Rays of Light: "What's Miles Thinking?"

In the second part of our series former Michigan All-American and current Big Ten Network studio analyst Marcus Ray plays the role of Les Miles. Ray, who is on the advisory board for Michigan's coaching search, dissects many of the common critiques of Miles' candidacy. Is the "Mad Hatter" really not interested in Michigan?

Sam Webb:  Let’s assume for the sake of argument that something happens if you’re Michigan and you don’t get Jim Harbaugh.  Most of us think that’s the least likely scenario right now, but it’s possible.  It’s always possible especially when you’re talking about all these NFL gigs out there courting him.  Put on your “Les” hat. You’re Les Miles, what are you thinking about this whole thing and did you really mean what you said the other day when those LSU beat writers kind of cornered you after practice and you told them, ‘don’t film me, don’t quote me, but I’m not really interested in Michigan… I’m not talking to them.’  What’s in your mind if you’re Les?  

Marcus Ray:  “If I’m Les Miles, I say, ‘hey.  I’ve been down here ten years at LSU.  I really, really want to go to Michigan.  This will be the third opportunity and for some reason it is just not meant to be.  When the job opened up a couple of weeks ago, they know I’m just sitting here ready to go.  My agent handles all of that.  I’m trying to coach a young football team. Michigan knows that if I ever get offered, I’m going to Ann Arbor.  For some reason, it is just not working out this year.  You have Jimmy Harbaugh in front of me, yeah he’s younger, he’s had some success.  If you really want me to be honest, the guy only had one good year at Stanford.  If Michigan really wants to get things done the way I know I can do it, the SEC way.  Come up here and win with athletes and talent.  I’ll get guys in school and I’m going to win.  I’m used to playing in big games.  Every week in the SEC is a big game.  My heart is at Michigan.  For me, it is a dream job.  It is somewhere I would like to end my career and you know Ann Arbor is going to be my last stop.  With my age, 61 years old, Michigan is my last stop and I would love to bring home a championship.  I know how to coach these kids.  I’ve been in this game coaching these college kids.  It’s different than it was 10, 12, 15 years ago.  These kids are a little different.  Football is the same, but you have to be able to play for you and love you.  Right now, I’m going to say what I have to say because I have to protect a recruiting class.  I have kids of mine at LSU that I don’t want to transfer.  I have a good life down here.  I’m going to go where they want me and not where I want to go.”

Sam Webb:  What would you say to the people who say you’re 61.  By the time you get a few years into your tenure here, you’re on the downward slide at that point.  We all have arcs to our careers and arcs to our lives.  We rise for a period and inevitably we fall.  We’re catching you on the back end so maybe it is not such a good idea to really have you high on our list at the age that your at.

Marcus Ray:  “Look at me. Do I look 61? Do I act 61? Understand this, I’m a nice looking guy, I’m Les Miles.  I can really coach until I’m 80.  I’m better than Paterno, I’m really better than all these guys.  The thing about me is that I have good young blood and I have a staff that is young and that can recruit.  I understand the kids, baby.  I’m Les Miles.  I’ve been doing this a long time and I get better with age.  I get better with age and 61, you think that’s old, talk to Kansas State.  That’s old.  Me? 60 is the new 50 and it might be the new 45.  If you let me do it my way I’ll beat Urban Meyer., I’ll wipe the floor with Dantonio, and I guarantee you that I’m not going to lose to Rutgers and Maryland.  So you’re going to get ten wins with me when I show up.  I’m going to beat people just on mental intimidation when we walk in their stadium before we even play.  We’re not 14 (point favorites) like we used to be, just on the name alone.  That’s just not me and that’s Michigan.  That’s how it’s always been.  We were good for a 14 point spotter as soon as we showed up.  As far as my age, are you serious?  Man I’m young.  I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life and best believe those kids…I understand the music that they listen to, their girlfriends.  Remember when I told them, hey go kiss your girlfriend in the mouth, I’m proud of you.  That’s who I am. So age ain’t nothing but a number.”

For much more from Ray including his belief that Michigan is “about to be a problem for the rest of college football,” press play below.


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