Michigan coaching list: Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles on top


When Lloyd Carr retired from Michigan in 2007, LSU coach Les Miles was apparently the top candidate for the job.

The “Mad Hatter” who  played and was an assistant coach at Michigan, had compiled an impressive 34-6 record in Baton Rouge.

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But the selection process was frayed, although some say it was sabotaged by Carr, who had an ax to grind with Miles.

Hours before the SEC championship game, Kirk Herbstreit incorrectly reported on ESPN‘s College GameDay that Les Miles had accepted the Michigan job. Minutes later, LSU officials debunked Herbstreit’s announcement and affirmed that Miles was not leaving LSU.

RichRod arrives

Rich Rodriguez eventually took the job in 2008 but lasted only three years, before Brady Hoke landed at Michigan and was gone after four.

Now that Coleman, Martin and even Dave Brandon are gone, Carr seems to be putting his two cents on the plate.

Miles is certainly in the running, but Jim Harbaugh is getting most of the play.

“Everyone has an opinion, and I am no different,” Carr told The Detroit News. “If I had a choice, I would choose Jim Harbaugh. But it will be (interim athletic director) Jim Hackett’s decision, and that is as it should be.”

Aside from “expert” columnists, the oddsmakers are heavily involved.

So for that we might have to say Harbaugh’s number one. He’s young, he’s already been to the Super Bowl and he  would probably enjoy playing pitch and catch at Pioneer High just a few more times.

Miles, who has a valued SEC recruiting base, has won a national title—although they said he did it with Nick Saban’s players.

Scott Rabalais, who writes for the Baton Rouge Advocate wrote an eloquent letter, urging the 61-year-old coach to go home to Michigan.

“Take the job, Les,” Rabalais wrote. “If Michigan, your alma mater comes calling, if it says it needs Les Miles to rescue its once proud and now sputtering football tradition, you should accept.”

Herbstreit fumble

If it wasn’t for the Herbstreit error, Miles might have been there in 2008, and none of this nonsense would have been needed.

There’s no question Miles can coach. In 10 years of SEC coaching, he has a 103-28 record. That’s 10 wins a year against some very good competition.

Another intriging situation is that Miles and Michigan interim

So there are Michigan’s two top candidates. The next eight follow: 3) Bret Bielema, 4) Bob Stoops, 5) Sean Payton, 6) Butch Jones, 7) Pat Narduzzi, 8) David Shaw, 9) Gary Patterson, 10) Greg Schiano.

Stay close to Detroit Jock City for further updates on Michigan’s football coaching search.

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