Les Miles to Michigan?: Pelini and Nebraska Helping Wolverines' Cause

Dave Finocchio@@DaveFinocchioSenior Writer INovember 29, 2007

IconMichigan AD Bill Martin has been given formal permission by LSU to speak with Les Miles about the Wolverines' head coaching position.

Miles, a UM grad and former assistant to the late Bo Schembechler, is in his third successful season as the head coach at LSU—but has been long-rumored to covet the the Michigan job.

With Lloyd Carr stepping aside, it seems very likely that Miles will leave Baton Rouge to head north to Ann Arbor.

Making the Wolverines' case more compelling are reports that LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is one of two finalists for the head coaching position at Nebraska. Turner Gill, head coach at Buffalo, is the other.

It's been speculated that Pelini is LSU's top choice if Miles bolts for Michigan.

One has to assume that Pelini prefers to take the reigns in Baton Rouge—and avoid walking into a horrendous mess in Lincoln. However, it would be tough for him to pass on the Nebraska job and wait out Miles' "to stay or to go" decision.

If Miles takes time to make his move, Pelini could easily get squeezed out of both jobs. And high-profile opportunities at major programs don't come along every year.

On the flip side, with the Cornhuskers looking to make a hire soon for recruiting purposes, LSU risks losing both its head coach and defensive coordinator in a matter of days.

Without a doubt, it's an unusual situation for a program that's experienced so much success in recent years.

The Tigers are stuck in a Catch-22. They'd like to keep Miles, but if he's going to leave, they want him to do so as soon possible so they can retain Pelini. 

If LSU assumes that Miles is likely headed to Michigan, their best play is to push him out the door immediately to make room for Pelini. LSU's decision to allow coach Miles to speak with Martin is probably indicative of this logic.

It's an interesting game of coaching-carousel that will likely play out in the very near future.