Much-needed change is on the way for Michigan football.
AD Dave Brandon and coach Brady Hoke have provided only more on- and off-field reasons for their ousters in the time since I wrote that they should be gone, 13 days ago. It’s a broken program in need of new leadership and direction.
Still, some questions remain:
Will things devolve to the point of in-season firings? (We might reach that point Saturday at Rutgers, whether that’s been fully realized.)
Can Michigan pull off simultaneous searches for a new AD and a new coach?
And where will it ultimately turn?
From talking with coaches and those intimately familiar with the program, my sense is that Michigan really wants to wait until December to move on from Hoke, though Brandon could be gone before then.
And when the time comes, LSU coach Les Miles -- not Jim Harbaugh, or anyone else -- should be the first and only call. For one, Miles is established enough that he wouldn’t feel unsettled if an AD were named after his hiring. He wouldn’t feel pressure from that office the way others might.
Miles is being dismissed in some circles because of his age. But he’s 61, not 71. And he’s a young 61, at that.
If a "brand" such as Michigan got 10 or so years from Miles, wouldn't that be more than sufficient given the recent run of turnover and turmoil? The "30-year college coach" isn't a thing anymore, right? We can agree on that. Take what you can get, and a decade is gold.
After the rumblings in 2007 and then again in 2011, this could finally be the right time for Miles to return to Michigan, where he got his start as a GA in 1980. Someone close to Miles told me last fall that he could see him heading back to UM, for his "last job." Coaches are buying it, too.
"I would think Les would try to get Michigan this time," a Power 5 head coach suggested this week by text.
That's where we begin the Saturday Storylines, with a hearty dose of CoachSpeak. If Miles were to leave, where would LSU look? And would Harbaugh consider a college program other than Michigan? Some of his friends think so.
Later, we'll hit the breakout players to watch this weekend. Plus my off-the-radar upset pick that would dramatically shift the playoff picture.