tampabay.com

LSU eyes Oklahoma State coach

By wire services
Published January 2, 2005


NEW ORLEANS - Oklahoma State coach Les Miles is the top choice to replace Nick Saban as LSU's coach, ESPN.com and the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Earlier Saturday, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino withdrew from consideration, which came two days after Arkansas coach Houston Nutt did the same.

LSU associate athletic director Herb Vincent said only, "The field has obviously been narrowed," to replace Nick Saban, who is leaving for the NFL's Dolphins.

Messages left for Miles and his agent, George Bass, weren't immediately returned. Oklahoma State said it had not heard the reports and had no further comment.

Miles took over the Cowboys in 2000 after a 3-8 season and just one bowl appearance in the 12 previous seasons. He is 28-21 in four seasons and 7-5 in 2004, including a 33-7 loss to Ohio State in Wednesday's Alamo Bowl.

Petrino met with LSU officials last week.

"LSU has a tradition-rich program with much to offer," Petrino said in a statement. "But as I reflect on what we've accomplished in a short time here at Louisville, we're on the brink of establishing a great program that will compete for a national championship. I want to ... see that through."

No.7 Louisville finished 11-1 and is leaving Conference USA, a non-BCS league, for the Big East, a BCS league. It recently gave Petrino a raise from $550,000 to $1-million a season plus incentives.

TEXAS A&M: Coach Dennis Franchione will get an extension and raise after reaching the Cotton Bowl in his second season.

Athletic director Bill Byrne said the deal, currently worth $1.7-million annually through 2010, was being restructured. He didn't release details but said Franchione, 11-13, would remain among the best-paid coaches in the country.

"It certainly provides continuity and patience for what we're trying to do," Franchione said.

"This is where we want to finish our coaching career and where (wife) Kim and I want to be."