to play football, not to play trumpet
Per Bruce Feldman on Twitter, Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda is joining Les Miles' staff at LSU as the Tigers' defensive coordinator.
Les Miles pays tribute to the great Rob Lytle. Thought this was interesting. Don't be too harsh since its my first time. Long time reader of the blog.
I can't find a video clip on ESPN's web site, probably because it was a very short interview clip, but Les Miles was "live" on SportsCenter last night. This may have gotten mentioned in one of the threads but I thought it was worthy of an OP.
It was odd that he was even on since LSU is only going to the Music City Bowl, but they got his take on bowl preparation and his thoughts on the playoff selection committee. Then, he was asked about Michigan and the interviewer didn't really pry much — just let him fire off a canned response and let him go.
Again, wish I had video and maybe someone else on the board can fill in the blanks, but it went something like...
"I think they're doing a great job and I like the process they have going right now. It's a wonderful place, and they deserve a great coach." The "Wonderful place" term was used in his press conference in 2007 that also featured "this damn fine football team" and "have a great day."
So reading into that, "I like their process" could mean a number of things.
- He's been privvy to the way it's been going, or he's at least been paying attention.
- He likes who they're going after.
- He likes the reported offer amount, knowing that he may be next in line(?)
The whole thing seemed like his handlers asked ESPN if he could go on the air and they obliged, and he laid out some statements that set him up to seem still interested and a logical second choice, without coming anywhere near saying as much. We've seen Miles make warm-hearted comments about Michigan before, but it was a bit surreal hearing them right now, in the eye of the hurricane of this coaching search with so much secretive speculation blowing about him as well.
THEN AGAIN, taking the maize colored glasses off this could just be an affirmation of what he told reporters off the record the other day, and he's just wanting to make sure public perception is that he's staying put. However I did not hear "I am not interested" in that segment.
Anyone else catch that last night? Again, hoping to find video...
The board's choice for our new head coach is pretty clear: Jim Harbaugh. But who comes in second?
It turns out that's also pretty clear:
Les Miles won the board poll by a hefty margin, garnering an even 49% of the vote. The runner-up, Dan Mullen, mustered barely better than half that number (24.79%) and from there it's a steep drop to any kind of third place. Here are the results, followed by a few thoughts:
- Les Miles - 342 votes (49%)
- Dan Mullen - 173 votes (24.79%)
- Tom Herman - 64 votes (9.17%)
- Other - 64 votes (9.17%)
- Todd Graham - 23 votes (3.30%)
- Jim McElwain - 19 votes (2.72%)
- Greg Schiano - 8 votes (1.15%)
- Craig Bohl - 5 votes (0.72%)
I would attribute the lower number of votes to yesterday's news--before the confirmation of Hoke's meeting with Hackett, the votes were coming in much, much faster, but the board got understandably focused on other things by the afternoon. That said, the trends were clear: Miles stayed around 50% the entire time, and Mullen was always the clear runner-up in the 25% range. Tom Herman was a bit surprising as the #3 choice, even if he was dead even with "other."
Jim Hackett's press conference was flawlessly executed. That said, he built an idealistic picture of a coach that's going to be awfully hard to find. It seemed he weighs on-field success and character about equally, and even Jim Harbaugh has plenty of detractors in the latter category. Don't get me wrong--if Harbaugh wants the job, he's got it. But Hackett's focus on integrity is going to give the media lots of excuses to try to dig up dirt and question his commitment to character.
For that reason, I strongly believe that Les Miles will NOT be considered a serious candidate for the job. If all you know about Miles is that he has been extremely successful in CFB's best division, you only know some of the story. Les has been the subject of many rumors of scandal and impropriety over the years, and, while I'm sure not all are true, there is plenty of ammunition for the media to throw in Hackett's face should he hire Les, creating another press-fueled shitstorm the university does not want.
Our #2 guy isn't without warts either. Dan Mullen's recent scholarship withdrawal from QB Chason Virgil--whom Mullen had asked to enroll early and is just a few days from graduation now--didn't please the recruit's coach:
Chason Virgil -35 tds/6int passing -8td rushing. One of the best young people I've ever coached -only flaw was trusting "coach" Mullen.— Coach Jeff Neill (@neill_jeff) November 21, 2014
Tom Herman seems clean so far, but he hasn't run a program yet. Todd Graham switches jobs more than Taylor Swift switches crushes. McElwain also looks clean, but is a front-runner for the Florida job. Schiano has his detractors--though more in the Harbaugh vein of abrasive intensity--and most people don't even know who Craig Bohl is.
What I'm getting at here is that I believe it's likely that there is a candidate who has a good shot at winning the job that we are not currently considering. A good point was made by a poster last night that Bob Stitt might be a better fit for Hackett's criteria than many names we've on which we've fixated. Here's a good place to learn a bit about Stitt. He makes no secret about his desire to coach at the top level.
I have no idea who it might be, but it may be time for us to think outside of the names we've gotten used to in the past few months. Then again, it may just be Jim Harbaugh.
UPDATE - Final Results:
Les Miles - 663 (59.62%)
Dan Mullen - 449 (40.38%)
Votes from 13 countries.
Assuming neither Harbro is available, whom would you want to be our next HC?
Miles crushed Schiano...but what about Mullen?
CLICK HERE for the new poll...I will post results tomorrow.
I'll keep posting polls this week until we have an MGoBlog champ.
UPDATE: Next poll will have all non-Harbaugh options.
With Hackett taking his sweet time in firing (or retaining!) Hoke, I have read a lot of material out there that says this search comes down to two names if neither Harbaugh wants the job: Les Miles and Greg Schiano.
To me, those are both unappealing options. But if forced to choose one, whom would it be?
CLICK HERE to take the survey. I will post the results later.
UPDATE: With 100 votes in, it 96% Miles, 4% Schiano. Actually, there are 857 votes in, but the percentages have been essentially the same all through the voting.
Part of the purpose of this poll was to give an unofficial voice to the fans...I knew Schiano would be unpopular, and I hope in some small way this helps the people in charge of things see how the fanbase views that hire.
I will post a few more polls in the next few days that should be more competitive.