We are getting into the 3rd week since Michigan has had a football coach and the only thing I know for sure is that Jim Harbaugh is the #1 target. As for the rest of the names that have been thrown out there, nothing is for sure. To see what has been reported/rumored in terms of other targets, check out our round up of Early December Non-Harbaugh Coaching Rumors. For news on the #1 target, check out our Mid-December Jim Harbaugh to Michigan Rumors.
The one name that just about every Michigan fan can agree on as the #2 option is LSU\’s Les Miles. The former Michigan offensive lineman and graduate assistant is one of the best coaches in the country but thanks to some factions from back in the day, it is unknown exactly how serious of a candidate he really is.
The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas touched on his legitimacy as a candidate in his latest update on Miles ($). He has heard that Les feels \”underappreciated\” in Baton Rouge and that some of his problems at Oklahoma State and on the recruiting trail may rub some Michigan people the wrong way.
As for his chances to land the Michigan job, Balas hears he\’s a \”break glass in case of emergency\” candidate. Which means there is more than just Jim Harbaugh standing between him and his alma mater.
While Balas is a trustworthy source, former OSU and Detroit Lions linebacker Chris Spielman is not the person I\’d turn to for insider information. However, he chimed in on Michigan\’s head coaching search on Twitter today:
Top 4 picks for Michigan 1.David Shaw 2. Jim Mora Jr. 3. Dan Mullen 4. Greg Schiano
— Chris Spielman (@chris_spielman) December 15, 2014
Spielman does not believe an NFL coach will leave the league for Michigan. So, he went with Harbaugh\’s replacement at Stanford, a name we\’ve heard is both very interested but also only using this job as leverage, and two names that have been written off completely. While Spielman may not be the best source, he may be right about Les Miles not being included. Well, that\’s if you actually believe Les:
\”Miles refused to be quoted on the record in the post-practice chat with reporters, but he sent a clear message: A return to Ann Arbor is not going to happen. He and his agent, George Bass, have not heard from Michigan, Miles said, and he would not change jobs even if Michigan made contact.\” – ESPN
Les says he\’s not interested. But does anyone really believe him? GBW\’s Sam Webb, and plenty others, do not:
\”I guess I have to say it. I\’m not going to be the Alabama coach.\” – Nick Saban, December 21, 2006 #CoachingSearchSpeak
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) December 16, 2014
Again, re: Les Miles comments. No coach in the country would say they are interested in a job they don\’t have an offer or contract from
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) December 16, 2014
My un-sourced guess is that Miles would take the Michigan job if he\’s given a legit, full court press offer. Now, if that happens, that will be interesting.
Everyone is waiting on Jim Harbaugh. With the 49ers out of the playoffs, it looks like Michigan will know where it stands in the near future, especially if San Francisco owner Jed York lets him go. Stay tuned.