January 2, 2010 · 9:38 AM
Mike Leach has been making the rounds – ESPN, The New York Times, AP – with his side of the story that lead to his firing.
We still don’t know everything, but I’ll say this: between these e-mails and the phone messages Craig James left with his son’s position coach (that evidently Leach saved), it’s starting to look like the pirate can make a pretty good case for being unfairly treated.
As for the rest of the players in this affair, silence might be the better tactic going forward. It’s certainly got to be better than hearing this from Craig James:
“Absolutely. This isn’t something we asked for,” Craig James said. “We continue to be a victim of something. Our family is going through a lot right now, far more than we ever wanted to go through.”
Or the admission that last year’s contract negotiations between TTU and Leach left a bad taste in certain school officials’ mouths.
And I wonder if the TTU chancellor feels as nonchalant today as he sounded before this stuff dribbled out.
Asked if a settlement could be reached, Hance said he expects the dispute to end up in court.
“If he wouldn’t reach a settlement to try and keep his job where he’s being paid $2.5 million, I doubt he’ll reach a settlement on anything else,” Hance told the Chronicle. “I imagine we’ll just go to court.”
At this point, that doesn’t take a lot of imagination at all.
January 2, 2010 · 9:19 AM
“You probably think we have been waiting three weeks to get here,” Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said upon his team’s arrival in the desert. “I’ve been waiting 12 years at TCU.”
Stewart Mandel’s lengthy article on this year’s Fiesta Bowl matchup is well worth your time to read – particularly for those of you who’ve bought into the “little kids’ table” conspiracy argument.
The game is the culmination of a process that’s taken years to get to this point. It’s easy to be skeptical about the quality of the product on the field; it’s even easier to be skeptical about whether it’s commercially viable. The latter seems to have been answered favorably.
“Any TV 101 [expert] is going to tell you you’re better off with Notre Dame, Texas or USC than you are with Boise State and TCU,” said Junker. “We just felt TCU was absolutely the best team available. We were convinced they’d bring enough people and support us well. After that, it’s based on who’s left. Boise has a track record in terms of travel to our game and support and enthusiasm. They did very well [in 2007]. We feel great about having matched [BCS] No. 4 and 6 together.”
Both schools sold out their 17,500-ticket allotment as soon as they went on sale and requested more, and Fox executives have expressed confidence that the game will garner a strong television rating.
A good game between two top-rated, undefeated teams should propel the winner into some serious national title consideration next season. It’s been a long time coming.
January 2, 2010 · 9:05 AM
Nothing like New Year’s Day, a comfy chair, a clicker and a nearby bathroom, I always say.
- Could yesterday possibly have gone any worse for the Big East? West Virginia lost to an ACC team that defined mediocrity this season and the less said about Cincinnati’s showing against Florida, the better.
- Speaking of Cinci, the Sugar Bowl folks have to be wondering when they’re going to host a compelling game next… nothing’s been close since the Dawgs lost in 2006.
- The look on Gene Chizik’s face when the Outback Bowl game finally ended was priceless. And as bizarre as the overtime period was, who could blame him?
- Brent Musberger’s gushing about Pryor “growing up before our eyes” sounded like the rabbi at my bar mitzvah. But Herbstreit’s delivery the entire game, at a level somewhere between normal conversation and a shout, was even more irritating. Too bad, because it distracted from a great coaching job by Tressel and his staff.
- Speaking of gushing, if Verne Lundquist and Thom Brennaman had a bet about who could fawn over the GPOOE™ the most, Uncle Verne lost. For the first time in my life, I was grateful for Meyer and Tebow piling up the score, as I was able to avoid watching the second half. Tim, I owe you one, buddy.
- I’m not sure which was more embarrassing, the state of the field for the Cap One, or LSU’s clock management in the last minute of the game.