Why Les Miles decided to stay

 New York–Good morning from New York City, where we got a bunch of snow last night but this morning the sun is out and the main roads are clear. At this point of the journey it’s the little things that make you happy. Maybe I can actually get home to Atlanta tonight.

I apologize for posting this late but I want to touch on a few things as we start to wind down this week. Just to remind everyone of the schedule, I’ll spend the next few days wrapping up the 2010 season and looking ahead a little bit. Then I’ll step aside for the recruiting folks because that will dominate the conversation until signing day.

We’ll come back after signing day and start looking ahead to spring practice, 2011. It will be here quickly.

Here are just a few things I want to share before jumping out into the snow this morning:

1. Les Miles stayed because he listened to his head and not his heart: It was a very smart, very practical decision for Les Miles to stay at LSU and not go to Michigan, his alma mater. Miles has a very good team returning in 2011. LSU may be good enough to win the division and maybe more. But I thought the emotional tug of Michigan would be too hard to resist. The fact is that the next guy at Michigan, Brady Hoke, will have  a lot of rebuilding to do. Miles took a hard look at Michigan and realized that it wasn’t the place where he played and coached. Life changes. He recognized that.

2. Why does the SEC win championships? It’s the big guys up front. Pat Dye, the former Auburn coach, told me a long time ago othat the  biggest difference in the SEC and other football conferences is the big, fast defensive linemen who grow up and play in the South. It was clear in Monday night’s game that Oregon had not seen anybody like defensive tackle Nick Fairley. The SEC produces more of those players than any other conference. The SEC has won five straight national championships. That is not a coincidence.

3. I thought Saban and Meyer were pretty good on TV: ESPN caught some flak in some areas for putting Urban Meyer and Nick Saban on its coverage team for the BCS championship. But you are talking about two smart men who know the sport and who certainly know the SEC. Both have won multiple national championships. I heard from some Auburn people who thought Saban was stepping in on their moment. Expect to see more of Urban Meyer on TV this fall. He and I didn’t always agree on things but he knows his stuff and brings a different perspective to the games.

4. No one will break the SEC’s record of five straight BCS titles: I flew to NYC with a plane full of Auburn people trying to get home. Just about everyone I chatted with wanted to know if anybody would ever beat the SEC’s record of five straight national championships. I told them no because of two things:

It is just too hard to win one of these things. You have to be good, but you also have to have some good fortune. Auburn would be the first to say that they had the best football team in the country but that they could also go back to 4-5 bounces of the ball that could have changed everything.

The second is the SEC’s depth. The league has won five straight but it has been done by four different teams (Florida, Alabama, LSU, Auburn). No other conference has that kind of depth.

5.  Could it be LSU’s turn again? In 2007 the BCS championship was in New Orleans and LSU won  (beating Ohio State). In 2003 the BCS championship was in New Orleans and LSU won (beating Oklahoma). The 2011 BCS championship will be held in New Orleans. Are the Tigers primed to make it six in a row for the SEC? We’ll discuss that on Thursday as we look ahead to the SEC and ACC for 2011.

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240 comments Add your comment

Chance

January 12th, 2011
2:53 pm

“Hate to burst your bubble, Tony, but Les Miles didn’t choose to stay. Michigan made him an “offer” they knew he wouldn’t accept because they wanted Hoke all along, but they had to make an “offer” to Les to appease the Bo Schembechler faction of the Michigan alumni base. I know it’s a little complex for your country-bumpkin mind, but many other people in the media have reported this, and Les wouldn’t even confirm he was offered the job when he was on ESPN radio an hour ago. Get your facts straight before you write your columns.”

Hate to burst YOUR bubble, Matt, but Les Miles DID choose to stay. As far as what the media reported, the media reported that Les Miles accepted the job at one point AND many in the media has stated how Les Miles should stay at LSU and why. The “country-bumpkin” remark speaks volumes about you and based on your comments you really need to be careful about throwing stones (of course I’m sure my analogy is too complex for you). Les did not deny that he was offered the job when he was on ESPN radio an hour ago, nor has anyone from Michigan denied it to my knowledge. Get YOUR facts straight before writing comments about another s facts or trying to pass your opinion off as fact.

