When the LSU fans look back at the 2012 season, how will they remember it? After all, there was nothing dramatic about it. Les Miles finished pretty much with the record he was expected to, 10-2 (before the Bowl game, not a BCS one), leading to quite a tempting offer from Arkansas Miles will turn down.
It came as quite a shocker that the Razorbacks came up with a five year, $27.5 million offer for Miles, who’s making $3.8 million a season since the 2007 national championship. A) Arkansas aren’t the kind of school big enough to draw Miles away from the job he has right now, which quite frankly, is among the best in the nation and B) Money isn’t everything.
Miles spent his college days back in the mid 70’s as an offensive lineman with Michigan. He was an assistant coach and offensive line coach for the Wolverines before getting his chance to head coach Oklahoma State. In 2004, he became the LSU head honcho. Miles has been a candidate for his Alma Mater twice now in the past four years.
First in 2007, when he was rumored (wrongly, probably) to be the successor for Lloyd Carr. Michigan eventually ended the rumors and speculations by choosing Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia. A few years later, after Rich Rodriguez was let go at the end of the 2010 season, Miles’ name came up one more time. Michigan athletic director David Brandon, who was a teammate of Miles’ at Michigan, reportedly flew to Baton Rouge to meet with Miles after LSU defeated Texas A&M in the 2011 Cotton Bowl Classic.
There was no denying this time from Miles, LSU or Michigan regarding the conversation and the meeting; not even about the content. Miles took the fifth. Eventually, whatever was said in those talks, Miles decided to stay with LSU. He led them to the national championship game, losing to Alabama. According to sources, he was offered more money than what Arkansas offered him yesterday. If he refused his Alma Mater for more money, why would he go to a school that’s perennially inferior to his, in the same division?
Miles bought himself a lot of haters after his alleged behavior in the national champions game last season; the whole Jarrett Lee, Jordan Jeffereson issue, and LSU’s awful offensive performance, barely making it past the halfway line most of the night. But with a 85-20 record up to this point, 34-5 in the last three seasons alone, it’s hard to find someone who thinks letting Miles go is a good idea.
And Miles leaving sounds like a bad one as well. He’s got everything going here in terms of recruiting and his staff. He could also win a national championship next season with virtually everyone from a budding offense returning. There’s about zero chance he throws all that away for some kind of new challenge in untested waters. Money isn’t everything, and there’s a good chance that this kind of offer, acknowledged by LSU, Miles and his agent, will pave the way for another raise (some say well deserved) in Miles’ contract.