Music City Bowl — Notre Dame 31, LSU 28: Three and out _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU coach Les Miles pleads his case with an official after the Tigers' fake field-goal attempt late in the first half against Notre Dame on Tuesday at the Music City Bowl.


It’s going to be a long, interesting offseason at LSU. The Tigers finished a rollercoaster campaign Tuesday with a frustrating 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl, a game that featured all the flaws of this 8-5 team: A defense that couldn’t get off the field at critical times, an offense that couldn’t punch in a critical score just before halftime (settling for a fake field-goal attempt that was ruled short) and a sketchy kicking game. And we learned college football’s replay system is sketchy, too, but that you already knew.


John Chavis. With Les Miles-to-Michigan talk squelched, Texas A&M’s pursuit of LSU’s defensive coordinator to fill that vacant position in College Station stole the headlines Saturday. Chavis has had an unsigned contract on his desk for weeks but was apparently miffed by a clause that said if Miles left, he would only be compensated for six months. Considering the Tigers were gashed for 449 yards by the Irish and allowed 11 of 17 third-down conversions, it certainly casts serious doubt on whether LSU would engage in a bidding war.


LSU leaves Nashville with more questions than answers. If Chavis does indeed bolt for A&M, who will be the new defensive coordinator? Anthony Jennings looks entrenched at QB (Brandon Harris didn’t play), but 7 of 14 passing for 151 yards isn’t stellar. Bigger things will still be expected of LSU in 2015, but the Tigers won’t be ranked as high as they would’ve been with a win. Like in 2008, the last time LSU finished 8-5, a tough climb awaits.