"He said, 'They have rumors going around about (me) going to Michigan, but it's not true,'" Jefferson said, referring to his coach’s comments after the Tigers’ 41-24 Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M Friday night. "'It's nonsense.' He said hasn't spoken to anybody, anything about Michigan. We're going to stick with that and get ready for next year."
But Jefferson pressed on, all but guaranteeing that Miles will be in Baton Rouge next season.
"I'm not worried. Les Miles loves this team. He loves all the work that we do for him. He loves working with us. I feel he's not going anywhere. I'm positive he's not going anywhere."
Jefferson seems confident, and his comments only reaffirm what Miles has indicated, at least publicly, which is that he intends to return to LSU for a seventh season in 2011.
He reiterated as much, even before the Tigers’ season finale, which gave the program its fourth 11-win season under Miles. LSU had only two such seasons prior to his arrival.
“I don’t want to talk about me. This is really about LSU,” Miles said. “I told (the players) I have not had any conversations with Michigan at this point. And if I did, I would communicate with them very effectively.”
Though it may prove fruitless, it appears that the Wolverines and Miles will get their chance.
ESPN’s Joe Schad reported Saturday that Michigan officials are expected to meet with Miles soon about the school’s head-coaching vacancy. Miles reportedly has yet to notify LSU of such a meeting, for which he would have to give the school 24 hours notice.
Just because Miles meets with Michigan, though, doesn’t mean that LSU will lose its head coach to his alma mater. Ask Tigers athletics director Skip Bertman, who on Saturday poignantly outlined why a move is not in the works.
“This time now for Miles, he has a seven-year-old, a 16-year-old and two boys in between, isn’t the time for him to move,” Bertman said. “At LSU he makes the $4 million, likes Baton Rouge, likes LSU, and had a really great recruiting class. The timing is such, I don’t think if Michigan came up with the $4 million plus the ($1.25 million) buyout he has, I don’t think the timing is right for Les Miles.
“He has a lot of morality, you don’t find it in many people, let alone many coaches ... He’s a classy guy, a wonderful guy, a great father and a great community member. Yeah, sure he could be a good coach at Michigan, but I don’t think so.”
Bertman hit the nail on the head, only he did it with a 20-pound sledgehammer.
Miles has the life at LSU. He becomes the victim of fan vitriol each and every season, but each and every season Miles’ team is in the hunt for either the BCS title or, at the very least, a January bowl game.
It’s possible, but Michigan seems unlikely to offer any coach more than what Miles makes in Baton Rouge. And, as illustrated by Bertman, Miles seems like a high-character guy, which would eliminate any chance of him pulling a Brian Kelly, especially with the official signing of what Rivals.com considers to be the nation’s fourth-best recruiting class only weeks away.
In all, it makes no sense for Miles to leave, but logic and/or sentiment haven’t exactly played a role in many a coaching change.
LSU is planning on this time being different, and will do everything to ensure that it is.
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