There haven’t been too many coaches at LSU who have won more, or more consistently, than Les Miles. Still, this year he drew the wrath of the Tiger fan base - mainly because it’s an easy wrath to draw.
It’s been said that in the SEC football isn’t a religion, it’s more than that. Having spent seven years in that part of the country (at UT), I can honestly tell you that football recruiting is probably ahead of religion, with religion finishing ahead of spring football. Give the SEC fans their due. I’d say that religion is a great deal ahead of spring football.
After all Miles had accomplished in Baton Rouge, the LSU faithful blamed him, not only for every loss, but every close win, too. The way the season ended was OK for the people of LSU but one slip here or there and Ol’ Les would have been hearing a whole lot more than the Tiger Rag.
Miles matriculated at Michigan and coached there. He would have had a honeymoon (however brief) with the Wolverines - which brings some peace of mind for a football coach, not an easy thing to come by. Meanwhile, the good folks in Tiger Country are upset that he even listened to UM. An adage regarding the coaching profession is that you can outstay your welcome.
Sources, the major reason any story breaks nowadays, have said Miles felt that it’s just not the same situation at Michigan as when he was there. Hey, this is the University of Michigan - a place where in bad times, they expand the stadium. They drew over 114,000 for hockey in Michigan stadium! Good recruiting and a win over Ohio State (granted, not easy, although Michigan State has a real good chance next season) and Michigan would take on that old, familiar look.
It could very well be that Les Miles would have had an easier time making Michigan into the UM he recognized than he will satisfying LSU fans. And he’d have a heckuva lot more fun doing it. Many have heeded the advice that you should go where you’re wanted - and right now, Michigan wanted Les Miles more than LSU does. This might have been a tad harsh of a commentary on the LSU fans.
But the bottom line is, as the most legendary of SEC coaches, Bear Bryant, once said was the reason he left Texas A&M for his alma mater, Alabama:
“When Mama calls, then you just have to come running.”