Greg Schiano has not been contacted...
Despite multiple reports in Detroit-area newspapers that list Greg Schiano as a candidate for the vacant Michigan job, Rutgers' head coach has not been contacted by the Big Ten school, according to two people who speak regularly with Schiano. The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on Schiano's behalf.
...but someone just as awesome has!
At least two schools from BCS conferences -- including Michigan -- have shown preliminary interest in Ball State football coach Brady Hoke about their head coaching jobs. Hoke confirmed to The (Muncie, Ind.) Star Press during the weekend that his name has been advanced about coaching vacancies at the University of Michigan and Washington State University
This is obviously Hoke putting his name out there as a Serious Candidate for Serious Jobs and not reflective of an actual shot at the Michigan job (at least one would hope), but Jesus.
The easy answer is "we'll never know." But that's not particularly satisfying, is it?
What happened, considering Miles' earlier indications that he wanted to return home to the school he played at and was an assistant coach under Bo Schembechler?
A source close to the situation said what was always a close call was pushed the breaking point by the two-week interval between Carr's retirement and the SEC title game, and the combination of LSU's hefty contract offer and the ESPN report on game day made Miles opt to stay.
The source would not comment when asked if Carr's silence on Miles candidacy - widely interpreted as a sign of animosity between the two men and Carr's opposition to Miles succeeding him - was a factor in the decision.
...[Miles] had been in contact with Michigan through back channels for weeks. Through intermediaries, Miles' representatives and Michigan were hammering out the terms of an agreement.
Miles knew Michigan was prepared to offer a five-year deal. He knew how much money Michigan was prepared to offer. He was fine with it.
But the key word here is "prepared." Despite what you may have heard or read, this was never a done deal.
And Miles knew it.
Rosenberg's theory is that the money getting worked out was but a prelude to a job offer, not the result of one:
Martin was not going to hire a coach without an extended one-on-one interview, and he couldn't conduct that until after Saturday's SEC title game. ...
He just needed to know the Michigan job was his. And Michigan couldn't make that promise.
This is scenario A: Martin, weirdly, operates in an inverted paradigm where you work out the financial details of a contract, then interview for the job. Michigan went through the first portion of this process with Miles agent and a tentative agreement was reached on the numbers.
This explains the "done deal" stuff as soon as the Ferentz thing passed. This also explains the weird split on the information I was receiving: pro-Miles guys knew about the tentative agreement and made the reasonable assumption any sort of "interview" would be strictly PR, since a 36-6 coach who loves the university more than life itself is obviously the best man for the job. Meanwhile, guys nearer the search committee were hearing that Miles had to dance for Carr and Martin as part of a full search process that, given Carr's strident opposition to Miles' candidacy, could well end with no offer.
The source from the LSU side of things is very well connected and offers up this explanation of events from the other side:
Vincent (AD) evidentially gave Miles an ultimatum. He told Miles that if he was considering the UM job that he would be fired on the spot and not be able to coach the SEC championship game.
So Miles told his agent to work out the details with LSU for a contract extension. That's why he went on ESPN at 1:30 and sounded as though he was totally pissed off about Herbstreit. Had Kirk not said anything and ESPN not reported on the rumors, Miles may have talked to Martin yesterday.
This has been widely mongered on the internets, and though it seems far fetched -- LSU would fire the head coach on the eve of the SEC championship game? -- please consider this is the South and crazier things have happened in the SEC. Hell, Michigan fired Frieder on the eve of the NCAA tournament. It could have been a bluff, but put yourself in Miles' spot: LSU has threatened to fire you unless you agree to a contract extension. Meanwhile, Michigan refuses to assure you that you'll be offered the job and you know elements of the athletic department wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. Do you take the risk of calling the LSU bluff and possibly finding yourself without any job?
Well, you probably call Michigan frantically to see what's going on, to give them an update of your situation, and attempt to work something out now. Which is apparently what happened. And Michigan did not respond. Thus the press conference and Miles keeping the LSU job. If you are so inclined, you can hear some bitterness in Miles' postgame press conference:
I certainly love Michigan. I love Michigan. I will always be a Michigan man. I will always root for the next head coach there. I will wear those colors when it comes down to the Ohio Michigan game. I'm going to root and pull for the Blue, and they will eventually win that game (laughter).
