Alabama Football: LSU has stumbled from the college football mountaintop and the Tigers’ coaching staff is to blame.
No college football fans know the value of coaching more than Alabama football fans. There is an old saying about Crimson Tide championship head coaches all being alike. Alabama football history buffs can provide numerous explanations why the old saying is true.
From Wallace Wade through Nick Saban, Crimson Tide championship head coaches have been smart, tough and unrelentingly demanding. Each of them used their own personal brand of leadership. The result was almost always football teams made up of players that would not quit.
Recruiting, systems of play and tactics do not win games unless players execute. Building a powerful, sustaining will to win is what separates great teams and great coaches. As Bryant said long ago and Nick Saban believes today, greater than the will to win must be the will to prepare.
The 2020 Alabama football team has that championship will. The other team playing in Baton Rouge Saturday night does not. What separates the two programs is the coaching.
Some LSU fans want to believe the only missing ingredient to 2020 success has been a healthy Myles Brennan. Brennan has not played in over a month and is not expected back this season. Losing Brennan was a blow to the Tigers’ offense, but it is not LSU’s greatest problem.
The Bengal Tigers, even after opt-outs, have plenty of talent. In the 2017 through 2020 signing classes, per the 247Sports Composite, LSU had the No. 7, No. 15, No. 5 and No. 4 classes. That is too much talent for a team to be 3-4 in a season after a National Championship.
Open-minded LSU fans know what the problem is. It is the coaching. Simply stated, Ed Orgeron failed when replacing Joe Brady and Dave Aranda. Neither Steve Ensminger nor Bo Pelini has been close to being good enough.
Going into the TAMU game, NCAA Stats show clear deficiencies. The Bengal Tigers were No. 79 in Scoring Defense, No. 111 in Total Defense and No. 125 in Passing Yards Allowed. The Passing Offense has been good at No. 11, but without Brennan, the passing attacked is diminished. In third-down conversion, LSU is No. 80 and the Rushing Offense is No. 100.
Ed’s boys, Steve and Bo have not cut it. The voids left from the departures of Brady and Aranda have been poorly filled. It gets worse when you consider what LSU football experts are saying.
More than a few of those experts claim LSU quit against Auburn. In a loss that should have embarrassed LSU players, some were seen laughing on the sideline late in the game. Scott Rabalais writing for The Advocate said,
"Defense is a lot about effort, toughness, a bit of nastiness. LSU has shown very little of that lately.LSU got pushed around by an average Auburn team and eventually gave up."
LSU may be lacking in player leadership, but players do, or do not, give up in relation to how they are coached. More often, players give up on coaches before they give up on teammates.
When the Crimson Tide defeat the Bengal Tigers Saturday night in Baton Rouge, the blame should be given to Ed Orgeron and his two Coordinators. Alabama football fans will gladly explain this to LSU fans who don’t understand.