Miles to Arkansas? Somebody's Getting Played

Chris Graythen

The beat writers for two SEC West schools have directly contradicting reports. SOMEBODY'S got to be wrong.

This isn't our first rodeo when it come to Les Miles to Michigan/Dallas/Colorado/U-High rumors, but today's "Arkansas backed up a Brinks truck on Les Miles lawn" rumor has the added bonus of being directly refuted and confirmed by "sources" Let's follow the trail.

1.

I almost hate to start here, but this is where our journey begins. Brooks is as close as it comes to being a laughing stock in the CFB community when it comes to "sources" and as such most of the CFB world had a few minutes of chuckling at this.

2.

It took less than 20 minutes for a respected Arkansas source to get a principle in the mater to refute the story on record. Murphy writes for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the paper of record for Little Rock and pretty much the entire state of Arkansas. As of this writing, the ADG is sticking with that.

3. What with all of the other big news going on in college football yesterday, we all pretty much left this story for dead. Then around 8pm last night, the Times Picayune breathed new life into the story.

LSU Coach Les Miles has an offer from Arkansas for the head football coaching job, a source close to LSU confirmed to the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com Tuesday. The offer is reportedly for five years and $27.5 million.

"They made a serious offer," the source said "(Athletic Director) Joe (Alleva) is meeting with his (Miles') agent and the discussion is ongoing."

The article goes on to mention SportsByBrooks as if it's a credible source, details further ties Miles has to current Arkansas AD Jeff Long and prominent Arkansas booster and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and has the requisite "no comment" comments from the LSU AD staff. At this point all hell breaks loose in the fan base, folks start panicking when they hear there will be a press conference today (even though it was scheduled long before any of this) and it gets to the point where folks are openly trading rumors about an incident at U-High involving Miles' son, which is so ridiculous that I'm not even going to link to it.

4.

Jeff Duncan, who covers LSU often, but is more of an all-around sports guy for the Times-Pic lays out what is most likely going on: Miles has little interest in actually taking the Arkansas job, but after becoming the second winningest coach in LSU history (behind only the epically long career of Cholly Mac) is looking for a bump in pay for either himself or his staff. What he could expect to get, however, is something I have a hard time contemplating. Miles is in the top 5 nationally when it comes to compensation for a head coach, as is DC John Chavis and most of the staff. Lets not forget that if Miles had won the National Championship this year or last, he and his staff's pay would have gone up anyway due to incentives in their contracts. All AD Alleva has to do if Miles asks for a raise is point to the contract and say "we would have already if you'd have won those games"

What disturbs me here is this: The only person in this whole matter who has gone on record is Miles agent George Bass and he's denying it. So either A. George Bass is lying, straight faced, to the paper of record for the state of Arkansas and that paper's own sources within the Arkansas program are also lying to them. or B. The Times-Pic's sources are lying to them. It's really that cut and dry, they can't both be right. And let's say for a minute that the Times-Pic is right. If Miles agent is "leaking rumors" to drum up support for a contract bump, why on earth would he turn around and go on record with the Arkansas paper clearly denying his own rumor? If the LSU AD has no reason to believe an offer from Arkansas is in any way real, why would he play ball in negotiations? And what's the Times-Pic's motivation to publish these reports from "sources"? (other than pageviews, which would make me feel like a dolt for linking to them)

In any case, Miles is having a presser at 2pm local time today (you can watch it free HERE) where he'll no doubt be asked about all this. Given that this is Les Miles we are talking about, he could deny it in the strongest possible way, confirm that his agent is releasing rumors to help him get more money out of LSU, or just start reading from the Baton Rouge telephone book and pretend he didn't hear the question. At this point no one actually believes Miles would take the Arkansas job, even if they did offer him the moon.

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