Les Miles sucks; UT coaching search; Hate week

It was apparent to most observers last season that Les Miles was a meauxron. This year it seems some in LSU territory are starting to understand that too.

Coaching to blame for LSU’s bad season
The bottom line is this. LSU is a poorly coached football team on defense first and foremost and also on offense. …

Practices have been closed at LSU since it lost at Florida, so I do not know for sure if LSU is practicing. It often plays like it has not practiced. …

Miles and Crowton thought they could just plug Lee right in to the same fascinating passing offense it ran last year. They should have worked more on the running game and gone slower with Lee. That would have helped the defense. But Miles and Crowton don’t like to run. They just want to pass like they’re in the Big 12, no matter how few quarterbacks can walk at the moment.

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Tennessee nearing choice?
Chatter on the Internet tonight holds that Lane Kiffin will be named Tennessee’s head football coach. If so, that sounds like a good choice. Tennessee needs new blood. We’ll have to wait for official word as the season concludes.

Less hate for Auburn
Auburn blogs continue the theme of this being Hate Week. I don’t hate Auburn fans; I hate obnoxious people (and every SEC fan base has its fair share.) Another blog—the excellent Eight In the Box—puts it bluntly: “I’ve tried to brew up a gumbo pot of not very nice feelings for Auburn, but I can’t do it. The best I can come up with is a weak broth of those guys don’t interest me very much.” And that is a much healthier approach than the bordering on mentally ill feelings of this one Tiger fan: “I haven’t been blue about lackluster Auburn, because I’ve been totally preoccupied with undefeated Alabama.”

Tide’s Andre Smith Selected as a Finalist for the Outland Trophy
Here’s a press release from UA detailing Andre Smith’s status as a finalist for the Outland Trophy:
TUSCALOOSA — University of Alabama left tackle Andre Smith was named a finalist for the 63rd Outland Trophy the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) announced on Monday.

The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. The winner will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 11 during “The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Smith, a junior from Birmingham, Ala., anchors a powerful offensive line that has been a key to the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s success in 2008. Smith has surrendered just one sack all season and only seven in his 36-game Alabama career. Smith has also helped clear the way for 198.5 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks 23rd nationally. Smith was ask Monday what winning the Outland Trophy would mean.

“It would mean that hard work and determination that we did as a team helped certain individuals be nominated for certain awards,” Smith said. “That’s why I give all the success to my teammates helping me and other guys earn the honor to be finalists for certain awards.”

Joining Smith as finalists is Mississippi’s Michael Oher and Oklahoma’s Duke Robinson. Smith is the only player selected as a finalist for the both the Outland Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi Award, which is given to the top offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker.

“I really can’t say enough about the consistency that he’s (Andre Smith) played with,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “He’s worked hard this year, he worked hard on his weight, and he worked hard on his conditioning. I think his ability to sustain is better, I think his knowledge and experience at his position has helped him play with more consistency. I think Joe Pendry (offensive line coach) has done a really good job of helping him develop, and Andre’s worked really hard. It’s hard for me to think that anybody could’ve played much better at his position, though I don’t see them all play and I’m not making comparisons, but he’s played about as well as, I think, anybody could.”

Smith is looking to become the Crimson Tide’s second Outland Trophy winner. Former Tide All-American Chris Samuels captured the 1999 Outland Trophy.

The Outland Trophy has been awarded annually by the FWAA since 1946. It is named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. The Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award.