Les Miles' most impressive accomplishments at LSU
Les Miles burst on the scene in Baton Rouge like no SEC coach ever did.
The Mad Hatter holds the distinction of being the only coach in SEC history to win at least 11 games five times during his first seven years in the league.
He wasn’t done there.
Obviously, his national championship in 2007 was his crowning achievement, but let’s take a look at some of Miles’ most impressive feats during his long tenure at LSU.
Highest win pct in school history
No coach won at a better rate in LSU history. Miles’ winning percentage of .770 is better than any of the school’s coaches who were at the helm for more than one season. That includes the likes of Nick Saban (.750), Charles McClendon (.682), Bernie Moore (.672) and Paul Dietzel (.651).
|RANK, COACH||WIN PCT||W-L-T||NO. OF SEASONS||YEARS|
|1. Les Miles||.770||114-34||12||2005-16|
|T2. Nick Saban||.750||48-16||5||2000-04|
|T2. Bill Arnsparger||.750||26-8-2||3||1984-86|
|4. Biff Jones||.742||20-5-6||3||1932-34|
|5. Charles McClendon||.682||135-61-7||18||1962-79|
|6. Pat Dwyer||.680||16-7-2||3||1911-13|
|7. Bernie Moore||.671||83-39-6||13||1935-47|
|8. Paul Dietzel||.651||46-24-3||7||1955-61|
Considering Miles averaged 10.2 wins per season, with another two or three years, Miles would’ve had a chance to make up the 21-win gap between him and McClendon to become the winningest LSU coach.
And as it turns out, that crushing loss to Auburn on Saturday left Miles one SEC win short (64) of tying McClendon for the most conference wins as a Tigers head coach.
Miles loved to go bowling
There wasn’t a single year during Miles’ 11 full seasons that LSU didn’t play in the postseason. The only other schools that can claim that since 2005 are Alabama and Georgia.
McClendon took the Tigers bowling in 13 of his 18 opportunities. So despite seven fewer chances, Miles had only two fewer bowl appearances and still tied McClendon for most bowl victories (seven).
|COACH||FULL SEASONS||BOWL APPEARANCES||BOWL WINS||BOWL RECORD|
Sending them to the pros
No SEC school has put more players in the NFL than Miles since the 2006 NFL Draft (the first draft following Miles’ debut season in Baton Rouge). Over that time, 69 Tigers have been drafted.
A year after the Tigers originally set the school mark with nine players drafted in 2013, it was matched the very following draft as another nine were taken in 2014.
Here’s a look at the most players drafted by SEC schools since 2006, as well as a look at their first-round draft picks, according to pro-football-reference.com.
|RANK, SCHOOL||TOTAL DRAFTED||FIRST-ROUND PICKS|
|T5. South Carolina||38||4|
|10. Texas A&M||28||8|
|11. Mississippi State||24||2|
|12. Ole Miss||19||6|
Miles the model of consistency
LSU has won at least eight games in 16 straight seasons, a streak that began right at the turn of the century. That matches Tennessee’s run from 1989-2004 as the longest in SEC history, and it’s also the longest active run among Power 5 schools.
Miles had been on the sidelines for the last 11 of those 16 seasons, and no SEC team was able to match that. Former Georgia coach Mark Richt came close, but his 6-7 mark in 2010 left him one season short.
Here’s a look at the schools with the most eight-win seasons since 2005.
LSU – 11
Georgia – 10
Alabama – 8 (all 10 wins in 2005 season were vacated)
Auburn – 8
Florida – 8
Missouri – 8
Arkansas – 6
Texas A&M – 6
Ole Miss – 5
Mississippi State – 5
South Carolina – 5
Tennessee – 3
Kentucky – 2
Vanderbilt – 2
On the same note related to consistency, LSU has been a permanent fixture in the national eye. Since Miles’ first season, LSU has appeared in the AP Top 25 Poll a total of 173 out of 184 times, or exactly 94 percent of the time. Let that sink in for a second.
If that seems remarkable, it is, because no other school in the country was able to match that.
|RANK, SCHOOL||APPEARANCE PCT.||APPEARANCES||TOTAL AP POLLS|
|2. Ohio State||92.9%||171||184|
BONUS: Good against the rivals
Before Miles, no coach in LSU history had been able to beat Alabama, Auburn and Florida in the same season.
Miles was able to pull off that trifecta three times (2005, 2007, 2011), with the 2007 campaign culminating in LSU’s third national championship.