LSU Tigers: Where they were 10 years ago

LSU players look on during the fourth quarter of a 7-3 loss to Auburn during the 2006 season. AP Photo/Dave Martin

To know where you are in the present, sometimes you have to look into your past.

For some, that can be a fun, healthy endeavor. For others, well, not so much.

Still, we're paying homage to the past and how it's affected the present in the SEC this week by taking a look at where each program was 10 years ago and where it currently stands. Some programs have made big leaps, some have steadied the course, and others, well, they're yearning for the days of old.

We continue the series now with LSU:

2006 record: 11-2

2006 coach: Les Miles

Notable: After winning an SEC West title in his first season at LSU, Miles' team ranked in the top 10 for most of 2006, finishing at 11-2 and third in the final Associated Press Top 25 after its 41-14 destruction of Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers' only losses that season came at then-No. 3 Auburn and at eventual BCS champ Florida. LSU dropped the controversial 7-3 decision at Auburn, but still won several November games in Miles' typical heart-stopping fashion. The Tigers won 28-24 at No. 8 Tennessee on JaMarcus Russell's game-winning touchdown pass to Early Doucet with 9 seconds to play. They rallied from a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit against a bad Ole Miss team -- tying the score on Russell's fourth-down touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe with 14 seconds left in regulation -- to win 23-20 in overtime. Then they wrapped up the regular season by knocking No. 5 Arkansas out of national title contention by holding off the Razorbacks 31-26 in Little Rock. LSU fans had already gotten a taste of Miles' magic in his first season in Baton Rouge, but the wild finishes near the end of 2006 perfectly set the stage for the dramatics of the following year -- and for the rest of Miles' often-crazy tenure as LSU's coach.

Trending: Although the Tigers lost four first-round draft picks off the 2006 team -- top overall selection Russell, plus safety LaRon Landry and receivers Bowe and Craig Davis -- the Tigers still entered the 2007 season with national championship aspirations. Despite a pair of overtime losses that season, Miles claimed his lone national title to date when LSU beat top-ranked Ohio State 38-24 in New Orleans. Although offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and Russell left after the 2006 season, new quarterback Matt Flynn proved to be a capable replacement and Jacob Hester kept the rushing attack productive with 1,103 yards. Bo Pelini returned the bulk of an outstanding defense, and veteran stars like Glenn Dorsey, Ali Highsmith, Craig Steltz, Chevis Jackson and Darry Beckwith helped the Tigers outscore their first five opponents 199-32 as they soared to No. 1 in the polls. The Tigers stumbled backward with an 8-5 season in 2008, but LSU followed with four straight seasons of double-digit wins between 2010 and 2013, giving Miles' teams at least 10 wins in seven of his first nine seasons at LSU.

What's happened since: LSU won the BCS title in 2007, then won the SEC championship and played Alabama for another BCS crown in 2011. However, that embarrassing 21-0 loss to the Crimson Tide was the start of a backward slide for the Tigers. They have been conference also-rans each season since, never finishing better than a tie for second place in the division between 2012 and 2015. Following last season's three-game November losing streak -- a downward turn that once again started with a loss against Alabama -- Miles famously almost lost his job. However, LSU's leadership opted to keep the winningest coach in modern LSU history (with a winning percentage of 77.8) around for a 12th season as the Tigers' coach. With Heisman Trophy contender Leonard Fournette returning alongside 17 other starters, the Tigers are sure to enter the 2016 season as a top-10 team and will rank among the leading contenders for another national title.