Saturday, December 01, 2007

Crisis averted


Depending on the ultimate explanation, I'd like to thank Mary Sue Coleman, the University of Michigan Board of Regents and/or Les Miles's avarice for sparing my university years of pain and embarrassment.

I look forward to sleeping the sleep of the just and discontinuing vitriolic e-mails.

17 comments:

dmbmeg said...

I'd also like to thank the above mentioned, as I will now not have to hear you grumble (as much) about football next year.

voidoid said...

How exactly would Les Miles have been a bad hire? If he constitutes "dodging a bullet," what would be acceptable?

crimenotes said...

dmbmeg: Yeah, like the once-every-three-weeks e-mail is such a burden.

voidoid: What would be acceptable is pretty much anyone else, beginning with Mike DeBord's four-year-old great-niece. I've wanted to write on this but other obligations have impeded, and quite honestly I've been so riled about the whole prospect that I haven't settled down to the point where I can write about it with the kind of arm's-length detachment that I'd like. This would've been a bust-the-program hire, and I'm glad the grown-ups in Ann Arbor finally intervened. We'll see.

voidoid said...

I understand that Carr and Miles had a falling out at some point over the years, and Carr recommended Debord to the University to be his replacement. However, Miles played for and coached under Bo, the UM job was reportedly his dream job (yeah, and Urban Meyer said the same thing about ND), and he has a 61-27 record (.693) as a head coach. With the Mountaneers loss tonight, LSU could vault tOSU and play for a national title. How does this constitute a "bust-the-program hire?"

crimenotes said...

Pets.com and Enron stock did awesome for awhile, and a bunch of people got steals on ARMs. I'm not interested in trying to persuade you. There are plenty of people in your camp. In the end, there are few coaches who take more unnecessary risks than this guy, and few who comport themselves so ridiculously in public. Maybe he could get away with it if he were a genius, but he's not. You get to act like Spurrier if you are Spurrier. He's more like Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter. Maybe he'll go to the BCS title and beat the Buckeyes -- oh well. Give it five years. This guy is a hot mess and it's only a matter of time before the roof falls in.

crimenotes said...

Also, when he first came to LSU, I had a version of this same crush that seems to have overcome a lot of Michigan fans. I thought he was the anointed. Then I started paying attention, then I quickly changed my mind, then I concluded that there's no way Michigan would touch the guy with a ten-foot pole, and then I spent the past week terrified.

voidoid said...

I won't argue Miles' ridiculous demeanor and seat-of-his-pants playcalling - I think he's got a screw loose, but I also don't think he's in Ed Orgeron or Greg Robinson bat-shit crazy territory.

However, consider the other names now floating around - Tedford, Schiano, Tom O'Brien, Brian Kelly... I just don't see these guys being a stronger hire than Miles, especially considering his ties to the University.

Flop said...

Ted Kaczynski and Ann Coulter have ties to the university, too.

Les Miles doesn't deserve credit for Dave Wannstedt's triumph over the Mountaineers. If LSU plays for the national title, it's a triumph of lazy-thinking sportswriters, brand-name recognition and a season of truly shitty football, not Les Miles' coaching acumen.

Besides, there are plenty of talented coaches out there who are just pieces of corporatatist software, activating proper applications (time outs during field goals, pleading for a spot in the title game, envelopes full of cash) as necessary to maximize wins, disregarding the other factors that make college football NOT the NFL with indentured servitude.

dmbmeg said...

THE UNABOMBER AS HEAD COACH OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL.

Lovely.

voidoid said...

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, who do you want as the next head coach and why?

crimenotes said...

I value in theory someone with prior ties to Michigan and loyalty to the program. I've come to think of it as a minor plus. I just don't think there's any viable prospect that comes out of a Michigan lineage, which is sort of a shame, but not a reason for concern. There seems to be a consensus that some new blood and outside perspective would benefit everyone. Mile had that -- but he's a madman. It was the Michiganconnection that made me swoon for Miles a few years ago -- and then I started scrutinizing, had some conversations with people smarter than I am, started seeing a pattern of a kind of slow-burn recklessness emerge in virtual all respects of how he does his job. I was convinced that in the totality, Michigan would never want him -- in terms of style and temperament, there could hardly be a worse fit, aside from the aforementioned Oregeron, Mike Gundy, and the real pariahs like Neuheisel, Franchione, Barnett, etc. Shows what I know.

I have to think there's a middle ground between Lloyd's extreme conservatism and going UFC. It's going to work out just fine.

crimenotes said...

Voidoid: I'm going to play humble for once and say that I don't know enough about all the possible candidates to offer an intelligent opinion. Miles, I've followed for awhile -- I appreciate that Schiano and Tedford have both done a fair amount with very little. Michigan as an institution shares a lot of traits with Berkeley, making me think that Tedford would know how to handle a difficult political environment. I think the quasi-hysteria that greeted the Ferentz possibility was utterly unwarranted -- there seems to be this impulse to focus on very recent history and disregard performance over time. It's very hard to make contemporaneous assessments of fault. Pinkel has done a fine job with Missouri but one season doesn't make a great coach, and Ferentz's recent struggles don't seem like an automatic disqualifier. But again, I don't know enough about the programs at Mizzou or Iowa to reach any strong conclusions. People seem enthused about Jim Grobe; I like what I know of him. In general, I'm cautiously positive about all the prospects. Now that the Miles circus is over I think there's an opportunity for people to do some thoughtful work on this, but I'm not personally at a point where any candidate thrills or unsettles me.

voidoid said...

CN: That's fair. We had a nearly identical situation three years ago after Willingham's dismissal, and Urban Meyer was the guy on everyone's list. ND was his professed dream job, but he was talked into Florida after conversations with his father, wife, and Bob Davie, under whom he was the WR coach for the Irish. Just before he picked Florida, we all assumed he was a done deal to coach ND, and there was mass hysteria amongst the less-educated fanbase (me included) when our overtures were spurned.

As it turned out, it actually allowed ND to go through a thorough and correct process, contacting and interviewing coaches at all levels (Ferentz, Groh, Shanahan, and ND grads Tom Clements and Charlie Weis, among others.) It lasted several weeks, and the school took a huge PR hit with the botched Meyer deal and the perceived racism in firing Willingham. In the end, though, Weis got the nod, and in his first two seasons he won 19 games and broke nearly every offensive school record with talent that had done nothing under the prior regime (and I won't get into this past season, but let's just say Weis needs to learn how to fucking teach.)

It's a huge help that Carr will coach the bowl, and that will provide recruiting continuity through the process. Obviously, the sooner a coach is named the better, but as long as a coach is in place by the Alamo Bowl there shouldn't be too painful a transition between staffs.

dmbmeg said...

evil vs. evil. How do we feel?

crimenotes said...

I feel go Buckeyes, as I always do in the bowl season. Sadly, we're all getting killed.

voidoid: Holding up Charlie Weis as an example of how things can all work out is not exactly 1.) comforting or 2.) up to date.

evil girl said...

bring back lloyd!

Crunk Raconteur said...

I have to admit, I have really been hoping that Miles takes over at UM, primarily because I also do not think he's a particularly good coach. To wit, as an Ohio State fan, the only reason LSU only minorly terrifies me instead of making me wet myself (as the Tigers' talent level should dictate) is that Miles is hot garbage.

Still, I'll hold out hope, if only so I can continue making jokes to Flop about how Miles should get used to his third loss of the season coming against Ohio State...