On Sunday, Kansas introduced National Championship (2007) winner Les Miles as the new coach of its struggling football program. It’s a big name hire for a school that’s been almost as bad as WSU was during the Paul Wulff years (9-40 for Wulff, 6-41 for recently fired David Beaty).
The “Mad Hatter” of college football was hired two weeks after Beaty’s firing was announced. It was a quick search that indicates athletic director Jeff Long had his man lined up and ready to go from the moment he made the decision to move on from his current head coach. This decision is either going to work out brilliantly, hiring a big name coach, or it’s going to be a major disaster, Miles was fired from LSU for his unimaginative offense and getting pummeled by Alabama.
There are legitimate concerns about Miles’ adaptability with his offensive schemes. If he’s going to be unable to draw in recruits with his name, he’s going to need production on both sides of the ball to help fill a roster that’s not full as it is.
Miles, unlike Mike Leach seven years ago, is going to be wandering into a situation where there isn’t 85 scholarship players on the roster. Beaty also entered with not enough scholarship athletes on the roster, but he had made significant strides in bringing in more qualified and talented athletes. Unfortunately, that didn’t translated to wins on the field and now it’ll be up to one of the sport’s weirdest coaches to make it work.
A quirky personality has helped Leach win consistently t in the remote town of Pullman, Wash. But it’s taken him some time to get there.
But he was handed a roster with a couple NFL caliber players on it, and with 85 scholarship athletes. Miles isn’t so lucky, although freshmen running back Pooka Williams Jr. has shown some eye popping talent at times this season.
If Miles hits a home run with his hire for offensive coordinator, then Kansas could start winning games quicker than we think. But if he struggles to find a competent play caller…then it’s going to be a big, long, ugly slog for his first few years leading the Jayhawks.
All I can say for sure is, it’s good to have the grass eating head coach back on the sidelines…even if it’s at Kansas.