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Les Miles to Kansas is a blessing for Colorado

Thank you, Kansas

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl - LSU v Texas Tech Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Kansas. The Sunflower State. The most overrated classic rock band. The victim of Askia Booker’s killer instinct. Kansas brings to mind a lot of things. It’s a flat state with a long history.

Let’s take a minute to thank Kansas. Thank you, Kansas, for terrorizing Missouri enough to win the Civil War. Thank you, Kansas, for being the nicest eastern neighbor Colorado has. Thank you, Kansas, for cementing Dan Hawkins’ downfall. Finally, thank you, Kansas, for taking the Les Miles dilemma off CU’s hands.

This is a topsy-turvy time for the Colorado Buffaloes. Rick George may be making his first major program hire. Mike MacIntyre’s seat warmer is working overdrive. The possibilities are seemingly limitless (including keeping MacIntyre). Which is why Les Miles is the 800 pound gorilla blocking the door to other coaches. Les Miles is a good candidate. He has connections to the program, he is a brand name coach, and he would be great for fundraising and boosters. Everything other than the actual football is a good fit with Miles, and he may work for the football, too.

Miles himself is not the dilemma. The dilemma is the infatuation this fanbase has with Les Miles. CU fans have always kept him in the back of their mind when looking for candidates. The strongest branch off the Bill McCartney coaching tree. The problem is, he’s never been available, and now he is. He is unemployed, relatively cheap, and actively looking for jobs. This is the dream scenario, right? The prodigal son comes back to CU to finish his career with a bang. It should be an easy choice for Miles and Rick George.

I don’t think it is or should be. Les Miles is a good candidate, but he’s not the only good candidate. There are plenty of other good candidates, especially given that CU may be the best job available. Young upstarts, star coordinators, other P5 coaches, all of them may come to the Buffs if asked, and depending on the person, they may be the best hire.

But anyone other than Miles will never be viewed as the best hire, fair or not (it’s not). CU fans, not all CU fans but a large enough contingent, are blinded by the favorite son. Let’s give an example. Dino Babers has somehow taken Syracuse to the top 25. His offense is one of the best in the country, his team loves him, and he’s recruiting to upstate New York. Say that Babers, who has Hawaiian roots, wants to get closer to the West and re-locate to one of the easiest recruiting colleges in the country in CU. Say that Babers recognizes that the Buffs have a (likely) returning star at QB, a Heisman-candidate WR, and plenty of great pieces on O and D. Say that Babers sees an offense that needs a jolt. Rick George makes a run at him, and he says yes. This is a monumental hire. Potentially program-lifting. And I can’t help but think that plenty of fans will view it as disappointing compared to Miles. “Miles has won a national championship, for God’s sake!”

Therein lies the problem. Les Miles is a candidate for any open HC job. He was a candidate for the Colorado job. Kansas has moved the 800 pound gorilla out of the room. The Jayhawks taking a chance on Miles frees up CU, George, and most importantly, CU fans, to look at potentially better candidates in a new light.