Curley may well have been the worst coach in our past, but he clearly did not destroy the program.
what would you call six consecutive losing seasons? The program was absolutely in a ditch when Dinardo got here. Hallman was the primary architect of that destruction. The last two years of Archer were bad, but a competent coach could have immediately righted the ship. It is Hallman who ran us in to the iceberg.
I do think Stovall largely gets a pass despite a pretty uneven record. After forcing out Mac, LSU went 7-4, 3-7-1, 8-3-1, and then 4-7. The 1981 3-7-1 record is LSU's worst single season aside from Curley's 1992 2-9 debacle. The team only scored 169 points and was outscored by 103 points.
Arnsparger cleaned up that mess, but then stole Spurrier from us, which is worse than anything Archer ever did to LSU. I have far more ill will towards Arnsarger, who actively hurt LSU and then popped up at Florida and hired Spurrier, than Archer, who was just a guy in over his head. Stovall was just a guy clearly unqualified for the job, and is probably the coach most responsible for the "dark years" other than Curley.
Once LSU screwed up the post-Mac hire, it sent the program on a spiral of mediocrity it didn't entirely escape until Saban arrived (though it started to end under Dinardo, to give credit, even if it was a false spring).