Jul. 26, 2017
Les Miles At Ole Miss? Possible, But Not Probable
The minute Hugh Freeze was out at Ole Miss, the rumors spread of a future permanent head coach: and one that is familiar with Ole Miss pretty well from the opposite sideline: Les Miles.
It has gotten many SEC fans excited on the idea of seeing Miles wearing a white cap with the Ole Miss font on it and probably a blue pullover jacket. You can see him now at the corner of the south end zone, telling his players "to hold up," acting like dogs foaming at the mouth to run out to the field. And then Les will coach up against Nick Saban as Alabama rolls into town or when Ed Orgeron takes the LSU Tigers in an emotional game for sure. The rivalries Ole Miss has with LSU, Alabama, and Mississippi State will be intense as the SEC West will be
Except that it is not going to happen. Well, probably not. I don't like saying "never" to things.
However, it doesn't seem like Les Miles and Ole Miss would fit in this scenario for a few reasons.
1. OLE MISS STILL HAS SANCTIONS COMING FROM THE NCAA: One year bowl ban by the NCAA for Ole Miss may not be enough. It may be another bowl ban, loss of scholarships, and whatever else the NCAA takes away. Stinks for the players and whoever coaches the Rebels, but while Les Miles is reportedly very interested in the Ole Miss per Dan Wolken, it may take 3 or 4 years before the Rebels return to any relevance in football.
2. MILES HAS NEVER BEEN A MAJOR DISCIPLINARIAN TO HIS PLAYERS: Tyrann Mathieu, Jeremy Hill, Jordan Jefferson, etc. While there is nothing wrong in giving players 2nd chances, it seemed like down in LSU there were 3rd, 4th, and 5th chances given until the university stepped in. And at Ole Miss, where they will be looked at a lot by the NCAA, it probably does not bode well here.
3. MILES TEAMS FROM 2012-2016 WERE ON THE DECLINE AT LSU: The Tigers had an amazing season in 2011, winning 13 games and getting to the national championship game. However, they were outplayed by their rival Alabama in the game. After that game, it seemed like the Tigers were never the same team. They won 10 games twice under the span with Miles (2012-13) and fell off the years after, especially after the Alabama losses. Adding on, MIles, despite recruiting 5-star quarterbacks and nearly recruiting as well as their rival Alabama, could never muster any success compared to the Tide in this time. He could not get quarterbacks to fare well in Baton Rouge at all.
4. MILES MAY HAVE BENEFITED FROM BEING IN LOUISIANA: Louisiana is a great high school football state. LSU coaches can recruit well there even on an off-year. Before Miles arrived at LSU he was at Oklahoma State where he went 28-21 in 4 seasons, and never getting 10 wins in any of those seasons. Part of it was he had to go up against Texas & Oklahoma, who were fle their muscles in the early 2000's. While Ole Miss is the top dog in the state (my apologies, MSU Bulldog fans), it isn't the same talent level in Mississippi as it is in Louisiana. It would be a much more difficult experience in Oxford to get the 5-star recruits fairly.
5. MILES IS SET IN HIS WAYS: If one thing got Miles fired at LSU was the fact that he had the inability to adapt to how offenses were run. Alabama knew in order to remain at the top of the college football world they had to change their offense to be similar of no-huddle and the spread, as opposed to the pound-it-down-your-throat which had been their style for years. LSU stuck with the pound-it-down. Maybe it was in part because the quarterback play was subpar with the likes of Jefferson, Jennings, Harris, etc. But it seemed like the same old thing: give the ball to the running back 25-30 times. Great if you know the offensive line can overpower defensive lines. However, when the defensive line can overpower the offensive line, it becomes ugly. It is a key reason that Alabama had dominated LSU in this time span. And teams after Bama found ways to punish LSU as there was no change to the offense and teams made LSU pay for their inept offenses. Miles never changed the style of the offense, which made it more predictable and it possibly costed him his job.
In conclusion, while Les Miles believes he could still coach and Ole Miss looks to be a perfect fit as it would garner more drama in an already dramatic SEC, it would not pan out well for Ole Miss. And Ole Miss probably knows it.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat