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As Michigan, WVU Fight The NCAA, LSU Fans Watch

Yes, he won a national title just three seasons ago.  Yes, he makes millions and has a buyout believed to be somewhere north of the gross national product of The Netherlands.

But Les Miles is on the hot seat in Baton Rouge.  Make no mistake about that.

How do we at MrSEC define “the hot seat?”  When a coach has a growing number of displeased or impatient fans (and big boosters) which could — within 12 to 24 months — lead to his dismissal or force his resignation.

If LSU struggles this year, a majority of Tiger fans would likely pray for Miles’ resignation.  But would the man in the hat resign and not collect his massive buyout?  He might if something special opened up.

And that’s where Michigan comes in.  Miles is a Michigan alum.  Back in December of ’07 he was believed to be the top man on the Wolverines’ wish list.  ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit went so far as to quote sources saying Miles and UM had reached an agreement.  As a result, you might remember Miles’ angry “Have a nice day” press conference held just before the SEC championship game.

But this isn’t 2007 anymore. 

LSU still has recruiting advantages on Michigan.  LSU is still in better shape as a program.  But if UM comes open and Miles is feeling heat in Baton Rouge, don’t rule out a leap from one venue to the other just because Miles wasn’t interested 32 months ago.

As long as Miles doesn’t go completely belly-up — to the point that he would be a hard sell to fans in Ann Arbor — UM officials would certainly be interested in chasing their alum.

For those who missed it, current coach Rich Rodriguez and Michigan defended themselves for 7 1/2 hours in an NCAA hearing over the weekend.  The school has been under investigation since last fall.  The coach has been accused of “failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.”  UM has also self-imposed penalties against itself, hoping to prevent the NCAA from taking more serious actions.

West Virginia — Rodriguez’ last stop — has also been in the news recently over its own NCAA look-see.  Like Michigan, WVU is accused of practice abuses.  Those abuses may have continued under current coaches Bill Stewart, but they are alleged to have started as far back as 2005 under RichRod.

The worse things get for Rodriguez, the more likely it becomes that Miles may once again don maize and blue.  If the NCAA smacks the already unpopular Rodriguez for his roles in both investigations, it’s not hard to imagine Michigan’s coach being handed his walking papers.

And if Miles loses just enough in 2010 to feel the heat cranking up further on the Bayou, it’s possible the coach might pack up his hat and accept an invitation from his old school this time around.

For LSU fans wanting to rid themselves of a former title-winning coach, the best hope might be for an 8- or 9-win season from the Tigers… and an extremely harsh NCAA smackdown on Rodriguez.



  1. [...] shapes the hot seat, anyway? Jump to Comments Yes, folks, you now have a working definition, via’s John Pennington: How do we at MrSEC define “the hot seat?”  When a [...]

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