Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Coaching Carousel

What has been a profoundly weird season may yet turn into a profoundly weird post-season. It appears that Bo Pelini is on the verge of being named the new head coach at Nebraska, and that this may have been a done deal for weeks now. There is plenty of speculation that this may have been a substantial distraction from game preparations for Arkansas, as well.

And judging from how the defense played, it wouldn't shock me. We were completely predictable and did absolutely nothing defensively to seize the initiative from Arkansas's offense. That, frankly, is no way to succeed.

Also, reading the context clues, it appears that Michigan is going to seriously pursue Les Miles, but is waiting until after the SEC Championship Game to make its play. What makes me say this? Check out how things are going. Carr has been out at Michigan for about 10 days, yet there has been no discernible movement on Michigan's part to find a new head coach. They've reportedly known this was coming for half a season, so you have to believe they know who they want.

While Michigan has done nothing, Nebraska reportedly has its coach a mere 3 days after firing Bill Callahan. Ole Miss reportedly is in serious talks with Houston Nutt a mere 1 day after Nutt announced his resignation at Arkansas.

The point is, these things are usually done quickly, particularly when you have plenty of notice of what needs to be done. Michigan has done nothing. Word is that they will spend this week interviewing their own assistant coaches for the position, but that none of these guys are expected to get the job.

What is Michigan waiting for? Well, since we can anticipate that Michigan knows who it wants, and since we know Michigan could move quickly if the circumstances were right, we can infer that the circumstances are not right for them to pursue their man. Inferring the circumstances are not right to pursue their man, we can further infer that means their man still has some coaching to do for his current team before he can legitimately be pursued. We can also tell from the way these things are going that a bowl game is no obstacle to a coach looking for a new job.

If you believed the conventional wisdom that their most likely candidates were Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, LSU's Les Miles, and Cincinnati's Brian's Kelly, then those context clues point to Miles. Ferentz's season is over, though there may be some minor bowl game for Iowa. Brian Kelly's regular season is over, though a bowl awaits. Les Miles is the only coach on that list with a game to coach on Saturday. I think this points to Michigan wanting Miles and needing to wait until the bowl season to pursue him.

I've also said before that I think it's a given that Miles will leave if he's offered by Michigan. Since I now think he'll be offered by Michigan, I'm going on record as changing my position and thinking it's likely that Saturday's game against Tennessee will likely be Miles' last as LSU's coach.

I'm sure the LSU athletic administration is not blind to this either, but my speculation on who we would hire would be well beyond premature.


gerry dorsey said...

wow...this is a very interesting view on the michigan job. i was actually pretty convinced that michigan was going to look elsewhere (meaning not to les), but i find it tough to argue with your logic. i guess we only have to wait about another week to find out.

i do however have to disagree with the idea that pelini to nebraska compromised lsu's def. gameplan for arkansas. besides, its not like arkansas did ANYTHING that wasn't 100% predicatable.

Poseur said...

I feel if UM offers Les, he's gone, but I've been of the opinion they aren't going to offer him. I'm backing off from that opinion for the exact reasons you list.

Hell, I want Brian Kelly if UM doesn't. He's a great coach. Actually, the guy I want if Les leaves is the guy who I have long believed is one of the top ten coaches in the country:

Jim Grobe of Wake Forest. If you can win at Wake, you can win anywhere.

gerry dorsey said...

i think grobe was a one hit wonder. one thing has always stuck out in my mind about grobe, and that is his lax attitude toward most anything. you can read about it here. you can call saban or whoever else an a-hole, but i'd rather have an a-hole coaching any team i support instead of someone with grobe's philosophies. you think the louisiana media wouldn't fry this guy for these habits??

Richard Pittman said...

Wow, that is pretty bad. I can't say I understand his not taking spring practice seriously.

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing quite a bit of Tubby waiting in the wings at Auburn. My understanding is that his contract renegotiation is not a done deal. I'm wondering how Tubby would be received by the Tiger nation?