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Les Miles and the Naked Mirror Moment

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Les Miles needs a Naked Mirror Moment. It's time to stop making excuses for the offense and perform.

Stacy Revere - Getty Images

I believe in the "Naked Mirror Moment."

When is the last time you looked in the mirror? Everyday, I'm sure. This morning. Last night. Multiple times, even. Mirrors are now a subconscious part of our day. They are the absolute representation of complacency. As long as everything looks mostly in order, you exchange a quick glance with yourself and move on with your day. But when is the last time you really looked?

That's the naked mirror moment. The strip-down-to-your-bare-ass-and-take-a-good-gander moment. It's a moment when all of your scars, all of your imperfections are out there for you and God to see. It's a time for self-reflection. But here's the deal. The mirror is so associated with negativity. It's a place where we identify flaws and what's not "right" before we go into the wild world. There isn't really anyone who likes the mirror. There are those who tolerate it (99.9% of those who have mirrors) and those who ignore it entirely (the sort of 900-lb. man that lives in his mother's basement). Yet, it's ever-present.

The naked mirror moment is a time to reflect and identify failures, but it's more than that. The naked mirror moment is a time to identify greatness. My friend Jason (Mavs Fan For Life) insisted before the 2011-2012 NBA Season, LeBron James needed his "naked mirror moment." Everyone in the world acknowledged LeBron as the best basketball player on the planet, most even admitting second place wasn't all that close.

Yet, there he was. Ringless. The laughing stock of NBA media clowns and fans alike. He held a trophy case full of individual awards, which many outright dismissed as "meaningless" because he wasn't able to cross that championship barrier. The 2011 Heat were widely considered the favorites to win the Larry O'Brien. The 2011 Mavs were on almost no one's radar (my friend Jason doesn't count, MFFL, remember?). The Big Three vs. the Big German and it all resulted in a whole lot of failure for King James and company. LeBron himself, looked average on the grand stage. Superstar? Best player in the world? How could he be if he shrinks when it's time to assert this?

Thus, the naked mirror moment. LeBron needed it. LeBron, apparently, had it. He stripped down, looked at his tattoo-smothered body and said, "Damn, I really am the best. Time to start acting like it."

The question is, when does this happen for Les Miles and the LSU offense? When does he flip off the bucket-sized hat, strip off the LSU-emblazoned jacket and grass stained Nike shoes and recognize the potential greatness to be had?

There is too much talent on the LSU offense for this level of production. You can blame it on the offensive line, you can blame it on the young wide receivers, you can blame it on the inexperienced quarterback, but at the end of the day, you're just lining up excuses for lack of performance. The lack of offensive production is a problem now five years over. It's been blamed on past coordinators, past position coaches, past players, past everything... and yet past becomes present again, over and over.

At some point you can only point back to the same commonalities between each of the seasons. There are only two offensive coaches that have been with LSU through the long-haul: Les Miles and Greg Studrawa. It would take a moron to suggest Les Miles needs to be ousted. He's as successful as any coach in SEC history... that's not an opinion; that's a fact. He wins, and he wins big, and he wins often.

Yet, the offensive struggles are becoming a stain on the program. A just-enough offense is sufficient when you are winning (like most of 2011), but damning when you are losing (like the BCS Title game and Florida last week). When you field a defense and special teams as good as any in the nation and the third aspect of your team isn't carrying its weight... it becomes a drain.

The buck stops with Les. He admits he has a hand in the offense. This isn't different than any other coach in the nation. But if he wants to have a hand in something that's struggled for the last five seasons, then he needs to be held accountable. He needs to hold himself accountable. He needs the naked mirror moment. He's doing the players he recruits, the players he loves, a disservice by not putting them in the best position to succeed. It's a reality he must come to grips with. He needs the naked mirror. He needs to acknowledge that he's much too good to allow this to continue.

Champions don't make excuses. That's something their fans do for them. Champions saddle up and ride on. Champions embrace the naked mirror moment. Flaws... weaknesses... failures... perfections... strengths... successes. It's all there, in the naked mirror.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.