There’s always something to nosh on.
- Roy Kramer proposes a plus-one format that’s built to last: “Using Kramer’s model in a 2011 plus-one, No. 1 LSU would have played No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 2 Oklahoma State would have faced No. 3 Oregon in the semifinals. No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Kansas State and No. 9 South Carolina all failed to win their conference. “ I didn’t say it would last long.
- The Texas Supreme Court shoots down Mike Leach’s appeal of his suit against Texas Tech on grounds of sovereign immunity. Remind me again why a head coach would want to sign a contract with a state school that evidently isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
- The NCAA narrowly – and I mean narrowly – avoids having its new rule on multi-year scholarships overturned by its membership. There’s a fault line opening up here worth keeping an eye on. (And note the comment about the Department of Justice.)
- Mark Richt admits he’s checked out at least one football website.
- Kevin Sumlin kept one eye on the new SEC oversigning rule as he put together his first recruiting class at Texas A&M.
- Tennessee gets short shrift at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Not that the Vols haven’t necessarily earned it: “The schools gave up home games in the hopes of getting primetime, big boy coverage on a major network. Instead, the Vols and Wolfpack will serve as the hors d’oeuvre to the Tigers versus Tigers main course the following day. It makes sense for the Chick-fil-A group and for the networks, but it’s a kick in the teeth for UT…”
- This seems a little over the top, Nick.
Craig James is gonna love the “Friday Night Lights” movie if things go according to plan. Per producer Peter Berg:
“[Katims] has come up with a really great storyline that parallels what happened to Mike Leach, one of my heroes, a coach at Texas Tech who was unjustly fired and unjustly accused of mistreating a player with a concussion, which was proven to not have been the case. He’s now at Washington State getting ready for what I think will be a great redemption story,” Berg explained.
I wonder exactly how close that parallel will be. I bet ESPN will be wondering, too.
You want to know how toxic a candidate Craig James is? Chernobyl-level toxic:
“If you ask the average Republican voter… he’s remembered for the scandal at SMU and using his position at ESPN to get a wildly popular coach fired. He is by far one of the most hated men in West Texas.”
That’s not hyperbole. Last year Stefan Hankin of Lincoln Park Strategies threw Craig James into a statewide poll and found that James was less popular in West Texas than Barack Obama.
“It’s not that people in West Texas don’t like him,” said Mayes. “It’s that nobody likes him.”
Which, again, makes you wonder what the WWL sees in the guy.
(By the way, if you want to hear what Leach’s attorney said on Finebaum’s show about James, here you go.)
This is awesome.
Phone records, please. I sure hope this sucker gets to court soon.
Grab a plate and get started.
Mike Leach, settling in on the new job, does a pretty good chat with the Seattle Times. My favorite part:
Comment From Ethel
Tell the truth, Coach: Do you ever get sick of the whole pirates’ thing?
I got flags, pins, swords, books, hats, Mickey Mouse ears with Pirates stuff on them. A sterling silver skull and crossbones. Posters and paintings. I got 6-foot skeleton. It’s in storage in Lubbock. I’m still getting it.
As far as nicknames, as a kid, you don’t get to select them. Based on the ones I could have gotten tagged with, I feel very fortunate.
Ba da boom! I bet a few choice terms were thrown his way in closed-door meetings in Lubbock.
Meanwhile, Leach’s nemesis launched his first campaign ad.
Hitching your wagon to Rick Perry’s star? Who knew James had a gift for comedic timing? Kenny Banya approves. That’s gold, Craig, GOLD!
Turns out Craig James is a multi-tasker. Now that son Adam’s career is done at Texas Tech, dad’s got time to save the country and go after the publisher of Mike Leach’s book.
It’s all about the troof. Or at least Craig’s version of that.
The legal document filed earlier this month lists 27 grounds James believes the authors used to mislead the general public and make defamatory statements against him.
The document states, “It is believed the publishers … would have conducted a fact-check investigation into the veracity of the allegations concerning Craig James prior to publishing the books. It is also believed that the publishers may have interviewed various witnesses concerning the author’s allegations and statements.”
There are only about two chapters in “Swing Your Sword” addressing James, Liggett said, and the claims are based on deposition testimony and public records.
“Everything in ‘Swing Your Sword’ is true,” he said.
Lanning isn’t surprised either.
All the claims made against James are statements he gave in depositions and sworn testimony, Lanning explained.
Can you think of anybody else who ran for the Senate while pursuing a defamation case? It’s gonna be fun to watch.
Mike Leach’s partner for next month’s Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game is a dude whose current claim to fame is, well, multi-talented: “As the publisher of titles like Adult Quest, Wildscene, and Risque Business, Gray presides over a regional strip-club-guide empire. His magazines are a quirky mix of raunchy editorials from local lawyers and porn stars, and glossy ads for Houston-area cabarets.”
You may see this as a bug, but I’m not so sure. Lane Kiffin’s probably wondering why he didn’t think of outsourcing.
Actually, I’m not sure if any coach besides Mike Leach would do something like this:
since I couldn’t make it, but instead I got a phone call from The Captain himself! So I got to ask me question directly. I asked, “How do you think Tuel and the receiving corp fit with your Air Raid offense?”
He kind of chuckled and said, “The receiving corp looks great, I’m confident they will do well, there are some things that need to be moved around, but that’s to be expected.”I’m in shock, I called my roommate back right after that to make sure I wasn’t pranked, she said it was really him. She was going to ask the question and he said “why doesn’t he just ask me, call him for me”
If you want to have some fun, take a little time to visit Washington State message boards and blogs this morning (yes, Virginia, they do exist). The “pinch me, I’m dreaming” quality to the fan base’s reaction to the news that Mike Leach is the new head coach will bring a smile to your jaded face. Those folks are coming from a completely different place than the Ohio State people are and it just strikes me that theirs is the more innocent joy.
But that’s not the interesting thing to follow this offseason. Here’s the thing to watch, instead. There are many other programs, several with higher profiles than Wazzou, looking for new head coaches now. As the slots get filled, measure the fans’ enthusiasm for the new hires against that for Leach. And then watch to see if the fans’ money gets put where their mouths are in the same way, too. (WSU’s AD has already ponied up with $4 million for coaching salaries; you know he’ll be pushing supporters to do their fair share.)
I bring this up only to show again what cowards many athletic directors are. Maryland could have had Leach a year ago, but chickened out and brought in Randy Edsall. After a two-win season and a massive drop off in fan support, that move’s not looking too good now. I expect it’s going to look a lot worse in the next two or three years.