Every Friday, the Friday Five ranks something in the world of college football -- anything and everything from the logical to the illogical. This week we rank five potential destinations for the recently fired Les Miles.
In this week's Monday After, I wrote that the most likely fate for the recently fired Les Miles is that, rather than getting back into coaching, the 62-year old steps on to a television set near you. Now, that's just a prediction. Based on recent comments from Miles since losing his job at LSU, he sounds like a man that wants to stay in coaching.
Which makes sense. When you've been a coach your entire adult life, it's hard to fathom doing anything else, even when your former employer still has to pay you a lot of money to not coach.
So for this week's Friday Five, I've decided to take another look into the Les Miles crystal ball. Let's assume Miles does return to a sideline next season. Which sideline will it be?
It's hard to truly know right now seeing as how the only actual job opening is at FIU, and it's probably safe to say Les Miles isn't going to FIU. So the job he would have currently has somebody fulfilling the role Miles would be taking.
The fact of the matter is that there are really only a couple of jobs I can see Miles taking, but based on what we know now, and just some educated guesses, I've compiled a list of five schools I believe could be the future home of one Leslie Edwin Miles.
5. Purdue: I was wrestling between Purdue and Baylor for this spot, but in the end, I eliminated Baylor from consideration because I can't help but believe if it replaces Jim Grobe, it will look to do so with a coach that keeps the same exciting offense that Art Briles brought to the school. That's not Les Miles. Purdue, on the other hand, would gladly accept a coach with Miles' accomplishments. The Boilermakers have struggled to find solid footing for years now, and I'm sure they'd believe Miles is somebody who can get the program headed back in the right direction. The only question is how interested Miles would be in Purdue. The pros here are that it's a Big Ten school, and it's in the the West Division, so Miles wouldn't have to compete with Ohio State and his beloved Michigan every year.
4. Mississippi State: This is not me saying I believe Dan Mullen is going to get fired. I don't. What I believe is that it's very possible that at the end of the season, Mullen could be looking to get out of Starkville.
I don't know if you noticed, but Mullen's boss left him earlier this week. Scott Stricklin didn't hire Mullen at Mississippi State, but has been the school's athletic director since 2010 left for the same job at Florida.
While there's never been any hard evidence, Mullen's name has popped up as an interested party for other jobs -- like Penn State -- in the past. With Stricklin now gone, and a new boss coming in, it's possible Mullen might be more eager to move on at the end of the season if the right opportunity presents itself. And if he does leave, you have to think Mississippi State would be happy to replace him with Miles, who not only continues to give the program credibility, but has plenty of experience in the SEC West.
3. Oklahoma State: This is a situation similar to that of Dan Mullen's at Mississippi State. I don't think Mike Gundy is going to be fired, but considering recent comments made by Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens, I can't help but believe Gundy isn't opposed to the idea of leaving Stillwater.
So maybe Oklahoma State wants to go back to the man it replaced with Mike Gundy? Gundy was Miles' offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 2001 to 2004, and took over when Miles left for LSU. It's not impossible that things could come full-circle. Of course, if Miles is bringing Cam Cameron with him, I doubt Oklahoma State will be interested.
2. Houston: Think of this one like a coaching swap. Tom Herman is currently the favorite for the LSU job, but even if he doesn't end up in Baton Rouge, there's a decent chance Herman leaves Houston at some point this offseason, particularly if the Cougars don't get into the Big 12. So if Herman does leave, maybe Houston looks to keep the credibility its built up in recent years by making a big-name hire.
Les Miles could be that big name.
Houston also has enough money from boosters to offer Miles a competitive salary like the one it's already paying Herman, and even if it isn't a Power Five gig, as we're currently seeing, that doesn't mean you can't compete for a playoff spot.
1. Kentucky: Given the current state of affairs in Lexington, I have a hard time seeing Kentucky bring back Mark Stoops for a fifth season. Stoops is currently 14-26 with the Wildcats, and 5-21 in SEC play, so barring some kind of major turnaround, his job is in serious jeopardy.
And if Stoops is fired, you have to think Miles would be a name Kentucky is interested in, and Kentucky would be a job Miles is interested in. It's an SEC gig, but it's in the SEC East where Miles wouldn't have to deal with Nick Saban every season, and facing Nick Saban every year is one of the main reasons Miles is currently unemployed.
Also, the expectations at Kentucky wouldn't be nearly as high. Think of this as a situation not all that different than Steve Spurrier going to South Carolina, without the NFL stop. Kentucky fans would worship Miles if he just made the football program competitive on an annual basis.
Honorable Mention: Baylor, Georgia Tech