As soon as Les Miles was fired from LSU just over a week ago, fans across the bluegrass immediately started linking the 2007 NCAA championship-winning coach to Kentucky. Many scoffed at the possibility at the time, but it seems now some of the major media outlets are bringing the idea to light, even considering Mark Stoops’ $12 million buyout ($18 million with staff).
CBSSports.com believes it’s extremely possible that should Mark Stoops get fired this season at Kentucky, Les Miles could be packing his bags and heading to Lexington. Check out their rationale:
1. Kentucky: Given the current state of affairs in Lexington, I have a hard time seeing Kentucky bring back Mark Stoops for a fifth season. Stoops is currently 14-26 with the Wildcats, and 5-21 in SEC play, so barring some kind of major turnaround, his job is in serious jeopardy.
And if Stoops is fired, you have to think Miles would be a name Kentucky is interested in, and Kentucky would be a job Miles is interested in. It’s an SEC gig, but it’s in the SEC East where Miles wouldn’t have to deal with Nick Saban every season, and facing Nick Saban every year is one of the main reasons Miles is currently unemployed.
Also, the expectations at Kentucky wouldn’t be nearly as high. Think of this as a situation not all that different than Steve Spurrier going to South Carolina, without the NFL stop. Kentucky fans would worship Miles if he just made the football program competitive on an annual basis.
Before anyone gets extremely worked up about bringing in a high profile name like Les Miles, remember why he was fired at LSU in the first place. He brings in some of the top talent in the nation year after year, but has somehow found a way to underachieve in Baton Rouge the past few seasons. The Tiger fanbase demands to compete for championships year after year, and the Music City and Texas Bowls in each of the past two seasons just doesn’t cut it.
Kentucky has been recruiting fairly well in the Stoops era, but it doesn’t even compare with what Miles has brought to LSU. What would Miles do with UK-caliber talent? Would he be able to bring in elite recruits like he did at LSU?
Beyond that, his offenses have been atrocious, even with superstar-level talent like Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupri this year, and his inability to develop talent at QB just doesn’t make any sense. His offensive schemes seem to come straight out of the 1970s, and if they didn’t work with LSU-caliber talent, I don’t know how they’d be able to work anywhere else. Wherever his next stop may be, Kentucky or elsewhere, he needs to completely revamp his offense or get an offensive genius (not named Bo Schembechler) to take the reigns. Immediately.
Then again, the dude did win a National Championship, has a career winning percentage of 72%, has averaged over 10 wins a season in his time at LSU, has gone to 14 consecutive bowls as head coach, and recruits at a ridiculous level. His success speaks for itself, and Kentucky managing to come anywhere close to that would easily make him go down as one of the greatest coaches in UK football history.
Would it be a home run hire to bring Les Miles to Kentucky?