Once Michigan coach Lloyd Carr made his retirement official Monday, everyone’s focus quickly shifted halfway across the nation to a different presser.
Les Miles, coach of No. 1 Louisiana State, gave his weekly media address.
What was designed as a look ahead to the Tigers’ game against Arkansas soon shifted to speculation about Michigan’s newly opened job.
Miles, a Michigan alum and former assistant for the Wolverines, brought up the subject on everyone’s mind before reporters could even prod him about it.
“Now, I have to tell you: I am not talking jobs, not looking for jobs,” Miles said. “I have a job. I love this place. Michigan has not called. It’s unfair to Michigan to say that they should. It’s unfair to me and my team. What I am doing is let it rest. I’m preparing for Arkansas. I love this team. I would not do anything to hurt it.”
What was probably designed as a way to deflect the topic didn’t work, though. When the press conference went to a question-and-answer format, the first query was Michigan-related.
“I don’t want to involve myself in that topic, so don’t ask me that question,” Miles said.
Soon after, Miles faced another question about Michigan.
“I’m not giving it a look,” Miles said of the open job. “The key here is I am focused on this team. I heard from the (Louisiana State) Chancellor yesterday, and it sounds like they want me to stay, so that’s a good thing.
He later added: “I have great friends in that (Ann Arbor) area code and I don’t answer that area code,” Miles joked. “I am a blind eye and a deaf ear, and I am preparing for Arkansas. I want to stay just where I am at. I don’t want to think about it.”
Despite Miles’s comments, there’s widespread speculation he’s interested in the job. Athletic Director Bill Martin said he’d love for the coaching search to be finished before the end of the calendar year, but he also said it’s worth waiting a few extra weeks for the right guy. Martin said he wouldn’t talk to a candidate without that school’s permission.
Louisiana State’s season may not end until the second week of January.
Let’s all get together: Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said talks have continued with Comcast, but a deal is still unlikely.
In October, Silverman said negotiations had taken a turn for the worse, but now, he’s trying to remain optimistic.
“We still have a ways to go,” Silverman said in a teleconference yesterday.
The Big Ten Network and Comcast have debated since the network’s inception in August about where it belongs on the cable distributor.
Silverman has stuck to his position that the Big Ten Network should be included on the extended basic-cable package. Comcast has said it would add the network to its sports tier.
Silverman set mid-December as a critical window for negotiates between the two and also said he would rather not bring the debate into court.
“We believe we’ll be able to get distribution going forth in just open, free market negotiations,” Silverman said.
At the conclusion of the Big Ten conference season, the Big Ten Network reached 30 million subscribers and broadcasted 41 football games. Silverman has also closed carrier deals with 160 cable companies and Dish Network, DirecTV and AT&T.
Silverman said he is “thrilled” about the upcoming basketball slate on the network, which includes 140 games around the Big Ten.
Cream of the crop: Late Monday night, the Big Ten released its All-Conference teams. Wolverines on the coaches’ first-team offense included three seniors — quarterback Chad Henne, center Adam Kraus and left tackle Jake Long – and junior wideout Mario Manningham. Running back Mike Hart made the second team.
On defense, senior linebacker Shawn Crable, senior safety Jamar Adams and junior defensive tackle Terrance Taylor made the second team.