Nick Rails

January 12th, 2011
3:03 pm

What? Les Miles is not going to Michigan? I can’t belive it
Tony…are you sure? According to you and Wes UM is a top 5
job. How can ANYONE turn down a top 5 job?

Tony, sorry to break the news to ya, it ain’t 1979 anymore.
And UM is not a top 5 job. Maybe a top 15 but that debatable

Geez guys I listen to you and Wes talk about UM being a “great job”
just because it was 70 yrs ago with Fielding Yost. What happened
70 yrs ago has NOTHING to do with what’s going on today.

What makes UM a great job? The draw 110K per game? By those
standards UT is the best job in the SEC. Tony, go to a UM
game and look at the crowd. I’d say 50% are over 70 yrs
old and there aren’t a whole lot of folks moving into Michigan
to replace ‘em. And there aren’t a whole lot or prospects
in the state as well.

Tony, if it’s a “top 5″ why weren’t big name coaches lined
up to take it or even interview for it? Listen to Colin Cohwerd
Tony about the UM job he knows what he talkin about and he’s not
stuck in 1979

SuperB

January 12th, 2011
3:35 pm

To “AU national champs:” Your rant is bogus. Cam Newton left UF before he could get thrown out. Cheating and stealing are good character traits– I don’t care how good a FB player he is. Let’s see a year ot two or three down the line if AU has to forfeit the season. You have heard of Reggie Bush haven’t you?

TMC DAWG

January 12th, 2011
3:36 pm

Congratulations, AU Thanks for keeping the NC in the SEC. Mabey my Dawgs will get one in my lifetime, but there is NOWAY with this current coaching staff. People say get behind the team and the real dawg have. But the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting different results. Well we know what we will get with this bunch. Alot of LLLLLLLLLLLLS

JoeFan

January 12th, 2011
4:10 pm

Miles stayed with LSU because Michigan is an institution that prides itself on being part of a conference that holds its memebers up to a higher standard.

LEROY

January 12th, 2011
4:20 pm

Why would anyone want to live in Michigan??????????????????

AU National Champs

January 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Sorry Super B your logic is bogus. In order to have games vacated or trophies taken away, you first have to prove that AU has even done anything wrong in the first place.

Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson on December 2nd. “Sources inside the NCAA say the Cam Newton case is closed. It’s over, done, dead. People need to move on.”

ESPN writer Joe Schad on December 3rd: “The NCAA is happy with the Cam Newton investigation. The case is closed and the files are put away. It’s over”

AU National Champs

January 12th, 2011
4:32 pm

The investigation is over. Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, discussed money with Mississippi State booster Kenny Rogers in a Mississippi hotel lobby on November 27, 2009. This is the only time/place that money was discussed. Rogers almost certainly instigated the talks, hoping to get his 10% off the top.

On Newton’s recruiting trips to the U. of Oklahoma, U. of Tennessee and Auburn University there was no mention of money. Kenny Rogers, who has been charged by the NFLPA for impersonating an agent and who, in November of 2009 was running from $11,000 in bad checks is the only connection with money talks. Cecil Newton made a mistake and listened to Rogers, but in the end no money changed hands.

The SEC office and Auburn University Compliance office investigated for ten months. The NCAA’s team of investigators worked the case for five months. There is nothing there.

The FBI talked briefly with Kenny Rogers, supposedly to determine if he could be charged with embezzlement for trying to get money from some wealthy Mississippi State boosters. Other than that, the FBI has no interest in the case.

The FBI investigates criminal activity. They do not give a flip if every player in the country sells his trinkets to an agent or if every school in the country pays players to attend their school. These things are against NCAA rules but they are not illegal.
Those of you waiting breathlessly for the FBI to “reveal” things about this need to adjust your thinking to the fact that the FBI is not conducting an investigation into violation of NCAA policies and they will not be doing so. They have their own responsibilities and could not care less about NCAA policy.

