In the days following Gary Andersen’s sudden departure form OSU, we put out an article listing possible candidates for the job. One of the names that I put on that list was Les Miles. Now honestly at the time I didn’t think that was a realistic possibility, but given the fact that he was an unemployed coach reportedly looking to get back into the profession I figured I may as well toss him in, plus it was a good excuse to put in a video of one of his great press conferences from his time at LSU.
His name has been tossed around here and there, including rumors of him visiting Corvallis in the past few weeks, but until yesterday there had been no substantiated reports of interest on either end. That all changed when Kevin Hampton of the Gazette-Times dropped this little nugget on twitter last night.
While the prospect of a national championship winning coach having interest in the job is exciting, and does elicit thoughts back to the Dennis Erickson era, it should be noted that Miles has reportedly had a lot of interest in most job openings since he was let go by LSU last fall, so his interest in OSU should not be terribly surprising.
If Miles were to land the job in Corvallis, his second time rehabbing an OSU who dons Orange and Black, he would bring the instant name recognition, and winning pedigree that many in Beaver Nation are clamoring for. Following a successful 4 year stint at Oklahoma State, Miles was tabbed as the replacement for Nick Saban at LSU. The former Michigan offensive linemen did not disappoint, winning a National Title in 2007, his third year on the job, and compiling an impressive record of 114-34 in slightly over 11 seasons at the helm. LSU made a return trip to the national title game in 2011, a game in which they fell to SEC rival Alabama, and a game in which many claim was the beginning of the end for Miles at LSU. His inability to beat Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide over the past half decade, along with LSU’s struggles at the quarterback position eventually lead to Miles ouster from Baton Rouge four games in to the 2016 season. Miles was replaced by interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who was awarded the full time job last off-season and currently has the Tigers at 6-3 including a blowout loss to Mississippi State, an upset at the hands of Troy and another loss to Nick Saban and Alabama.
Miles would definitely bring some excitement to Corvallis, but his hiring would not be without concerns. Would his struggles to find a competent QB continue in Corvallis? Would the man who’s closest thing to a job on the west coast was a stint as the Colorado offensive line coach in the 80’s be able to recruit the left coast? Would he view it as a long-term gig, or as a stepping stone on his way back to a blue blood program? What would he snack during home games since Reser does not have real grass?
Ok so one of those concerns isn’t as pressing as the others, but honestly no coach is a sure thing, we thought we had one land in our laps a couple years ago, but we all know how that ended up. Despite the concerns, I think Scott Barnes would be a fool not to give Miles very serious consideration. It’s rare that a coach with a championship pedigree is available, and Barnes may need to act quick as plenty of other jobs will be opening up in the next few weeks and since Scott Frost can’t fill them all, Miles will be getting some calls.