HOOVER, Ala. - It's safe to say that Les Miles has now supplanted Steve Spurrier as the best quote in the SEC. Spurrier will hate hearing that, but it's true.
The two are very similar in that often it's not so much what they say as how they say it. Spurrier has that twinkle in his eye right before he takes a dig. Miles has that Midwestern staccato and his unique sentence formations. With both coaches, you tend to have to be in the room to truly appreciate it.
Still, some comments stand on their own. The best selection from Miles' appearance at SEC media days on Wednesday (and imagine that Midwestern staccato):
- On his family vacation to Austin, Tex.: "It was miserable, I hated it. But it was great fun."
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- As luck would have it, the Austin American-Statesmen happened to have a reporter in the room, so naturally he followed up by asking Miles what was so miserable about Austin. Miles' was apologetic, but essentially explained that Austin didn't have a beach:
"Oh, no, no, no. It was just not vacation. I loved it. My daughter's doing wonderfully there. I enjoy the experience she's having, okay? But it was not a beach. There was no hotel that I walked out and jumped into the surf. But the great news is, as a family, we did some things we never would have done. I'm glad you asked this question (laughter). Example. We rented bikes. It just happened to rain like hell. There was a bunch of hills down there. I want you to know something. As a father, I'm watching my kids going down this hill. I promise you, some of the experiences I had there, I'll not have again."
- Miles began his speech by updating everyone on his family: "Manny is my eldest son. He's pitching and playing football. FIFA was on TV. He decided to pick up a soccer ball, called up a couple buddies, he was in a soccer game for four hours. Think about that, right? My Macy Miles is pitching in fast‑pitch softball in Orlando, Florida, at the World Series. Certainly there's a lot of media there, as well. She's in a 10‑and‑under league. She has a 4‑0 win as a pitcher, no hit. A very quality smasher's club that she faced this morning. They're growing up. Young family arrived. My oldest was 10, she's 20. My youngest was one. I carried her into Baton Rouge, and she's 11. Anyways..."
- Speaking about his team this season, Miles exuded confidence, though in a way no coach has probably ever put it: "We'll earn our way. I like us, and I like us in every game."
- LSU has lost more players early to the NFL draft than any other program. Miles bemoaned that, saying: "I keep approaching the NFL about the opportunity to draft back some of the players they take."
- In fact LSU has lost 18 players to the draft the past two years. Miles' summation: "We do lead college in three-and-outs."
- When talking about running back Leonard Fournette: "I think if you look at Michael Jordan, he could not have been coached to be Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan accepted the role of expecting him to be better than any."
- On LSU fans: "We enjoy the style of people that come in there and are intimately involved with our team."
- And in talking about neutral-site games, such as Houston: "I think Houston is right down the street for us."
In fact Houston is 270 miles from Baton Rouge. But anyways ....