It’s not often that a college football program wins 10 games in a season, and most fans still view it as a disappointment. Only at that’s the exact precedent Les Miles has set. At this point, anything less than a BCS title run is considered to be a disappointment in Baton Rouge, and a 10-win season- like the one the Tigers just completed- is viewed by most as a ho-hum affair, and one that needs to be improved upon immediately.
In terms of this past 10-win season in specific, where most of the concern for LSU fans came was on the offensive side of the ball. Simply put, after years of watching Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee slog through low-scoring, highly un-entertaining games, the 2012 season was expected to be a breakthrough, one where Zach Mettenbeger, Odell Beckham and a slew of talented running backs lit up the scoreboard, and put an offensive product on the field to match the always ferocious LSU defense.
Only, yeah it didn’t happen. LSU finished 87th nationally in total offense, much to the dismay of many ardent supporters of the program.
And apparently that offense is not only a concern to the fan-base, but also to Les Miles himself.
That’s because according to NOLA.com’s Jim Kleinpeter, Miles is looking to shake up his offensive staff big-time, by reportedly trying to bring in former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Cameron is an old Miles chum from their days together at Michigan, and here is what Kleinpeter reported late Friday afternoon:
LSU Coach Les Miles and the school are working a on a deal to bring former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron into the same position on the Tiger staff, a source close to the school said Friday. Cameron and Miles worked together for seven years at University of Michigan.
The source said the deal is in the works but the details are still being worked out and an announcement is expected next week. Miles was unavailable for comment Friday.
Now if this is true, the news is interesting for a couple reasons.
The first is that- as I just mentioned- Cameron is the former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator, a title he received after being unceremoniously fired with three games left this past regular season. At the time Baltimore was 9-4, but their offense had stalled under Cameron, and it didn’t appear as though the Ravens would do much in the postseason. But whether it was Cameron’s play-calling or not that was ailing Baltimore, the Ravens got white-hot in the playoffs without him, scoring at least 24 points in their four postseason wins. Included was a 34-point output in last Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Now, whether the fact that he was just fired from his last job only two months ago would be a sticking point with LSU fans, remains to be seen. However to his credit, Cameron did take his firing in stride, telling the New York Times just days before the Super Bowl:
“It was a brilliant move,” Cameron said Wednesday at his home outside Baltimore. “Everyone on the team took a look in the mirror after that.”
Of course if Cameron is in fact hired, the biggest problem at LSU might have little to do with Cameron, and a lot to do with this one, minor detail: At no point has Miles fired his previous offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa. As a matter of fact, Studrawa is still listed on the team’s official website as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator as well as offensive line coach, and it appears that even if Cameron was hired, Studrawa would remain on the staff as the offensive line coach. To his credit, Studrawa has received rave reviews as an offensive line coach, but how could it not be a little bit of a slap in the face to bring in someone else to call plays? Whether it would cause friction within the LSU coaching staff internally remains to be seen.
Either way, this is an interesting story to keep an eye on as we head into the weekend. Because for all the talk this week about how recruiting will impact the SEC going forward, this is a move that would have a much more immediate, on the field result.
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