Team preview: LSU

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


Winning 11 games in each of his first two seasons as LSU's head coach didn't allow Les Miles to escape the shadow of former coach Nick Saban, who led the Tigers to a share of the national championship in 2003 before leaving for the Miami Dolphins after the 2004 season.

No matter what Miles has done, critics have been quick to remind him that he has "done it with Saban's players." Even Saban refuses to give Miles any credit for what's happened at LSU the past two seasons. One day after LSU finished its 2006 season with a 41-14 Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame, Saban said, "The players that you saw play last night for LSU were primarily players that were recruited when I was there."

Now Saban's back in the SEC at West Division rival Alabama. Since Saban's hiring, Miles has done his part to fuel the rivalry, telling LSU boosters at a recruiting party that his team was "looking forward" to playing Florida and Auburn, "but we have a new rival in [expletive] Alabama!"

Then, at a booster club meeting in Pensacola, Fla., in May, Miles said, "It's funny, my entire coaching career, I've never enjoyed the color red. Ohio State, Indiana. Shoot, when I was with the [Dallas] Cowboys, it was the Redskins. I just see it as another opportunity to go back to my roots and kick the crap out of another team in red."