The Tigers are 7--0, but Miles is under fire in Baton Rouge for his team's ongoing problems with the two-minute offense
October 24, 2010
Dan Patrick:Do you listen to local radio?
Les Miles: [Laughs.] I don't listen to radio. I don't watch TV. My wife reports to me on all media outlets.
DP:Is she careful of what she tells you when you're being ripped?
LM: [Laughs.] Yeah. I'm sure she does. You can tell, because she can get mad herself. I think she definitely filters what comes through.
DP:The clock management issues against Tennessee [on Oct. 2], or if we go to other games.... You've been criticized for the way you manage the clock in the fourth quarter. How does your wife tell you what's being said? And how much do you care about what's being said?
LM: Certainly we're very critical of ourselves. No one has to tell us what we are, or what we are not. I am making the calls that I can to benefit our football team, period. That has nothing to do with this perception on the outside. That perception is about 70% left of center. So I don't pay much attention to any of that stuff, to be honest with you. I look at my team. I'm about improving it. I'm about coaching my players. I'm about coaching my coaches.
DP:What happened at the end of the Tennessee game? You won [16--14], but who are you angry at for the confusion at the end of the game?
LM: Well, the who is always me. If we win, I'm happy. If we lose, certainly I'm unhappy.
DP:What was going through your mind in the final seconds against Tennessee?
LM: To me, the [desire] to use the down [on the game's final play], rather than to [spike the ball], was certainly where the mistake was made. We substituted [for some of our players], and after we substituted, we didn't have time to [change the call]. The play that was called was certainly going to be a great play. We had time to get the ball snapped. And we did substitute effectively. The burden was then on our opponent to substitute to match us. But the issue was that our quarterback looked at the clock to make sure that the ball was going to be snapped [in time], because he had already called for the [ball]. Obviously, the fumble did not give me reason to enjoy the moment. But at that point in time, there was a call in the back of the end zone based on the  players the opponent had put on the field. Obviously, I didn't know that when I crossed the field and found out there was another play. Then we got to run the play that I had wanted to call all along [and scored the winning touchdown].
DP:Had you already shaken hands with Volunteers coach Derek Dooley?
DP:What did you say to him?
LM: "Great game."
LM: That's it.
DP:What was the second handshake like?
LM: Very similar. I just had a little more enthusiasm for the outcome.
DP:Can you be in a bad mood when you're undefeated?
LM: I think you can be wanting to change things and fix things, and with a sense of urgency. But I also think being undefeated certainly makes you feel pretty good.
• Bitter Defeat
With 10 Division I-A teams still unbeaten, it's possible that Alabama's loss to South Carolina on Oct. 9 ended the Crimson Tide's national title hopes. Says Greg McElroy, 'Bama's senior QB: "Our first goal is to win the SEC West. That's the only thing we can control." I asked the native of Southlake, Texas, if he recalled the last time he had lost a game in which he started. "It was in the eighth grade to Cross Timbers Middle School [in nearby Grapevine]. It's not a feeling that I'm very used to."
• Name Game
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has a great name for a football player. Here are a few more of our favorite gridiron-themed monikers of all time.
• Line of the week
Fox baseball analyst and former big leaguer Tim McCarver on why he's against the use of instant replay in MLB: "I don't want baseball to turn into a video game. Electronic Arts does not run baseball. The umpires run the game."
THE FINE PRINT: A play about Vince Lombardi has opened on Broadway. Don't miss the show-stopping musical number, Springtime for Nitschke.
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers prepare to defend their title.
2. Lions QB Matthew Stafford on his ailing right shoulder.