WAR CAM NEWTON

January 12th, 2011
4:34 pm

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Fran Tarkenton

January 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

“Cam Newton is without a doubt the greatest college football player of all time”.

For You Super B

January 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

FoxSports.com writer Thayer Evans published a story today alleging Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton “had three different instances of academic cheating while attending the University of Florida.”

The story follows several days of editorial attacks on Newton by Thayer, a former stringer for the New York Times.

Two independent sources with detailed knowledge of the UF academic discipline system during the period in question have disputed the Evans story. According to the sources, no allegations of academic impropriety regarding Cam Newton were sent to the Florida Student Conduct Committee at any time either during or after Newton’s time at UF.

“Nothing was reported, officially or unofficially” says one source, who did not wish to be identified. “The formal process is for allegations to go through the Student Conduct Committee. If [any allegations against Newton] didn’t follow that process, then they didn’t follow the rules.”

Newton enrolled at Florida in the spring of 2007 and transferred to Blinn College in January of 2009.

Per the source, no charges against Newton were ever brought to the Student Conduct Committee during that time.

The source also indicated that no Florida football players have ever been officially reported to the UF Student Conduct Committee for academic violations during Urban Meyer’s tenure.

According to the source, student arrests are subject to additional discipline via the Student Conduct Committee, but it is not uncommon for students in such situations “to cut a deal with the Dean of Students’ office before coming to the Committee.”

At the time of Newton’s enrollment at UF, if attempts to informally settle academic disputes failed, academic violations issues were referred from the Dean of Students office to the Student Conduct Committee, where a hearing chaired by a member of the UF Honor Board would be conducted.

No charges against Newton, to the first source’s knowledge, were ever sent to the UF Student Conduct Committee.

A second, independently verified source, also with detailed knowledge of the Florida student disciplinary system, took issue with Thayer’s assertion that Newton, had he actually been charged with academic misconduct, would have been in danger of expulsion. “I worked ten or twelve cases,” the second source says, “and I never saw anyone get expelled.”

The second source, who also declined to be identified, also says no charges regarding Newton were ever brought to the Student Conduct Committee, noting, “If Cameron Newton would have come before the committee, we would have known about it.”

The second source also expressed indignation over the possible leak of student information to the media.

“That is completely confidential. We’re not allowed to say anything to anyone.

For You Super B

January 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

no allegations of academic impropriety regarding Cam Newton were sent to the Florida Student Conduct Committee at any time either during or after Newton’s time at UF.

“Nothing was reported, officially or unofficially” says one source, who did not wish to be identified. “The formal process is for allegations to go through the Student Conduct Committee. If [any allegations against Newton] didn’t follow that process, then they didn’t follow the rules.”

Newton enrolled at Florida in the spring of 2007 and transferred to Blinn College in January of 2009.

Per the source, no charges against Newton were ever brought to the Student Conduct Committee during that time.

For You Super B

January 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

By all accounts, the only trouble Newton caused in two semesters at Blinn was for opposing defensive coordinators. By the time he left, Newton had earned an associate’s degree and led the Buccaneers to a national title in 2009.
Franchione, the son of former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione, said it’s “definitely difficult” to watch his former player wrestle with today’s allegations while trying to keep Auburn undefeated and in title contention.
Blinn officials, including Franchione, who said he has no direct knowledge of the NCAA’s ongoing investigation, are monitoring the situation and offering support while trying to keep their distance “and not cause more of a distraction,” as athletic director David Rehr put it.
The Newton they knew “was a model student, did everything he was supposed to do,” Rehr said.

For You Super B

January 12th, 2011
4:43 pm

Franchione said he was unaware of any “bidding war” during Cam Newton’s recruitment out of Blinn.
“That’s a definitive no,” Franchione said. “In his time when he was at Blinn, his recruitment was the same as any other player that’s been recruited out of Blinn.”

