Two long weeks have passed since Lloyd Carr, pillar of integrity, bastion of good vs. evil, and proponent of the student-athlete has retired. In those two weeks, Michigan has interviewed Ron English and Mike DeBord, and asked for permission to talk to Les Miles at LSU. Outside of that, nothing as been accomplished. Nothing except Fort Schembechler leaking like Niagra Falls, telling apparently everybody that would listen that Les Miles was the guy we wanted.
That's it. So why couldn't we wait????
In the words of Lloyd:
My timing is based on one thing, what is best for Michigan. What is best for Michigan Football. There are no other motives. And this announcement is made at a time when the recruiting process can be handled in a way that this program can go forward.
Which basically means that Lloyd didn't think that Les Miles was best for Michigan Football. Lloyd is a football coach folks. He knows that Les was in the middle of a season. He knew he had a big game on deck with Arkansas, an SEC championship game, and a bowl game that at the time looked like it would be the BCS championship. He knew that in this age of unprecedented media coverage, it would be nearly impossible to pull off a hiring of Les without Les looking like a complete Saban-esque asshole.
Lloyd, in one final flex of the power of Bo, made a decision for the University. Concealed in a seemingly heartfelt and well spoken retirement speech, Lloyd went out the way he came in, and the way he coached throughout his career...answering to no one. And while he declared that he would have no say in who would be the next coach, he has done everything possible to make certain his assistants had a fighting chance to stick around under the new regime...which means to get rid of Les as a candidate.
And so this morning, Kirk Herbstreit became a pawn in the plan. I'm sure Kirk was more than willing. Someone from the Lloyd-loving anti-Les camp leaked a juicy one to him, and he ran with it. LSU players, with their game starting later in the day, were no doubt watching gameday as the news hit. Miles had no choice. An extension that was on the table became the only option to salvage a team on the morning of the SEC Championship game.
We pissed him off. We couldn't shut up. We couldn't wait. And by "we," I mean Lloyd and the anti-Les bandwagoners.
If Lloyd didn't retire until tomorrow, after the SEC championship game, there is absolutely no doubt that Les Miles would be our next coach. But Lloyd didn't want that, so you get what Lloyd wants.
I have defended this man for the bulk of his career. Lloyd is a Michigan Man, a Riverview alum, and a good guy in an industry full of bad ones. But this...this is inexcusable. Lloyd silently declared himself bigger than the program. For that, no matter what happens from this point forward, I may never be able to forgive him. He has made Michigan look bad.
He admittedly retired a season too late, and it showed on the field with the start of the season and at the end of the season. His fingerprints are all over the worst loss in Michigan history. He has been unable to outsmart the sweatervest. He has now written the final lines of his legacy. And if Mike Debord and/or Ron English remain, you will feel the effects of that legacy as Michigan becomes an afterthought in college football.