The Beginning of the End
For those who don’t know, Joe Alleva is the athletic director at LSU. Since his arrival in 2008, it seems like every decision he has made has been the wrong one. Alleva arrived at LSU during some of the most successful times in school history. Coming off a national championship in football in 2007, a final four in basketball in 2005-2006, and just hiring their baseball coach of the future Paul Mainieri, everything seemed to be going great down in Baton Rouge. Then Joe Alleva gets hired and decided to set everything on fire.
In 2012, Alleva hired Johnny Jones which, I know hindsight is 20/20, but that was a dumpster fire from the get-go. He was never going to take the basketball program to the next level; he wasn’t an elite recruiter, nor a great x’s & o’s guy, as we could tell when he did luck into some talented teams. Jones couldn’t get a team with what some people called the “next LeBron James” to the tournament, which seems like an unthinkable failure. Now, since I am going to continue to bash Alleva after this, I will take a break to give him credit for the Will Wade hire, but no one. not even Alleva. could miss on every hire.
Les Miles Saga
Now to the biggest blunder of Alleva’s dumpster-fire of a career: the Les Miles saga. Alleva seemed to pull a Michael Scott fake firing at the end of the 2015 season that began the shit show that is LSU football now. So Les is back for the 2016 season and without a plan in place, Alleva fires Les mid-season, promoting Coach O to interim. LSU then owed 15 million to Les for his buyout, which crippled the ability to go after a big name coach, even though they found a guy worth the risk in Tom Herman. Herman was a hot, up and coming coach that could be a program changer and they had him in their grasp until Alleva let him get away. He then settled for the safe, charismatic Ed Orgeron. who seems to be the people’s choice, but guess what Alleva, the people aren’t ADs for a reason.
To sell the Orgeron hire to the smarter fans, Alleva said that Coach O was great recruiter and they were going to surround him with the best coordinators in the game. One of these coordinators is great and is one thing keeping LSU football afloat; that is defensive genius Dave Aranda. Now, the other, Matt Canada, might have been good, but its hard to be a great offensive coordinator when the head coach hates everything you’re trying to do. Alleva now fires the high profile OC and buys him out to replace him with an old guy who hasn’t been an OC in 20 years in Steve Ensminger. I was pushing for Ensminger to get the job, but that was because I had to. LSU owes too much money to people not even coaching the program to hire someone noteworthy, so overpay for a Tee Martin?
LSU has to now sit and wait in football purgatory while they dig themselves out of this pit Alleva as thrown them in. While most other schools in the SEC seem to be upgrading their coaching staffs, LSU is hiring old guys to try to bring back the glory days, all while steering them into their darkest days since the 90’s. LSU won’t be able to afford good coaching until the 2020 season, which could mean not competing for national, much less SEC championship in football for the next five years. Five years may not seem like a lot, but for the last decade or two, LSU has gone into almost every season with hopes of a National Championship, which will not be the case for quite a long time to come, especially under Alleva.