For You Super B

January 12th, 2011
4:44 pm

Nathan Winkleman, past president of the Blinn alumni association, said Newton learned from his earlier mistakes and was “on a mission” in Brenham.
“He was very, Yes sir, no sir,’ ” Winkleman said. “One of those kids everybody couldn’t wait to be around. It’s a shame all this is happening now. It’s just unfortunate.”
Newton was as good as advertised in Brenham. In fact, only one element of stardom was missing from his persona.
“He didn’t have the bravado,” Rehr said. “When it came to being a student, he was low-key. Cam wasn’t a look-at-me guy. He never tried to stand out. He wasn’t even the region most valuable player or national player of the year.”
Nevertheless, Newton left his mark.
“(He’s) probably the most competitive person I’ve ever met,” Franchione said. “When he got into a competitive situation in practice, I could see the sparkle in his eye and the desire to be the best.”
And if Newton weathers the allegations currently bearing down on him? If he wins the coveted Heisman Trophy?
“It’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Cam, and I’d venture to say for me,” Franchione said. “For me to have the opportunity to coach somebody who is nominated and potentially the Heisman Trophy winner would be very special for myself, for Cam and his family and the people of Blinn College.”
Newton is part of Blinn’s history now.
“He might have made a mistake in his past,” Winkleman said. “Everybody has made a mistake, and he’s made it right and played on and done well.

Here's The Difference Between Reggie Bush's Case

January 12th, 2011
4:49 pm

The Reggie Bush case was an institutional investigation. Those can and do take years. Cam Newton’s case was a question of player eligibility. Those are settled quickly. See Georgia’s A.J. Greene and Alabama’s Marcel Darious. Like the Newton case, both settled quickly. Remember, nobody at any level has accused Auburn of even knowing about Cecil’s talk with Kenny Rogers. Nobody at any level of authority has alleged that Auburn paid money. Rogers is an MSU booster. That’s why money wasn’t mentioned at Oklahoma, Auburn or Tennessee. MSU and Rogers are the connection to money. Even Rogers said Auburn wasn’t mentioned in his talk with Cecil Newton

Fink

January 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

Elmer Fudd stays @ LSU !!!!!!!!!!!!

Auburn

January 12th, 2011
4:57 pm

It’s all swept under the rug, and under the rug is where it’ll all stay!

Suck It!

WE DON’T CARE. WE’RE ALL IN.

AND WE’RE NUMBER ONE!!!

That’s all that matters to me.

BILLY JACK

January 12th, 2011
5:01 pm

Great season for Auburn but the Wolf will soon be at the door.

MOVE ON!!

January 12th, 2011
5:15 pm

Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson on December 2nd. “Sources inside the NCAA say the Cam Newton case is closed. It’s over, done, dead. People need to move on.”

ESPN writer Joe Schad on December 3rd: “The NCAA is happy with the Cam Newton investigation. The case is closed and the files are put away. It’s over”

Fink

January 12th, 2011
5:21 pm

One thing thats stands out to me.

I’ve heard Oregon fans complain about Cam and cheating and yada yada yada

but what about Oregon and Phil Knight and Nike? Eugine is dirty, just look around. Pat Forte even wrote a column today about the power Phil Knight has in regards to building a football program with your own cash.

Stephen Dawg

January 12th, 2011
6:08 pm

killcasualfan

January 12th, 2011
6:19 pm

Conference Bowl records are irrelevant. I guess the Mountain West is superior since they have the best bowl record the past decade, eh? And logic shows us that it’s irrational to credit for the accomplishments of your rivals. Sadly, that’s what fans of loser schools have to do. Keep chanting SEC, while your team does not consistently win.

gcs

January 12th, 2011
6:30 pm

1. Les Miles stayed because he listened to his head and not his heart: I can’t argue with that. It doesn’t hurt that LSU is LOADED and Michigan is a train wreck that got hit by a tornado and then a flood and then a IRS audit.