There's a proud tradition, and they have to do the things they have to do. I'm for them, and if there's any way I can help them, I'd love to help them. But I'm not going there. It saddens me at times. I can't be at two places.
On Saturday I wondered what an extra 500k or 1m per year would do for an already rich man, as if it was Miles' fault he wasn't coming to Michigan. I don't believe that anymore. This was a colossal screwup by Bill Martin, aided by Lloyd Carr. But they probably don't see it like that. They see it as protecting the program.
How do you not have an extended one-on-one interview with the man obviously most qualified for the job at this point? Michigan has known Carr was retiring since September, and Martin knows literally dozens of Miles' friends. Hell, John Wangler is his BFF. Call Wangler into your office, have him call Miles, and have a goddamn interview on the phone. There is no excuse for failing to hammer out whatever potential differences existed months ago. All this interview stuff is purely for show if we are operating under the assumption Martin has an IQ above 60.
We do assume that around these parts, so the inescapable conclusion: Michigan essentially passed on Miles. If Michigan really wanted Miles, Michigan would have him. That much was made clear by Miles' season-long "woo Michigan" campaign of newspaper articles and TV appearances. Hell, the week of the Ohio State game you couldn't turn on a sports talk station without hearing Miles wax poetic about Bo. Everyone near the program knew Miles wanted the job more than anything. He loves the program.
But his love is unrequited. That has a tendency to embitter people towards the object loved. When LSU made it very clear they wanted Miles, had no reservations about him, and were willing to make a hefty financial commitment to prove it, it was an easy decision. Michigan wanted him to prostrate himself. Good football coaches often being prideful, this was not likely to happen, especially with the pressures imposed by LSU and ESPN. Thus: this.
Two weeks ago, Carr retired. In his press conference he stridently declared he would have only a minimal role in the search and that the timing of his retirement would have no effect. Two weeks later, he maintains plausible deniability. But only just.
- If Michigan hires someone who fails and gets fired real quick, the Herbstreit report will be the fan equivalent of the Kennedy assassination. Who told him? Was it, as Miles suggested, "an Ohio State plot"? Miles said that in jest, but the way everything worked out could not have been better for OSU.
There are two main theories on the leak: Desmond Howard, his ESPN co-worker and a member of the search committee, and Jim Tressel. Howard obviously has a vested interest in not telling Herbstreit anything. Tressel, OTOH, is interesting: that move would be the Machiavellian genius I now, sadly, expect from Tressel whenever Michigan blunders into his path. The "AND they're getting Tenuta!!!" bit is appar
ently without even the slightest grounding in real life -- Tenuta denied having even spoken to Miles yesterday -- and implies that maybe the whole thing was just batty nonsense. Who would have the pull with Herbstreit to say "and, like, Tenuta, dude" and get it aired? (Not that Herby is complicit here; the theory is he's Tressel's dupe.)
That is totally crazy, sure. But maybe I'm a little crazy.
- Debunking myself: we assume that Herbstreit actually unearthed anything because he was the guy who said it. If you believe this, you are forced to believe that Mark May is busy unearthing all sorts of scoops. Hell, he's finding out who our next coach is right now!
Another possibility: someone else at ESPN heard it and it was put in pretty boy's mouth to make the talking heads look more credible.
- More in the Rosenberg piece:
Two people familiar with the process say Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly is not a candidate. He will not be a candidate. I don't have a specific reason, but Kelly has rubbed people the wrong way at various points in his climb up the ladder.
Great. Raise your hand if you think the 1968 version of Bo Schembechler would be even slightly considered by this set of decision makers. That's what I thought. "Rub people the wrong way"... the entire athletic department has been infected with this crap.
- List of people guaranteed not to rub anyone in this AD the wrong way: Jim Grobe, Mike Debord, Brady Hoke, Ty Willingham.
- What now? Schiano's name is getting thrown about a lot, as is Tedford, but by media folks. Given the way the search has gone so far, with Michigan high on Ferentz early (yes, I screwed up my first post about the Ferentz situation, but he was a very serious candidate), lukewarm about Miles, and apparently uninterested in Kelly, it's clear Michigan has different priorities than
It appears they're actually serious about the Lloyd clone bit... but who is that? Terrifyingly, Grobe seems the closest.
