First, kudos to the "old-timers" (of which I consider myself). So many well-written posts. Big thanks to:
I was aware of most of the thoughts concerning Cholly Mac except for the inner-dynamics of his coaching staff. Didn't know about that.
Few other things of that era:
- The definition of "success" was different then. Then, success was largely beating our rivals (mostly Ole Miss & Tulane) and going to a bowl. Championships were sort of an afterthought.
- Prior to integration and the demise of Tulane, LSU had no recruiting advantage compared to other SEC schools and the nation. Beginning in the early 70's (?), schools were limited to how many players that could sign. That tended to distribute talent more evenly (Bama could no longer sign the best/better of 40-50 players each year; disclaimer -> I have never really checked to see how many players Bama was signing back then). My point is Mac had no geo-recruiting advantage as today.
The parallels between Mac ('69-'73) and Les today are interesting.
- We didn't lose to bad teams; we didn't get blown out.
- Mac had his debacle with the Veer ('74); Les with Malleveto ('08).
- When Mike Miley (who autographed my baseball glove) left early < '74, we were left in a QB bog for the next 3 seasons (Billy Broussard/Carl Trimble in '74, Pat Lyons and Bobby Moreau in '75 and first part of '76, Ensminger (TrFr) begain starting in the latter part of '76).
What remains to be seen is if Les will succumb to Bama as did Mac in the 70's. If so, I would be in favor of replacing Les because I think we can do better. Stovall was a stop-gap after Bo Rein's untimely death. But Arnsparger was on the right track and in hindsight, I don't think it's unfounded to attribute some of the success in '87 & '88 to the momentum he left behind. Archer obviously was a dud.
One thing is for sure. Not beating Alabama had little or nothing to do with it.
I disagree slightly with this. I think it was a factor. Mac had recovered a little form the Miley-Veer debacle, but we were still losing to Bama every year. We had lost 8 straight seasons ('71-'78) before Mac's fate as HC was sealed.