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.