Since the coaching search began, as evidenced by the banner, my personal preference has been torn between Cincinnati's Brian Kelly and Louisiana State's Les Miles. The Ferentz madness is now dead and buried, and all signs point to Les Miles being Michigan's coach within a week or two.
And I hate it.
First, I'll let Matt Hayes of The Sporting News begin my argument.
I know this is going to come as a shock, a slap in the face to the Michigan Men of the world. But hear me out.
The comparison to Ohio State after John Cooper left is spot on, except for one thing: Jim Tressel has never expressed any desire to leave Ohio State for the NFL. Of course Kelly hasn't either, but his island hopping from Grand Valley State to Central Michigan to Cincinnati brings his loyalties into question. I understand the hesitation of hiring a coach that could bolt in 3-4 years...but what do you think would happen in those 3-4 years that would cause such a jump?
It's not like Michigan would suddenly be blacklisted if Brian Kelly left after 4 years. Coaches would still be lining up to listen to offers. And Kelly would almost assuredly leave the program in better condition.
I like Les Miles. I think he's a good coach. He doesn't live in the 1970s and 1980s like Lloyd Carr. But that's not the issue here. The issue is the powers that run things behind the scene like Miles because he's a Michigan Man and played for Bo. That's an asinine justification for hiring a man to coach one of America's most storied football programs. It's the same stale "play not to lose" mentality. If Bill Martin hires Miles, he will have hired not to lose instead of hiring to win.
Do these things always work out? No. But the biggest risk is the risk not taken. OSU took a gamble on Tressel. USC took a gamble on Pete Carroll. Michigan is simply afraid to take that risk, and because of that, they will never be all that they can be.
Les will be the guy. And I can't help but shake my head, knowing they could've done better.