Kevin Thomas gives his thoughts on the UM search.



How beautiful was it to be a Spartan this weekend in watching the recent Michigan coaching search and other pertinent events. Kirk Ferentz and Les Miles both told Michigan to take a hike in so many words, The Turtleneck came back from Harvard to beat Michigan, MSU got a better bowl game than many were expecting, and the basketball team seemed to get on track in blowing out Jacksonville. If you are a Spartan fan, you better go out and buy a Lotto ticket now.

Anyone really think that Kirk Herbstreit was involved in any real conspiracy regarding Les Miles? If you have followed Michigan and their athletic program for any reasonable length of time, you’ll know that this is just one of many preemptive strikes by UM that has gone array over the years. Just like a big name recruit who is going to go to Michigan and then changes his mine because somehow some innocuous information is “leaked” out. Like… where Chris Webber is sitting as a recruit at a game the Wolverines were not involved in. Somehow that becomes important to them. Or the recruit that has secretly committed to UM so other schools should back off. Or George Perles is going pro the week of the Michigan game, or Jeff Smoker is going to appear at a courthouse the week of the Michigan game. This year some MSU football players got into trouble and that somehow stayed news until the Wednesday before kickoff of the Michigan game. Michigan majors in distractions, it’s that simple.

Now, Herbstreit is a big boy and doesn’t need anyone defending him, but the shots across the bow and the attacks across talk radio and message boards are more than ridiculous, they

border on stupidity. Okay, let’s settle this once and for all. Who had the most and only thing to gain from going with this story? Michigan and Michigan alone.

Miles didn’t want this story upfront, because he is playing for a SEC Championship knowing full well that if LSU wins, the Tigers will likely skip over the Georgia Bulldogs for the National Championship game because the Bulldogs didn’t win the conference even though they were ahead in the BCS at the time. The last thing he wanted was distractions. You want to talk to him? Fine, just do it AFTER the game. Also, it was Michigan who asked for an interview BEFORE the title game and Herbstreit said his sources were from Michigan. Who do you think I am going to believe?

So what did Michigan have to gain? If LSU wins the SEC title and then plays for the National title, why would he want to go to Michigan, especially if he is more deserving of a bigger contract that Michigan would have trouble matching? If LSU loses the SEC title game, Michigan would get a coach less likely to be held in a vice by the Tiger faithful with three losses and more grumbling by its fans, and Michigan would get their guy and also get a jump on recruiting. Is that my conspiracy theory? Yeah, it is, and I am sticking to it.

I say hire Ron English or Mike Debord and keep some continuity in the program. The sexy candidate’s are just that, not worth the powder to blow them up.


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