Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LSU’s loss turns into Auburn’s gain, then into LSU’s loss AGAIN

image Earlier this week, prized quarterback Gunner Kiel abruptly backed out of his verbal commitment to LSU and enrolled at Notre Dame, reportedly to be closer to his Indiana home and family. The loss of Kiel likely proved to be a windfall for SEC West foe Auburn, who “flipped” Patrick Miller from LSU last week and enrolled him early.

Patrick Miller is a 6-7, 260 lb offensive lineman from Palm Beach Gardens’ Dwyer High School. According to this story from Charles Goldberg on, Miller had been committed to LSU since last September and was on track to graduate high school early and enroll early.

But a funny thing happened on the road to Baton Rouge.

Miller was told last week that because LSU was already at the NCAA-mandated 85 scholarship limit, he had two options: pay his own way for at least one semester or go elsewhere. That should sound familiar—Alabama’s Nick Saban had to tell a Georgia recruit the same thing just a few days after Miller received his news. One of these stories received a lot of huffing and puffing and one of them didn’t. Shocking, isn’t it?

Miller chose to enroll at Auburn, who had continued to pursue the standout lineman despite his commitment to LSU and early enrollment plans.

Kiel, surprising absolutely no one, then backed out of his December commitment to the Bayou Bengals this week and abruptly enrolled in classes at South Bend, vacating a roster spot that Miller could have filled.

Kiel’s jilting of Miles came one week after Miller was told of the numbers crunch at LSU. Had Kiel told the LSU staff of his wavering verbal just days earlier, Miles would almost certainly have held onto Miller rather than letting him go to an SEC West rival.

Instead, LSU lost Miller to Auburn, then lost Kiel to Notre Dame in a cruel twist of fate and bad timing.

Exit Question: Remember that SEC rule voted in last summer, limiting class size to 25? Remember the Law of Unintended Consequences?