When the report first surfaced, it seemed laughable to me and many others. But here we sit and the Les Miles to Arkansas talk hasn't been shot down yet by the LSU head football coach. Will he leave Baton Rouge for Fayetteville? Highly unlikely, but not impossible, at least according to Charles Hanagriff of Eagle 98.1 and ESPN Radio 104.5. The list of reasons to stay, simply seem to overwhelm the reasons to leave. Here's just a few I can think of.
1. LSU is a powerhouse program and is showing no signs of letting up. They're in the national championship discussion practically every year. A bowl victory this season would likely give Miles five, Top 5 finishes and six Top-10 finishes during his eight years on the job.
2. Miles isn't on the hot seat. You might be unhappy with the BCS National Championship debacle January 9th against Alabama or the calls Miles made against the Crimson Tide this year during a 21-17 loss in Tiger Stadium. But the truth of the matter is Miles is 85-20 on the job and has job security with five years left on his current deal. The climate entering the 2010 season and after the manna-from-heaven victory against Tennessee that same year was much different. Miles is 34-5 the last three seasons after going 17-9 in 2008-2009.
3. Louisiana high school football will sustain LSU football. I'm no recruiting guru, but the talent in this state is rich and plentiful. The Tigers will be strong as long as LSU keeps the local stars at home, which Miles and his staff have a thorough job of. A Landon Collins or two will get away here and there. You can't make every kid an LSU robot.
4. His family loves it here. This could actually should be #1 on my list. Miles has three younger children still in school, including his son Manny, who's only a sophomore at University High.
5. Miles turned down his beloved Michigan Wolverines twice. That alone says plenty.
Popular perception is the coach simply wants a raise. Jimmy Ott of ESPN Radio 104.5 says Miles aren't has been working LSU for just that all season. When Miles received his new, 7-year deal after the 2010 season and Michigan's second failed try…the thought was the coach wanted job security, not more money. But the coach hasn't received a monetary raise reportedly since the 2007 national championship year. That includes after last season's 13-1 team that won the SEC Championship and finished #2 in the country. Still, many feel $3.751 million is more than enough for Miles and that a raise isn't necessary. Does that include athletic director Joe Alleva? We shall see.
If Arkansas is offering a 5-year, $27.5 million dollar deal, that's a ton of money to pass on. And Hanagriff says the Razorbacks are also enticing Miles with a buy-out in the range of $20 million dollars. Unprecedented stuff, apparently.
Does Miles bolt? I'd be shocked. Chances are he gets a raise and stays. But these things can be shocking and move swiftly. We shall see.