The LSU Tigers fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in their 2016 college football season debut, 14-16. LSU football team came into the game ranked fifth in the nation and was projected to dominate the unranked Wisconsin team, but the Badgers used tenacity to capitalize on Tigers’ errors to pull off the victory.
LSU football fans immediately took to Twitter to express disdain for head coach Les Miles.
Les Miles boards plane, finds his seat. pic.twitter.com/ZaRPAfnizS
— nascarcasm (@nascarcasm) September 3, 2016
It's September 3rd and Twitter has already fired Les Miles. Yes I have missed college football.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) September 3, 2016
So who's gonna put the "for sale" sign up on Les Miles' lawn?
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 3, 2016
LSU’s loss to Wisconsin in the opener comes after concern had been expressed in the offseason over the lack of talent at the quarterback position and fear that LSU’s program lacked the offensive means to stay competitive. According to SB Nation, the first half of the game was indicative of LSU’s offensive struggles as they remained scoreless. In fact, it was LSU’s defense with a pick six that first put them on the board against Wisconsin.
And according to stats given by Bleacher Report, the concerns about LSU’s lack of depth at the quarterback position are also justified. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris was 12 for 21 throws with only 131 yards. In fact, it was an interception thrown by Harris in the final minute of the game that sealed LSU’s fate. After being forced out of the pocket by a Wisconsin defender, LSU’s young quarterback scrambled to release the ball in a hurry right into the hands of Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon. The turnover meant a mark in the “L” column for LSU who only had one time out left, but it also resulted in one of the dirtiest hits witnessed in college football in a long time.
LSU offensive tackle Josh Boutte didn’t take kindly to Dixon’s celebration of the interception and came in with a clothesline hit that drilled Dixon to the ground still clutching the football.
— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) September 3, 2016
So is LSU’s Les Miles really facing the unemployment line after one game? Rumors began to emerge last year that Miles was on thin ice with LSU’s football program. After a 7-0 start to the season, the highly competitive football program lost three straight. LSU’s season-ending win against Texas A&M may have saved Miles, who had led the Tigers to a national championship victory in 2007, but many fans attribute Les and LSU’s success in the early years to former coach Nick Saban’s recruiting prior to Miles taking over the program in 2005.
Despite going 112-32 in his LSU football coaching career, however, last year’s rumor mill about LSU’s football boosters wanting to pay Miles the $15 million on his contract to bring in new blood combined with today’s loss against Wisconsin has generated some new buzz. Still, it’s early in the 2016 college football season for speculation on Miles, and in truth, Wisconsin has some formidable players who may have just alluded to the Badgers’ ability to make a run for a national championship themselves.
Wisconsin’s football program also has struggled to make a decision in the quarterback position but the Badgers defense was turning heads before the college football season even started. Fronted by cornerback Sojourn Shelton and outside linebacker T.J. Watt, the younger brother of the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, Wisconsin looks to impress. And as the Denver Broncos proved last year, championships can be won despite quarterback woes as long as you’re able to provide a stout defense.
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]