Good God, could Les Miles really end up at the University of Michigan? After the cluster**** that was the last three months of Michigan football, this would be a coup, an absolute coup, and for obvious reasons.
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GIANT OBVIOUS REASON #1. Les Miles coaches at Louisiana State University. And if he coaches in Ann Arbor starting sometime soon, that means a Big Ten school stole away a respected, albeit somewhat erratic, SEC coach from one of America's best programs. That's a coup for you, me, and the Michigan fans who have been hearing about their school's descent into possibly being Notre Dame.
GIANT OBVIOUS REASON #2. He's a Michigan man who would rather run than pass and if he has the right players, does it FROM THE PRO-FORM...Oh god that would get the old timers excited! And the defenses he's presided over at LSU are so solid, so stacked with good talent. That could be duplicated at Michigan, maybe.
GIANT OBVIOUS REASON #3. His presence would energize the fan base, save Dave Brandon's ass, and help stabilize recruiting instantly. Everyone would fall deeply in love with him for a solid eight months.
But he won't do it for one simple reason.
And that reason is the press conference Les would have to hold on November 26, 2011 sometime in the late afternoon or evening after another loss to Ohio State. After a 5-7 / 6-6 season and another late season swoon, Les will discuss the way it burns him and the team to lose again to OSU and Michigan State. He'll talk about his optimism towards getting another year with these young players to teach them his scheme, to put his own stamp on recruiting. And he will smile, and exude optimism, and talk about how the effort of Michigan's players. But the losing, and the tremendous effort it takes to climb up from mediocrity, will be etched on his face.
Michigan isn't where LSU is right now, not even close. LSU has a Top 5 recruiting class nationally, kids that Les Miles has talked to, convinced to come to Baton Rouge. Michigan has the #37 class nationally, one which is under assault as we speak. LSU has veterans returning on each side of the ball and although their schedule is unbelievably difficult next year, the Tigers will be ranked in the preseason Top 10. Michigan ran a run-focused spread offense and a 3-3-5 defense. Both are out the window with the firing of Coach Rod and his assistants. Whoever coaches the Wolverines in 2011 will be starting over. Has a coach ever abandoned a Top 10 team that he personally built to start a rebuilding process at his alma mater?
People are claiming that he's got nothing to prove in LSU. That may be so, but winning 10 games a year and leading talented teams built in your image over and over is a lot more fun than falling far, far below expectations...which is something that will happen instantly at Michigan because it's Michigan. Others have claimed that Les Miles is unhappy at LSU and Michigan is his dream job. And that theory is the one wild card - alma mater could win over logic.
If Miles wants the gig, it's his. I'm assuming Brandon will overpay both Les and his assistants. It's probably fun to start from scratch a bit, to dream about becoming an icon at the place you started, to push your formerly prestigious institution back into national relevance. But it will be a such a remarkable stretch for Miles to make from where he is that I just don't see it happening.