2. Why does the SEC win championships? This is why you hear the “SEC! SEC!” chants. The competition makes you tougher and strive for greater things.

3. I thought Saban and Meyer were pretty good on TV: Did you catch Alabama QB Greg McElroy on ESPN? He is a natural.

4. No one will break the SEC’s record of five straight BCS titles: the streak will be broken…right about this time next year when the streak hits six.

5. Could it be LSU’s turn again? LSU or Alabama. It might come down to November 5, 2011.

.

Warhorse

January 12th, 2011
6:33 pm

Auburn will be a one-hit wonder. If Muschamp can get things straightened out in Gainesville, the Gators will challenge in 2012; this year probably too soon.

LSU should be formidable and could go for the big ring.

Poodles, will not make it out of the East becasue a rebuilding UF will ding them again — and again — and again.

Matt

January 12th, 2011
6:41 pm

Wow, Chance. Try reading this (if in fact you can read).

http://www.freep.com/article/20110111/COL22/110111051/1054/SPORTS06/Brandon-never-really-wanted-Miles

It pretty much makes the point that Michigan offered the job to Les Miles, but offered way less $$$ than they knew he would need to take the job. Pretty smart, really, but I wouldn’t expect a person with your limited intelligence to figure it out (that means I think you’re stupid, by the way). You did a great job of quoting me, though. I’ve always wanted that to happen on this blog.

Ted Vandy

January 12th, 2011
7:05 pm

I don’t like to get into who would UGA get debate, but I don’t think Chris Peterson would be a good hire. I also don’t think he would be interested. He turned Stanford down for a good reason. In the words of Dirty Harry, “a man’s got to know his limitations”. The last two coaches to leave BS did not do well. So, here is somebody you can jump all over who might be willing to take the job, should it come up, Steve Sarkisian. Doing a great job at Washington and totally off the SEC radar.

Richie

January 12th, 2011
7:18 pm

He did it with the other guys recruits,That makes him a great coach. dah

TrishaDishaWarEagle

January 12th, 2011
7:39 pm

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2010 National Champion AUBURN UNIVERSITY

I truly hope all die hard fans get to experience their school winning the National Championship once in their life(caveat…bammers… you already had enough)…THIS WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!

Congratulations to the entire AU Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily our seats were nosebleed So there is no permanent eye damage from staring directly at the oregon uniforms…

Murph!! thanks for the congrats and maybe it will be UGAs turn to protect the streak next year..

jumbeauxtiger

January 12th, 2011
7:57 pm

Matt

January 12th, 2011
6:41 pm

“Wow, Chance. Try reading this (if in fact you can read).

http://www.freep.com/article/20110111/COL22/110111051/1054/SPORTS06/Brandon-never-really-wanted-Miles

It pretty much makes the point that Michigan offered the job to Les Miles, but offered way less $$$ than they knew he would need to take the job. Pretty smart, really, but I wouldn’t expect a person with your limited intelligence to figure it out (that means I think you’re stupid, by the way). You did a great job of quoting me, though. I’ve always wanted that to happen on this blog.”

Brandon also said he didn’t offer the job to Harbaugh. Yeah right lol.

Oh yeah, Joe Schad reported that Miles would take the job. Obviously he was off-base about that.

Wait a minute

January 12th, 2011
7:59 pm

Remember you can’t spell autistic without AU. Best paid players in SEC

Tony Geinzer

January 12th, 2011
8:44 pm

Tony, I think Miles will be sore to turn down Michigan a 2nd Time. I think Coach Hoke would have to hope the best he can do is Beat Ohio State for the 1st Time Since 2003.

Mo Money

January 12th, 2011
9:36 pm

Miles wanted too much money—michigan was too cheap to pay him $5-6 mil that it would take. They’ll be mediocre again with a no name coach. Alabama wins the SEC in 2011—mark it down.

