LSU is the fourth best team going into the season according to the media behind Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn, with the Tigers of LSU picked to finish above Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
The only way I can see TAF, strong Tigers Supporters and a wanting to win now fan base even possibly accepting a fourth place finish in the SEC West, is if the three teams above LSU are double digit winning teams.
In the nation’s toughest conference, that will be very hard to do. But you could possibly have three teams from the SEC West win ten or more games in the regular season. Just two short seasons ago, the Big XII South experienced this very same possibility that could happen in the SEC.
The final standings in the Big XII South in 2008 had Oklahoma at 11-1, Texas at 11-1, Texas Tech at 11-1 and Oklahoma State at a very respectable 9-3. All of these teams finished the season ranked in the top 14 with three of the four in the top eight of the final regular season coaches top 25 poll.
If that type of season happened this year in the SEC West, a fourth place finish would not be bad at all due to the strength of the division. A fourth place finish any other way could mean the end of the Les Miles era.
Miles is squarely on the hot seat as is another successful coach with a good resume in the SEC East- UGA’s Mark Richt. Both are the longest tenured coaches in their divisions and both are under a big microscope this season.
If the Tigers, who have a very tough schedule (10th toughest in the nation), don’t meet the requirements (whatever they may be), of the folks calling the shots, then it could result in major changes in the Capitol City of Baton Rouge.
I’m not sure if there is a certain benchmark for Miles to meet this season as far as wins and losses are concerned or where the Tigers rank at the end of the season, but I think we're all certain there are benchmarks to be met.
I think a fair starting point would be nine or more wins in 2010 for LSU. Just to be on the safe side of things, that ninth win should be picked up before the bowl game. Perhaps then, a tenth win would be needed to keep the man under the white hat clad in Purple and Gold for another season.