Auburn vs LSU: Les Miles in Search of 100th LSU Win


Sep 21, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles reacts to a call in the second half against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Auburn 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

A quick trivia question for you: What head coach owns the second most wins in LSU football history, after the legendary Charles McClendon?

Les Miles, of course.

The Mad Hatter has a career record of 99-25 through the first five games in his tenth season on campus, which places him second in school history and 38 wins behind McClendon. It also means that Miles, who is 127-46 overall in 14 seasons as a college head coach, could earn win No. 100 at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday night.

Always a quote machine, Miles has gained a reputation as a character with his grass eating, the way he claps with his fingers spread wide and the way he pronounces “Ar – Kansas.”

However, he also stocks the cupboard full each and every off-season with top-notch recruiting classes and future NFL players – so many that the Bayou Bengals have allowed more players to jump to The League in the last two seasons than any team in the nation, yet they still contend for conference and national championships every year.

Those players have helped Miles win 99 games as LSU’s head coach, and he has eyes on reaching the century mark Saturday. The 2011 National Coach of the Year and head coach of the 2007 National Champions has also been aided in his quest for 100 wins with one of the best coaching staffs in the country.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was a head coach in the NFL and defensive coordinator John Chavis is one of the best in the business as a defensive play-caller and is as highly respected as anyone in the country. Plus, recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson has been a primary piece to the puzzle when it comes to coaxing those future NFL stars to campus.

Career victory 100 certainly won’t come easy this Saturday, and with the No. 5 Auburn Tigers hosting Miles and company, it doesn’t appear all that likely at the moment.

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Auburn is a 7.5-point favorite according to Las Vegas odds makers, and LSU will have true freshman Brandon Harris lining up behind center in his first collegiate start. LSU is 4-1 on the season, but the loss came to SEC rival Mississippi State in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the 34-29 final score would indicate.

An improved Auburn defense will make like difficult for Harris and the rest of the young LSU offense, and Gus Malzahn’s offense, led by Nick Marshall, Cameron Artis-Payne and Duke Williams is one of the best in the nation. Of course, Auburn was stifled last year in Baton Rouge, and the Bayou Bengals have plenty of weapons, too. As always, there is a great deal of talent in Baton Rouge, but the 2014 Tigers’ squad is perhaps the most inexperienced in Miles’ tenure.

And speaking of Miles’ tenure, there is some thought that this season could mark the end of it. Rumors have swirled that Miles and LSU could be souring on one another, plus with the University of Michigan football program once again in turmoil, and Miles a “Michigan Man,” it is once again likely we see Les linked to an open position in Ann Arbor should it happen.

If he stays at LSU for a few more seasons, Les Miles will overtake Charles McClendon to become the school’s all-time wins leader. At the very least, he will become the second LSU head football coach to reach 100 wins. Just don’t expect the Auburn football team to let it happen on their watch.