LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva: Les Miles speculation at end of last season 'great wake-up call for everybody' _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles and LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva chat while walking in the center of the field during pregame warmups ahead of the Texas Bowl in December.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva voiced his disappointment Saturday in the Tigers’ outing last week against Wisconsin, and Alleva said he’s spoken twice to coach Les Miles this week.

“Myself, like all of our fans, are disappointed with that performance,” Alleva said in an interview on LSU’s pregame radio show on WDGL Eagle 98.1 FM.

The interview aired about a 45 minutes before the Tigers were expected to kick off off against Jacksonville State in the home opener.

“I know how hard our players worked in the offseason, really worked hard and prepared, and it really didn’t show in that game,” Alleva said. “Of course, I’m disappointed. But, on the other hand, it was the first game and all of the goals for this season are still available.”

Alleva said he’s spoken with Miles “a couple of times this week” and that the coach also expressed disappointment in the Tigers’ performance at Lambeau Field, the first season-opening loss for the program since 2002.

“He, likewise, is disappointed, but he’s also optimistic that the future is bright and that we can come through these games and still achieve our goals,” Alleva said. “We’ll see, as the season progress, as that comes to pass.”

LSU tumbled 16 spots this week to No. 21 in the AP top 25, falling more than any other team after that sloppy, 16-14 loss to the Badgers, then-unranked and 11-point underdogs. The Tigers (0-1) passed for just 131 yards and didn’t break the 260-yard mark for total offense. They scored just one offensive touchdown and did not have a drive longer than 49 yards.

The unit’s production — or lack thereof — reminded many of LSU’s offense late last season, when the Tigers dropped three straight games and Alleva contemplated firing his coach. The athletic director admitted in December to making “inquiries” and “looking at options” last year for a new coach.

This offseason, Miles promised offensive change in the passing game — whether that’s through schematic adjustments or improved execution from the quarterback position. He even made a commitment to his boss.

“He understands there has to be some changes made,” Alleva said in December.

Meanwhile, the LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday deferred a proposal to increase Miles’ potential bonus pay by $100,000. The proposal was thought to be a trivial matter, something normally passed quickly by the board.

The proposed increase recognizes the potential for LSU to participate in the new College Football Playoff. Miles’ current incentive package was built for the Bowl Championship Series, now defunct. The amendment did not guarantee additional money for Miles, but merely adjusted the benchmarks. The Tigers would have to advance to the finals of the CFP for him to receive the proposed bonus.

“It was just bad timing,” said Scott Angelle, a member of the Board of Supervisors.

LSU enters the home opener against the Gamecocks 0-1 for the first time since opening the season with a loss at Virginia Tech in 2002.

“There’s still an opportunity to achieve all of the goals this team has set for itself,” Alleva said. “I hope today’s game will be the first on the march to achieving those goals.”

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.