LSU Fans Not Sure About Miles' Future

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU fans don't really know what to think anymore.

After Michigan coach Lloyd Carr announced his retirement Monday, following a 13-year career with the Wolverines, rampant rumors and reports circulated all over the country this week that LSU's Les Miles could be Michigan's new coach.

Miles, 54, played guard for the late coach Bo Schembechler in 1974 and 1975 and was a graduate assistant under him and later a full-time assistant.

Miles was Michigan's offensive line coach in Schembechler's final years as coach from 1987-89 and remained under new coach Gary Moeller from 1990-94.

Miles even met his wife, Kathy Labarge, a Flint, Mich., native, while she was an assistant women's basketball coach at Michigan.

And the only thing LSU fans want to know is if Miles will stay or go.

"I realize that Michigan is his home, and deep down, I realize that he's probably going to take that job," said Randy Pilcher, from Florien, La. "I don't want to see him go, only because he's done so much and continued what (former coach) Nick Saban started here.

"In a way, this whole situation is like Nick Saban all over again."

Saban, who led LSU to a national title in 2003, coached the Tigers from 2000-04 before taking a job in the NFL to coach the Miami Dolphins for two years.

Last week, Miles said he didn't want to talk about other jobs as the Tigers, ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press college football poll, are still trying to compete for their second national championship in five years.

"It's like flipping a coin," said Victor Tomeny, from Gonzales, La. "He's in a good place, his family loves it here, but Michigan is his alma mater. I don't really know what he's going to do, but I do hope he decides to stay here. We love him here."

Other fans, like Suzanne Thompson of West Monroe, La., said they don't care if Miles takes the Michigan job because it'll mean LSU will have the opportunity to hire a better coach.

"I don't think he's the best coach in the country," Thompson said. "If he goes to Michigan, that's fine, let him go. We won't be upset, that's his home. But if that happens, we can hire an even better coach and take this program to an even higher level."

Stadium Cuisine

At LSU's Tiger Stadium, there's really nothing special about what's to order at the concession stands.

Like any normal concession stand, there's the usual hot dogs, peanuts, candy, popcorn and any kind of soft drink desired.

The concession stands even sell a sausage po'boy sandwich, which is extremely popular among fans, said David Orgeron, a longtime LSU fan from Baton Rouge.

But the best food isn't inside the stadium, it's outside.

All around Tiger Stadium, tailgaters set up tents on gameday and made an assortment of foods, especially popular Cajun meals, like gumbo or jumbalaya.

"I always see jumbalaya and gumbo (among the tailgaters)," Orgeron said. "There ain't no reason to buy anything (in the stadium), because you can walk through all the tailgates and get anything you want for free.

"And if you can't walk through there and not be full or drunk afterwards, then something is wrong with you, that's for sure."

Interested Bowls

Another large list of bowls were present Friday to scout both Arkansas and LSU for the upcoming bowl season.

While the Sugar Bowl was mainly present to watch the Tigers, other bowls like the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Independence Bowl, the Liberty Bowl and the Capital One Bowl were at the game to watch Arkansas.

The Liberty Bowl, which matches up the Conference USA champion and the No. 7 team in the SEC, is especially interested in the Razorbacks, said John Barzizza, Liberty Bowl board member and past president.

The other Southeastern Conference schools that the Liberty Bowl are looking at are Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State, Barzizza said.

"Arkansas brings to the table some of the most dynamic football," Barzizza said. "They've got a great running game with two of the best running backs in the country. They've had a good season, and obviously, the proximity of our bowl to the state of Arkansas is great because Arkansas fans travel really well."

The Liberty Bowl will be played on Dec. 29 in Memphis.

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