FEINSWOG: What You Want, You Can't Always Get

A Minot man ran the basketball team for over 25 years.

A Miami man was the sport's greatest baseball coach and now the school's athletic director.

Why not a Michigan man as the LSU football coach for the ages?

Hail to the victors.

The victors, however, live in Baton Rouge.

Home is where the heart is. It's where you pay taxes, which, in the case of Les Miles, is probably a whole lot more than most of us make. And that's before his new contract.

It's good to be Les Miles today. Great football team. Wonderful family. More money than he probably ever dreamed of.

And two feet on the ground in a place he's embraced for the right reasons.

If you're an LSU fan and you don't love Les Miles, then I feel sorry for you.

Because whatever it is you want you can't have.

Miles wins like no other LSU coach in history.

He recruits as well as anyone.

He fulfills every fan's wish, which is to follow a team that doesn't always play it safe, goes for it on fourth down, and pulls out every trick play in the book.

His players love him and never give up.

His team plays the most exciting brand of football in the land.

And did we mention that he wins? LSU is now 33-6 in his three years.

Didn't have any hardware? He's got it now, that great big Southeastern Conference Championship trophy after LSU beat Tennessee on Saturday, 21-14.


If you're an LSU fan and don't respect what he did Saturday before his team played, well, then, see the above.

The man called his own news conference just more than two hours before his team played to let everyone know he wasn't leaving.

His "I'm busy" line was epic.

I may be naïve, and I haven't spoken to him about it, but I honestly believe Miles was waiting until Sunday to talk to Michigan and that he hadn't negotiated with his alma mater before then.

What's more, he was probably even more focused on the LSU job at hand than ever because he knew his defensive coordinator, Bo Pelini, was handling enough distractions of his own, negotiating his move to Nebraska.

Pelini has been a great – not good, great – defensive coordinator for LSU and will be missed. It will be a tough situation for the Tigers if he's in Lincoln when LSU plays in January.

But back to Miles.

We've seen it all the past decade with coaches taking jobs and then changing their minds (see Billy Donovan – Florida to Orlando back to Florida – among others), to coaches saying they're not going anywhere and then leaving soon after (see Nick Saban – LSU to Miami and then Miami to Alabama – among others), so nothing's impossible.

But Miles sounded pretty sincere on Saturday, as forceful about the issue after the game as before.

There's a lot that goes into these things, not the least of which is family. And the bet here is the Miles family voted for Baton Rouge, where his wife and four children are involved members of their school and community.

Les and Kathy Miles have spent plenty of time in Michigan. She grew up there.

He's from Ohio but played at Michigan and later coached there. They say Ann Arbor's a great place, as most major college towns are. But have you ever been to Michigan in the middle of winter?

Colder than a (insert off-color analogy here).

As Miles walked off the podium in Atlanta before the game, the temperature in Baton Rouge was about 72 and the sun was shining.

At the same time in Ann Arbor, the thermometer read 25, it was cloudy, and the wind chill made it feel like it was 16. It was not predicted to get over 40 degrees this week.

Hail to the victors?

This week, all the victors live in Baton Rouge, where everything is warm and fuzzy – at least for now – and the coach is a man for the ages.


Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show " Sports Monday." He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book "HoopDaddy" is available at www.HoopDaddy.net. Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com or (225) 926-3256.

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