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Thursday, December 13, 2007

What's going on? At this point, I don't know and I don't think anyone else does either. The last "reliable" piece of info to come in was the Miles conversation. Now that avenue seems truly dead, and yesterday's post on Grobe was based on internet buzz and little else -- sorry if I didn't make that clear. A few people are complaining about regular sources of information being completely in the dark, so I assume the "leakers will be shot" memo has gone forth to the high and mighty.

Now we enter the deeply crazy -- yes now we enter -- phase of the search, when the chastened AD starts running silent and a Miles-free rabble starts latching on to every name floated by sports talk radio.

An approximate timeline of events so far:

  • Carr retires, claiming the timing of said retirement has nothing to do with helping or harming anyone's chances at the job.
  • Kirk Ferentz is the first hot candidate. I still believe if he was willing to accept a paycut (and, possibly, Carrassistantpalooza) he'd be the coach and the search would have been brief. A few days after Carr retires, he's out again.
  • Les Miles is now a "done deal" for about a week.
  • ESPN and Kirk Herbsreit create the brief Miles-Tenuta era. Flowers sprout across the state. Wolves stop their eternal thirst for deer meat and sit down to have a nice cup of tea with representatives of the local ungulate population. GM announces six plant openings. Honda declares bankruptcy.
  • Sailboat Bill Martin sails on sailboat as Frantic Telephoning Agent Guy frantically telephones Sailboat Bill.
  • Miles announces he's staying at LSU. Flowers die. Honda buys ad space on Jennifer Granholm's forehead, tatoos "Suck It, America" on said forehead, crushes auto industry wholesale. Deer viscera everywhere.
  • New hot candidate: Kirk Ferentz. That dies again.
  • Actual new hot candidate: Greg Schiano, who reportedly turns down a contract offer comparable to the one he turned down from Miami last year. Reports that Schiano had tentatively accepted an offer before reversing course twist the knife.
  • Another new old hot candidate: Miles, who has a conference call with Mary Sue Coleman and Martin.
  • Miles shoots down hopes once more with a tersely-worded press release. Off camera, Skip Bertman holds a gun to his wife's head, Jack Bauer-style. Flowers die again. Toyota tatoos something unspeakable on Granholm's butt. Wolves start eating people.
So what now? Ferentz, Schiano, and Miles are off the table. There has been exactly one indication that Jeff Tedford is being considered and that wasn't from either Berkeley or Ann Arbor but Los Angeles. By all indications, Brian Kelly isn't even being considered. The three known interviewees: Debord, English, and Hoke.

This search no longer has a public direction, which is an improvement from a public fiasco but, given the whole fiasco thing, unsettling. If the search had been dark from day one, we could sit and wait and trust in Martin's ability to acquire Beilein and hold onto Rich Maloney and get the stadium renovation through. But Michigan has been exposed as prancing jackanapes; at this point fans should expect a detailed daily briefing from someone in the athletic department justifying everything they're doing to reassure us about the prancing. Slides make everyone seem competent.

This is not likely to happen.

What should happen: a bucket of money gets thrown at Tedford, and if that gets shot down Brian Kelly is brought in. Sadly, this is also not likely to happen. We have seen incompetency in this department from the fellows in South Bend and competency from the ones in Gainesville (check out this old article on the hiring of Urban Meyer); at this point there's little question which side of the fence we're on.