Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Ultimate Tiger Trap?

In his farewell press conference, Lloyd claimed that the only reason for this being the time for his resignation was out of concern for future of the Michigan football program. Not to accuse Coach Carr of being malevolent towards Les Miles, but allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute and let us explore other possible reasons for Lloyd picking this as the time to retire:

1) Lloyd's departure sets the LSU athletic department to Defcon Five. In order to keep Miles around LSU, Skip Bertman, the LSU AD, offers Miles a very substantial raise. If Miles refuses the raise and accepts an offer from Michigan, he is giving up the possibility of being one of the highest-paid coaches in NCAA football. If he takes the raise and stays at LSU, people may say his love for Bo and ties to Michigan weren't as strong as initially thought - a major slap in his face. Truly a lose-lose situation for Miles.

2) Michigan offers Miles the job before the SEC Championship or even the BCS Championship (should the Tigers make it.) If Miles is not allowed to coach LSU after accepting a Michigan offer (not unheard of in college athletic politics, as Bo Schembechler has shown us in the past with Bill Frieder) he must choose between coaching players he loves for a major trophy (who knows when the next time he'll coach for a championship will be?) and what many people say is his dream job. Another possible lose-lose situation.

Lloyd Carr has always been a man of the highest moral standard. However, one can't quite ignore the possibilities that any personal disapproval with Miles' candidacy for the job might have factored into the way he retired.

What do you guys think?


Reed said...

I have to say I disagree with your assessment, CC. The thing is, everyone is assuming that Michigan has already decided on Les Miles being the coach. But he is not the only option. All of Carr's decisions are not centered around Les Miles, nor should they be. The two main reasons he is getting the attention are: (1) He played for Michigan so it would appease fans' desire for continuity. (2) He'd probably take the gig. Clearly he's a good coach, but there are other good coaches in the mix as well. And there is a chance that LSU breaks the bank for him to a degree Michigan will refuse to match their offer sheet - and that the value will be enough to keep Miles in BR.

The biggest issue is Michigan's ability to maintain the recruiting class and not end up in the kind of situation Notre Dame found themselves this season (obviously, the lack of coaching there made it worse, but their talent deficiency was a huge part of it). This way, Martin has time to weigh options, make a decision, and eventually keep Sam McGuffie.

Finally, if Lloyd Carr is anything, he's an honest man. If he says that he was looking out for the hiring process so that recruits could be maintained, I believe him. He would never, ever put a personal vendetta above Michigan. He has said that this is Martin's decision, not his, and again I believe him.

It's just not Lloyd's style to pull this kind of crap.

Chuck said...

I agree. If he were to hang on until January, he'd have to go on recruiting visits, and then the new coach couldn't meet with those recruits. He would never tie the programs hands like that just to pull off a masquerade that things were normal and he wasn't retiring.


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