A strongly worded article on the LSU official site contains a definite drop-dead date for the whole Miles foofery:
ATLANTA -- LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe has reached an agreement with Les Miles on an amendment to his contract that will secure Miles' position as head football coach of the Tigers.
Miles authorized his representative, George Bass, to negotiate the terms of the contract with LSU. Terms and conditions of the contract have been agreed upon and will be presented at the next meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors on Dec. 6.
Miles will not entertain any offer from the University of Michigan to become the Wolverines head coach or from any other institution. The University of Michigan on Wednesday requested permission to discuss its open head football coaching position with Miles.
FYI. Rumblings on the Michigan side of things are of the "this isn't over!" type... but it looks grim.
Update: Miles was just on CBS making unequivocal statements. Next candidate, please?
Miles: "There was misinformation on ESPN and I think it's imperative that I straighten it out. I'm the head coach at LSU, I will be the head coach at LSU, I have no interest in talking to anyone else. I have a championship game to play and I'm excited about the opportunity of my damn strong football team to play in it. And that's really all I'd like to say. It's unfortunate I had to address my team with this information this morning. With that being done, I think we'll be ready to play. There will be no questions for me; I represent me in this issue, please ask me after. I'm busy. Thank you very much, and have a great day."
Guy to LSU Chancellor: "Are you going to stay and answer questions?"
LSU Chancellor: "What he said."
Update: Okay, this is completely f-ing crazy, but Miles 1) didn't say he had turned the job down, 2) didn't say anything about next year and 3) hasn't signed this extension. Hell, supposedly no one has even officially contacted him.
This might not be over; the PC was clearly a FU ESPN, I have kids to think about thing.
As I said, f-ing crazy. But...
Update II: Dammit, ESPN's pushing this "it's not over!" thing on ESPN News, so it's probably wrong.
Update III: Holy crap. ESPN News: "Miles said there was misinformation ESPN; he could have just been talking about the Tenuta as DC thing." Someone get that man gold-plated kneepads!
Update IV: Video from Quo Vadiumus:
1. It's over, obvs. LSU AD said as much.
2. Martin did not talk to Miles' agent this morning.
3. Top remaining candidates: Schiano, O'Brien(?!?!?), and someone I didn't hear. No mention of Kelly or Tedford.
4. I want to die.
5. Not really.
Update: Tenuta says he hasn't even spoken to Miles:
Tenuta said Saturday he hadn't spoken with Miles and wasn't sure what was happening.
"I don't know yet. I really don't," Tenuta said after his first practice in his interim role. "There's been rumors before about me going a lot of places."
Way to go, Herbstreit!
Les Miles will not be Michigan's next head coach, according to sources close to the situation.
Miles has signed a lucrative, multi-year extension with LSU.
"It's done," said a source close to the situation. "He's staying at LSU."
Whatever happened to the dream job stuff? The crawl on glass stuff? Is another 500k or 1m a year that much of a big deal? Jesus.
Update: Carty says there's a 1:45 press conference at LSU.
Update II: ESPN has changed the story on the site.
Sources close to both Les Miles and the LSU administration report the coach has reached a multi-year contract extension with his current school and will remove himself from consideration as the next Michigan coach.
A release will be forthcoming within the hour.
Didn't see it, so can't tell you how strong it was: apparently it was reported as 'breaking news', FWIW. Nothing on the website yet save this announcement Pelini will be Nebraska's new coach.
For those unfamiliar with Tenuta, he was the good half of Georgia Tech the past six years, consistently putting out defenses bad-ass enough to send Reggie Ball to bowl games despite having only scanty talent at Georgia Tech. He coached at Ohio State from 1996 to 2000 as a DBs coach and, in his last year, defensive coordinator. Hiring him would be awesome.
A general summary of things that have been sent to me.
A source close to someone on the search committee asserts that Miles is not a done deal and that there will be a real search; Miles will interview shortly after the SEC championship game but there remains an A list of five or so coaches, including Miles, that Michigan is looking at closely.
