The facts: Les Miles met with Michigan officials last night. That much has been confirmed by LSU officials. A UM-painted jet landed in Baton Rouge yesterday afternoon and remained on the ground for five hours. At that point, Michigan AD David Brandon returned to Ann Arbor. Without Miles.
According to USA Today, LSU AD Joe Alleva met with Miles last night. “LSU officials are talking with Coach Miles,” said associate AD Herb Vincent. “They’re trying to keep him.”
Alleva said in a statement: “We continue to work with Coach Miles, and we remain committed to keeping him as the head coach of the LSU football program well into the future.”
The rumor: ESPN’s Joe Schad — who seems to run with a lot of one-source stories — reported that Miles would take the Wolverines’ job if it were offered. (You might have heard that one a few dozen times during last night’s BCS Championship Game.)
It is still unknown whether or not Miles was offered the Michigan job last night.
Yesterday he apparently told his players that he would listen to his alma mater out of respect, but he also told two of them, “I’m probably staying.”
“A high-ranking LSU official” told The New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Don’t worry, he’s not leaving.”
Asked by The Shreveport Times if LSU’s negotiations with Miles might kick into another gear — as they did in 2007 when Michigan was an option for the coach — Vincent said, “It’s similar to that.”
Reports indicate that Michigan is holding a team meeting for its squad this afternoon. Whether or not they will meet their new coach at that meeting is anyone’s guess.
The Times-Picayune reports that LSU is offering to extend Miles’ contract past 2014. The school is also willing to increase the coach’s buyout should he be let go. Miles’ buyout — a massive figure once worth in the ballpark of $15 million — decreases after each season.
Tiger fan reaction to Miles’ possible departure has been split.
Meanwhile, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel declined an interview request from Michigan yesterday. This could mean that he has no interest in the job… or that he knows the job is likely going to someone else. The Detroit Free-Press lists Chris Peterson and Jon Gruden (of course) as candidates but says both are staying in their current jobs. No mention of UM alum Brady Hoke of San Diego State by The Free-Press.
Miles is scheduled to be in Dallas today to speak at the American Football Coaches Association convention. It’s possible that he could reconvene with Michigan reps there.
Former Tiger coach and current Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo told The Baton Rouge Advocate that the Michigan job has changed since Miles was last in Ann Arbor.
“This coach will have to win a division, the conference championship game, the Rose Bowl and the national championship game,” DiNardo said. “The new Michigan coach will be under more pressure than any other coach in its history. That being said, it’s still a great job.”
Exchange Rose for Sugar and Michigan sounds exactly like LSU… minus the great recruiting base.