding like an overzealous Little League

daddy. “That’s the kind of players we bring to LSU.

“We’ve got more of them waiting their turn.”

That’s what they wanted to hear.

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Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com