The website SportsbyBrooks has a very interesting piece up this evening on the possibility of Michigan courting LSU head coach Les Miles. By all means go read the entire piece, but the basic report is that a University of Michigan plane was in Baton Rouge this morning. Money picture from Brooks:
The plane is owned by Richard Rogel, a millionaire alum / supporter / official of Michigan. Brooks has the run-down on his background, but I'll just be brief and say he's a rich Michigan man who seemingly has a lot of influence.
WWL, the famed New Orleans radio station, confirms that the plane indeed was in Baton Rouge this morning:
Tracking data at the aviation website flightaware.com shows that a Lear Jet painted with the colors and logo of the University of Michigan was on the ground at the Baton Rouge airport this morning for a couple of hours.
So, um, hmm. Miles obviously wasn't in Baton Rouge this morning, but his wife and family may have been, and if nothing else it's one hell of a coincidence. You can browse all of the LSU sites and they are practically exploding with discussion of this. Miles has denied contact in the past, but obviously you cannot take coach speak at face value, and he said the same thing when LSU was wooing him in San Antonio while he was the Oklahoma State coach.
For what it's worth, if you browse most of the Michigan sites, Miles is expected by most to be near the top or at the very top of the coaching search. Brady Hoke has gotten a lot of discussion, but Michigan could have him at any moment and the fact that they haven't hired him yet, or even started any significant contact to this point, likely tells you they have someone ahead of him on the pecking order. More than a few think they are serious about the "Michigan Man" business, and Miles would certainly fit that bill. Next question, of course, is whether or not Miles would take the job. On a career level I think it would be a terrible move -- personally, if I were a football coach, I'd walk to Baton Rouge to get that LSU job -- but any time you deal with an alma mater you do have to discount rationality a bit. Perhaps it will come to pass, perhaps not.
I say all of that to say this: If Michigan legitimately plans to pursue Miles, expect it to happen almost immediately after the Cotton Bowl later tonight, and if there appears to be an inkling that Miles may take the job, go ahead and get prepared for the inevitable barrage of Saban-back-to-LSU rumors.