HOOVER, Ala. – Les Miles took the podium Thursday at SEC Media Days and spent the first few minutes of his time updating the media on what he’d done this summer, much like a school kid’s first homework assignment in elementary school.
Miles spent time assisting concussion research, specifically some hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy sessions. He rappelled down the side of a building and also spent a lot of time involved in his own children’s athletic endeavors.
"I love baseball and I live watching my kids,” said Miles. “But I can't wait for football."
For some of us in the media, we can’t wait for Miles’ 30 minutes on stage at this event each year. Miles is typically engaging, humorous, sometimes politically incorrect, and outside of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, the most forthcoming with his statements.
Some highlights from Thursday:
Miles Goes Aussie
LSU punter Jamie Keehn is from Miners Rest, Australia and not only did Miles say he felt like Keehn was speaking a different language at times, but Miles also attempted—and I use the word “attempted” loosely—an Australian accent.
“Again, you have to learn the language,” said Miles. “You just can't speak to those guys. You have to know how to speak Australian.”
Not a Big Fan of the Schedule
Miles was asked about his SEC East opponents this season and the question was framed surrounding the fact that LSU’s 2013 East opponents—Florida and Georgia—were 14-2 in the SEC last season and Alabama’s East opponents—Tennessee and Kentucky—were a combined 1-15 in conference.
To say Miles wasn’t happy would be an understatement.
“We play Georgia and Florida for the seventh time this year,” said Miles. “I'd have to say there's some other schools that have not played Georgia and Florida in the same year in my entire time here or since 2000.
“I'd have to say there's a repeated scheduling advantage and disadvantage for certain teams in this conference based on tradition and traditional matchups.”
As Miles was exiting the podium, and SEC officials couldn’t have wished him to move any faster, he asked members of the media to speak with his associate athletic director Michael Bonnette and look at the statistics they’d uncovered about scheduling in the SEC.
Comparing Social Media to a Horse & Buggy vs. Automobile Debate
Miles knows about a lot of things. Social media isn’t an area of expertise for the football coach.
"Well, it's an amazing thing," said Miles. "Twenty years ago there was not a policy on Twitter. You know what, 20 years ago there was not a policy on Facebook. You know what, I'll bet you that 20 years ago not one did a Harlem Shake.
"Here is what's happening. Somebody gave me the magic. They said there's 500 million on Instagram, whatever the hell that is. There's three billion on Facebook. These are phenomena that are not just youthful."
Yeah, Miles isn’t up on the newest trends, except to know there are dangers to his football program from social media. But, he’s not ready to take the kids’ new toys away. Miles said he wasn’t going to ban Twitter from his players.
"Well, again, it's kind of like saying, before they had cars, I'm not allowing any of my players to drive cars," said Miles. "Why? Well, I like the old buggy. It's safer. The horse is a problem, but as long as you keep the horse pointed in the right direction, you're okay."
The Latest on RB Jeremy Hill
Running back Jeremy Hill plead guilty on July 12 to simple battery for his actions during a bar fight in April. Hill was suspended indefinitely from the team in April and Miles said Hill hasn’t had any football contact with him or the team since.
"Jeremy Hill has a legal entanglement," said Miles. "At this point in time he remains indefinitely suspended."
Miles said he speaks with Hill regularly, but the topic never touches football and the conversation never takes place in the football facility.