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While Louisiana is one of the nation’s more eclectic states, it took a while for Miles to win over the purple-and-gold faithful. Even during the national championship season of 2007, there were some who grumbled he wouldn’t have won without Saban’s leftover recruits. When the Tigers slumped to a 17-9 over the 2008 and `09 seasons _ including an 8-8 mark in the SEC _ Miles‘ job security was in question.

“With anything, any sport, or anything in life, you’re going to have your ups and downs, but coach Miles has really done a great job of bouncing back,” LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee said.

Indeed, LSU turned things around last season, going 11-2 and finishing No. 8 in the rankings _ a prelude to this team, which might go down as the best in school history.

“I always thought LSU was the most talented team, basically every year in the league,” Meyer said. “They’ve adapted this year. This is as good a defensive personnel that I have seen LSU have, and they’ve adapted to that. That means they’re not doing as much as they’ve done in the past. Just letting them play.”

Two coaches.

Two styles.

Both winners.

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AP Sports Writers John Zenor in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Brett Martel in Baton Rouge, La., contributed to this report.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963