Les Miles feels no added pressure after the Tigers’ recent skid, and he feels that there are no “issues” with his support from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.
The coach responded to questions about his job security on the Southeastern Conference’s weekly teleconference Wednesday, hours after a story emerged questioning his future with the school. The ice under Miles’ feet is thinning, and he’s coaching for his job over the next two games, Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais wrote in a story published Tuesday night.
The Tigers (7-2, 4-2) have slipped from No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings to No. 15 after double digit-point losses to Alabama and at home to Arkansas, a touchdown underdog. LSU, 17th in the AP poll, travels to No. 25 Ole Miss (7-3, 4-2) on Saturday as four-point underdogs. It’s the first time since 1999-2000 that LSU is an underdog in consecutive games against the Rebels.
“I’ve kind of always played beyond a … when you finish second, I’ve always played the same style of football,” he said. “To get back on track is a sincere feeling in this program. When you go two games, it’s painful. I don’t know (that there’s) any additional pressure (than) in my second game when we finished second to Tennessee and went on to have a great season.
“I think it’s imperative that the Tigers get back on track,” he finished. “I don’t think there could be anymore, additional motivation that I have.”
Miles was asked if he feels the same support from his administration, specifically LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.
“I think it’s been very consistent,” the coach said. “I don’t think there are any issues. This is the style of job you get. You’re expected to win. Heck, that’s the kind of job that I want. I enjoy going into a stadium where everybody believes you ought to beat the tar out of the opponent.”
Miles is in the third year of a contract that runs through the 2019 season. His buyout is $15 million and drops to $12.9 million on Jan. 1. It drops to $8.6 million after the 2017 season. Miles’ assistant coaches each has a clause in their contracts tying them to their boss. Their contracts end six months after Miles’ contract is terminated, for whatever reason.
LSU is on the edge of losing three straight games for the first time in 16 years. Miles and the Tigers could fall to 13-10 in the SEC in their last 23 conference games with a defeat in Oxford, and they’ve lost five straight to SEC perennial power Alabama. The coach has won a national championship (2007) and three SEC titles (2005, 2007, 2011) in his 11 years in Baton Rouge. He’s the second most-winningest coach in program history.
More LSU Football
- ‘I know LSU is going to come back’: One recruit, at least, says Tigers’ skid won’t affect his decision