Jaes

January 13th, 2011
12:15 am

Shut up ya dirty bums… Anyone around the program knows the “gah-bage” thats garbage offensive co-ord was at the heart of most issues at LSU. Its definitely wasnt talent. Now that LSU has let him pursue other opportunities/FIRED HIS ASS. We can get an offense up to speed with our D.

There you go again stupid Barnhart

January 13th, 2011
12:30 am

Oregon had 449 yds against Auburn. Auburn had 519*. A 15% difference and Auburn had bigger players right. Big players and 15% more yds. Hardly enough to write about.

Basically the SEC has been the big 4 (switch Auburn for TN) for how long.

And during the 5 titles the SEC has done what.

Keep in mind before reading this. A loss in the SEC championship would most likely knock the winner from playing in the NC game, right.

AL. 4 different coaches, so not a real threat to FL or LSU. Had Bama been good enough to beat one of them, they would not have been ranked high enough to play.

TN. Fulmer was consistently losing the big games that ultimately got him fired. Again, not a threat to the others rankings due to a TN loss.

LSU. Saban leaves LSU 2003. No real threat to FL’s rankings in 2004. FL wins NC.

FL. Was the only team to be a consistent threat to the other schools during this 5 year reign. Yes, Ron was there but Meyer took over and never missed a beat.

Auburn. Although 13-0 in 2004. Tuberville would be fired after the the 08 season. He had a 4-3 record against Saban. Had he been around last year who knows what would have happened. Remember Bama won with 1:47 left against, at the time, nobody Chizik.

And GA has been what to FL, TN, Auburn, AL during these years. Did any of these teams take a hit in rankings by losing to GA?

I could go on and on. The stars have aligned for the SEC to have these 5 championships. That and a cheating QB and bad call.

* Auburn had 519. Take away the 37 yds and Auburn has 7% more yds that Oregon did. How can you say defense won the game when the other team matched you.

There you go again stupid Barnhart

January 13th, 2011
2:08 am

God, this game will drive you crazy. Auburn was not the clear NC? Instead of a playoff, they should have best 2 of 3. Who knows what would have happened.

Time and time again, the best team does not win that one freaking game.

1987 Miami vs Penn St. Miami throws 5 interceptions and fumbles twice. Miami 22 first downs, PSU 8. Miami 445 yds, PSU 162.

Final PSU 14, Miami 10. Did the best team win? Hell no.

ARdawg

January 13th, 2011
7:28 am

Tony Barnhart is a Gomer

Woody

January 13th, 2011
8:23 am

GEORGIA COACHES PLEASE READ COMMENTS BELOW….Where are our big fast guys?

“Why does the SEC win championships? It’s the big guys up front. Pat Dye, the former Auburn coach, told me a long time ago othat the biggest difference in the SEC and other football conferences is the big, fast defensive linemen who grow up and play in the South. It was clear in Monday night’s game that Oregon had not seen anybody like defensive tackle Nick Fairley. The SEC produces more of those players than any other conference. The SEC has won five straight national championships. That is not a coincidence.”

For The Clueless Idiots

January 13th, 2011
11:48 am

The trophies already have been shipped. Folks at the NCAA can strike Auburn from the record books, but the $30,000 Waterford crystal is not theirs to take back. By the time the investigations ends, the $21.2 million payment will be under the SEC’s mattress, and it’s not coming back.

And, really, you think the Tigers or their fans care about what happens on paper? They already believe they were denied a chance to play for a title in 2004.

After the game, Auburn coach Gene Chizik made it clear that he has Newton’s back forever, no matter what happens. So does the SEC. So do countless fans who live in Alabama, who now feel like they’re on top of the world.

Try competing with that.

Gator Man

January 14th, 2011
1:38 pm

Meyers and Nick did a great job, two of the best coaches the Sec has ever seen.
Auburn fans get over your self, Nick was actually taken up for the Auburn football team, this is what Sec pride is about,we can talk bad within family about each other but not no outside conference.
I am a Florida man but was rooting hard for Auburn, you represented the SEC proudly.