College football Q&A: LSU coach Les Miles happy to be back in Oklahoma

Former Oklahoma State coach returns to watch LSU's Morris Claiborne receive the Jim Thorpe Award. Miles was not able to attend the banquet last year because of a family emergency.
BY JENNI CARLSON Staff Writer jcarlson@opubco.com@opubco.com Published: February 7, 2012

Did you have to go look up the Honey Badger video when he got the nickname?

Absolutely. Absolutely. Nobody calls him that. It's really not the thing to say, but Tyrann Mathieu has a lot of facets to him as a man, comes from a special place, has had special experiences that's developed him. But there are times he's the Honey Badger.

Did your defensive backs coach get a raise with all these Thorpe winners?

Shhh. Don't tell him. It's something I'm going to announce later tonight. (Laughs.)

What did you make of OSU's success this past season?

Magnificent, to be honest with you. Coach Gundy has done a great job. You look at Mike Holder, the influence of Boone Pickens and really the style of athletes that they're able to attract now, really there's no reason why they won't contend for the very highest honors. I'm proud to have shared some history with that great school and those people.

Almost got a chance to play them in the national championship game.

Yeah, that would've been exciting, I promise you.

What's life been like for you since that championship game?

Well, it's probably the first time in my career that I didn't celebrate being completely undefeated in the regular season, the Western Division championship, the conference championship and finishing slight in the last game. Not exactly what we wanted. But I have to be honest — I'm coming around. I'm starting to realize how much that team really accomplished, and frankly, I'll take 13 wins every year.

After the way things went down, are you any more of a proponent for a playoff in college football?

No, no, I can tell you our approach to that game made the difference, and we understand really how better to prepare. I can tell you that the BCS isn't perfect, and certainly, a hot team that is sideways of the national rankings can feel slighted. But if you have to pick one game, I think it's being picked the right way as difficult as it is. Don't get me wrong, I certainly could see a number of teams that we could've played and understand that there's a number of very quality teams. Certainly, Oklahoma State was deserving.

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