On the other side of things, someone relays that email traffic between various big-balling donors says Miles is done and will be announced Monday or Tuesday; two other sources, one from the LSU side of things, are in agreement.
IMO, the preponderance of the evidence is on the side of "it's done," especially with the stuff about the players being told from this morning.
This from a student manager around both Miles and Carr when they were on staff:
I found both Lloyd and Les to be decent, down-to-earth people. Les did have a lot of charisma and intensity back then as he does today. He also could be pretty funny at times. Cameron may have thought he could walk on water a bit because he was credited with putting in some semblance of a consistently efficient passing attack at the end of Bo's tenure (with the QB/WR development of Jim Harbaugh, Greg McMurtry, Chris Calloway, Desmond Howard, and Elvis Grbac), but if he wasn't humbled by his tenure at Indiana, he certainly is now. Never got the impression Miles was more arrogant than the next football coach (there is a certain degree of an asshole/prick factor that comes with the job.)
Cameron left I thought in '92 or '93 to go the Redskins. Also, Miles went to work for a former Colorado colleague, Bob Simmons at Oklahoma State to become offensive coordinator. Moeller never named an offensive coordinator during his tenure, despite being the position he held from '87-'89 as the only OC of the Schembechler era. Maybe Miles and Cameron's departures were to beef up their resume with NFL and OC experience since it was clear Moeller was never going to have an offensive coordinator. If, however, Miles left after Moeller's resignation in May 1995 and Fred Jackson was promoted to OC over him, that may be a different story concerning the origins of this "Les-Lloyd rift."
It seems that Bo was always fond of Les, recalling Miles visiting him after his open heart surgery in his book. If Moeller had coached another 5-10 years, Miles would have been the successor (either directly promoted as a UofM assistant or from Oklahoma State/Dallas Cowboys) with Bo's public blessing. If we're talking anywhere between 2000-2005, Lloyd probably would have been too old at that point to start a head coaching tenure. Lloyd actually interviewed for the Wisconsin job after the '89 season, but the job went to Barry Alvarez.
The generally held opinion on the rift between Miles and Carr -- which I believe to be real -- was that it started three or four years ago when Miles started recruiting against Michigan regularly and apparently told some kids that Carr was retiring. The nastier version of the story goes that Carr's supposed health issues were also relayed. Depending on your POV and which side of the story you tend to believe, this is either a misunderstanding or PURE EVIL.
The upshot: given everything out there at the moment, I would be very surprised if it was anyone other than Miles; the aggressive timeline is a bit shakier given what looks like real resistance to the idea from some camps in the athletic department.
IMO: Miles expects an offer and will take it if he gets one; he told the team as much. Pro-Miles people in the AD expect to offer him Sunday after the SECCG and announce early in the week; Anti-Miles people in the AD are hoping to delay, interview some other guys, and possibly find someone else.
What may be one final blast of unconfirmed internet rumor: Tigerdroppings has multiple posters who say Miles has told the players he's leaving.
He told the team today after practice that he's stepping down and going to Michigan. (or at least so a little birdie told me...)
I can confirm this as well. Heard directly from a players mouth. Miles is gone. Expect it to break soon. Players can't keep this secret long.
this was just confirmed to me through a text message from a guy i know on the team...so its pretty true.
An email followup to one of the guys on the board:
I'm pretty good friends w/ RJ Jackson. I was hanging out w/ his girlfriend, Chelsea, tonight. I dropped her off at his apartment so they could hang for a while before they left for ATL. He told us Miles informed them at practice today that "he was leaving". Told whole team he took the UM job. I didn't get to go into details. Its true and a done deal.
Local news stations down in Baton Rouge also seem pretty sure he's out.
Is this 100%? No. There were a few reports of similar quality -- credible seeming, multiply-sourced -- on Kirk Ferentz accepting the job linked here that turned out to be wrong. These are concentrated on one message board, which is bad, but are much more specific, which is good.
Is this 90%? Yeah. Four different people above claim to have heard from players on the team that Miles is leaving. The Ferentz things had no details and no indication anyone at the program had been told; in contrast, this would be a point of no return announcement by Miles. And there's precious little room for misinterpretation here.