Miles Still Talking

By Carolyn Braff - December 17, 2007

Despite what he says, LSU head coach Les Miles seems to enjoy talking about Michigan. If he didn't, why would he continue bringing up the subject of the Wolverines?

On Monday, Miles held a question and answer session with the media to talk about his team's upcoming bowl preparations in light of LSU's return to practices this week. After a short opening statement listing his team's practice times and approach, he switched topics, once again bringing up the "Les Miles to Michigan" rumor that had been so hot in recent weeks.

"I am happy, to be honest with you, that Michigan has picked a quality coach," Miles said. "I can tell you that it will certainly end questions that I'll have to field.

"I can also tell you that I have a Michigan background that will never change. I will be loyal to that memory and that school. As an alumnus, not speaking as a coach now but as an alumnus, I think it’s time that every Michigan alumnae, everybody that supports that program, gets behind that coach. I think Coach Rodriguez will do a great job and I am very happy that they picked a coach of that quality and caliber.

"I know it's disappointing to some of you that don't like me, who really wish that I could have taken the Michigan job that was not offered, but I couldn't get them interested in me, so you're stuck with me."

Miles' final comments received a hearty chuckle, but it is hard to ignore the seemingly growing number of opportunities Miles has taken as of late to discuss Michigan. Obviously he is not going to be the Wolverines' new coach - that is Rich Rodriguez's job now - but even as a devoted alumnus, is all of this Michigan attention really necessary?

The room erupted in laughter once again a beat later when an audience member asked Miles if he was considering taking the West Virginia job. Without offering much of a response, Miles laughed out loud a few times before stating, "I'm going to put in a call through to Jimbo Fisher and see if he might fit them well."

Mere moments later, Florida State, Fisher's current employer, released the details of Fisher's contract and its accompanying buyout clause. The offensive coordinator's contract stipulates that FSU must pay Fisher $2.5 million if he isn't hired to replace Bobby Bowden as head coach in three years. But if Fisher wants to leave before those three years are up, he must pay the school $2.5 million. That makes him an expensive get for West Virginia, should they choose to court Fisher for their newly vacant head coaching job.

$2.5 million is not flowering on the side of a tree somewhere waiting for WVU to pick it, but if West Virginia needs the money, they're bound to be able to produce that kind of cash. After all, Michigan did - the last time the Wolverines stole a coach away from the Mountaineers, men's basketball coach John Beilein, the attached contract had an identical $2.5 million buyout clause. Beilein made an agreement with West Virginia to pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation, and the deal was done.

If the Mountaineers decide that Fisher is their man, they will find a way to bring him in, buyout or no.

Posted by Carolyn Braff at 02:33 PM on December 17, 2007

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