Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Smoke Is Rising

Les Miles wants nothing more than to win. He wanted his players to play hard yesterday. He didn't want them distracted. Which looked good until Kirky's report. Then, the distraction set in:

I go down to chapel and when they see me, they're sitting there going, 'Coach, sounds like you're catching a plane on Monday.' That's not true. I had to tell them.

He did what he had to do to get them ready to play. LSU played hard, and they won. His strategy worked. Here is Perriloux's quote:

"Well, it's definitely good to hear things like that," said Perrilloux, the heir apparent quarterback with injured starter Matt Flynn in his senior year. "We know coach is here with us, and we know coach has been sticking by us from the beginning. And for coach to say that, that definitely put ease on a lot of our people's minds and hearts. We just went out and played for coach, and coach coached for us. And we won as a team — SEC champs."

Les now has won the SEC championship, which guarentees him to be one of the top 3 paid coaches in the SEC. And, he gets a shot at being one of the top 3 paid coaches in the entire country when LSU is in the title game, and if they beat OSU. With Michigan out there, and a title shot on the way, I'd be surprised if that deal gets signed before Martin meets with Miles.

The details of the agreement (unsigned of course) that Bass (Miles' agent) and LSU negotiated has not been disclosed. Supposedly it's about 3.4 mill or so per year. So Les has got himself a sure fire wad of cash, if he wants it.

But there are some serious inconsistencies in the LSU story. This is a pretty good capsule of the events that went down with some quotes that are far from definitive.

Bertman said Miles told the team Friday night of his intentions. LSU receivers coach D.J. McCarthy told WBRZ that Miles addressed the issue with the Tigers at chapel services Saturday morning shortly after a report by ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said Miles would be named Michigan’s coach next week.

I'm sure that Les' conversation with players on Friday went like this: "Men, I'm the coach at LSU. I love this team. I love this University. I am the coach of LSU and will be the coach of LSU. Let's go out and win the SEC championship tomorrow."

Then, Saturday a.m. Kirky Herby comes out with this new story. Even though there really wasn't anything new in, other than Tenuta. All he really said is that Miles will take the job at Michigan. Herby couldn't report that Michigan had offered, because Martin hadn't even met with Miles yet. So, really Herbie's report was just the same thing Wangler and others had been reporting for weeks, other than Tenuta.

The Tiger players wake up Saturday a.m. to hear this and are crushed. They already know that Pellini is leaving. And now, the way the Herbie report is presented, they think they're losing their head coach, too. This righfully so pisses off Miles. So LSU holds a presser to report what everyone knew, and or should have already known after learning the Bass met with LSU officials on Thursday and Friday: that he negotiated another contract as LSU best counter to the upcoming Michigan offer. This information was given by BERTMAN to the media. Not by Miles. It is important to remember what Miles said, "I represent myself". Which, in this case means, I have not agreed to an extension. My agent has negotiated the best deal he can. But I have not agreed. And, the manner of this presentation by LSU pissed off Miles, so that now he is stuck in the middle. He wants his players to have focus after Herbie's rumor. He is pissed at Bertman for the false presentation of info.

Check out the glare that Miles gave Bertman:

So after the game. Here is what is said after the victory:

"To think that there's anything less since than the relationship that I have with my team — there's nothing more important," Miles said. "The school here wants me to stay, and this is a great place and I've got a great team. I've got a great recruiting class started, and it would appear that we'd be able to finish it very strongly. There's a lot of plusses right here."

Game day morning did not start out quite so positively, though. An ESPN report said Miles was indeed headed to Michigan as head coach.

"I've got a team that's sitting there and they see me," an angry Miles said. "I go down to chapel and when they see me, they're sitting there going, 'Coach, sounds like you're catching a plane on Monday.' That's not true. I had to tell them. I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that my name was on ESPN. I was embarrassed for my team."

The Team. The Team. The Team.

Les would not put himself above the team. He did what he needed to for them to win. He still wants to coach Michigan. He still has not received an offer. He has not rejected or denied interest in an offer if made.

The question which remains: Will Michigan make him an offer? We'll see in the next week and a half to two.