Mike Leach ain’t got time for that coachspeak.

Say what you will about Leach, he’s good for quote material.

Leach coaches in the Pac-12 now but coached in the Big 12 and SEC previously. He said he faced the most skepticism when he coached in the Southeast.

“First, it becomes it won’t work,” Leach said. “Second, they basically say, ‘oh it’s a system,’ suggesting that people who don’t do it that way — who just run it up the middle, stick all your asses together so one hand grenade can kill everybody  — that’s the right way to do it. Since they do it the right way, they’re OK with the fact they lost.

“This is a great time to be in the SEC; everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

“… who just run it up the middle, stick all your asses together so one hand grenade can kill everybody” — hey, when did he have the time to watch tape on Georgia’s offenses the last two seasons?

In defense of the SEC, I would suggest that any conference would perform better offensively, regardless of scheme, if it deployed better quarterbacks than what we saw last season.  Let’s not forget we’re not that far removed from two teams with their asses stuck together finishing in the top five in yards per play.

Even so, before you dismiss Leach as a blowhard when it comes to belittling SEC offenses, remember that he had a big hand in this:

Just to give you an idea of what Mumme pulled off with his newfangled attack, compare Kentucky’s offensive stats from 1996, Bill Curry’s last season there, with the 1999 stats.  Notice a bit of an improvement there?  Kentucky’s 1999 yards per game average would have ranked the Wildcats fourth in last season’s SEC (and is about 115 ypg more than last year’s UK team averaged).

One more thing about that ’99 team of Mumme’s.  The quarterback that season was the immortal Dusty Bonner, who succeeded some guy named Tim Couch.  Couch, in his last season at UK, threw for 4,611 yards in 12 games.  That total would have led the SEC last season by more than 700 yards (and Arkansas played one more game).  That 1998 Kentucky team wound up playing in the Outback Bowl and Couch was a Heisman finalist.  How many other seasons can UK claim like that?  Maybe I’m missing something, but that strikes me as a pretty good indication that a pass-based spread attack could function just fine in the SEC.

I see no reason lightning can’t strike again.  (Hell, for that matter, look at what Missouri did last season.)

The problem, of course, is that you can’t play Air Raid on defense, and that was Kentucky’s Achilles heel when Leach coached there.  Will this year’s Ole Miss prove to be different?  Hard to say, but don’t forget that Freeze has changed his coordinator on that side of the ball, too.  In any event, Ole Miss ought to be entertaining to watch this season, if nothing else.


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!, Strategery And Mechanics

16 responses to “Mike Leach ain’t got time for that coachspeak.

  1. The other Doug

    We all lucked out when Secret Agent Muschamp hired Weis/Pease as OC instead of the Pirate.


  2. Macallanlover

    When you say one grenade would have killed everyone, we were so predictable on offense almost all eleven defensive players would be lost. I am pretty sure our offense never got all eleven on one page, much less one spot around the ball blocking. Might be a strategy, replace the ball boy with the grenade boy, we could win by attrition.


  3. Russ

    These spread offenses are fine when you have an other-worldly QB running them. Otherwise, they’re just annoying. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that none of these great spread teams of the past had a defense that was worth a flip. No matter how great the defensive talent is, it’s going to get worn out going back out on the field every 2-3 minutes of play.


    • Russ

      Oh, and just think how good our 2012 offense would’ve been if that stupid Bobo had just put Mason in instead of that bum Murray!


  4. Bob

    Leach clearly has a point. However there is more to it than the football he plays. Only a fool would dispute the challenges that SEC offenses have had the past few years. That being said and despite this being a very small sample, two SEC teams played 3 PAC 12 teams this past year. Score was 107-37,


  5. Derek

    When the Hal Mumme’s, June Jones’s and Mike Leach’s of the world have more to show off than impressive stats, I’ll pay attention to what they have to say about football. Yes the sec is full of teams that play shitty offense and it’s also home to 5 different teams with national championship trophies since leach has been in coaching (11 to 12 total). Not a single one of those teams got there playing a chuck-n-duck offense, but yeah STATS! How many conference championships can leach claim? How many 10 win seasons? He’s a joke.



    It seems to me that the offense shaped the defense. In other words, if you can hang 50 on everybody AND hold opponents to 10 ppg every game is a blowout. Seems to me most great defenses in the Power Conferences run more conventionial offenses on average.


  7. illini84

    Depends on if it’s HE, Willy Peter or just smoke.


  8. MGW

    He could have done some damage at TT if they hadn’t canned him right about the time UT started to stink.


  9. Go Dawgs!

    Look, that’s great and all, Coach Leach, but what have you won? What did you win at the University of Kentucky as a coordinator? What did you win in the Big 12 or now in the Pac 12? You say that SEC coaches were happy to lose to you because they did it the “right” way, but which SEC coaches did you beat? And in that group, which ones did you beat on a regular basis? Which ones coached at schools not named Vanderbilt or Mississippi State?


  10. Leach may be a quote machine, and he certainly knows offensive football. I would NEVER trust him with the keys to the head football coach’s office if I had a vision of winning a championship.

    It’s still true … Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.


  11. JCDAWG83

    Leach is great at marketing Leach, he’s not going to say the pro style or traditional SEC offenses are the best when he doesn’t run that style. All these guys are millionaires and want to remain millionaires.


  12. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Yeah, Mike Leach is a quote machine, and that’s fun and all, but I checked and his record as a head coach against some mediocre competition is 115-77 for .595 winning percentage. He’s fun for me out on the west coast providing entertainment late at nights when I can’t sleep, but c’mon – yards are not as important as scoring, and scoring is not as important as winning.


  13. I remember that ’98 Kentucky team. We beat them at their place, even had a better record than they did (SEC and overall), but they got picked ahead of us in the bowl sweepstakes because some bigshot at the Outback Bowl was a UK grad.


  14. Leach is a great fit at Wazzu. Offense lights up the score board and recruits can like it. Of all the university towns, I have visited, Pullman would be the hardest to recruit to. Gads, November on the Palouse, wind blowing like hell, and it is 25 and snowing. He is a great fit for them. He may even, a big MAY, eventually win a Pac 12 title.
    Plus for him, I do not hear the term couging it, as much as I used to. A PNW version of clemsoning it.


  15. 92 grad

    Leach is cool. With all these Saban/Meyer clones head coaches are becoming as generic as NASCAR drivers nowadays. They keep an image of being inside a little box ensuring that they don’t generate quotes, don’t get in trouble, don’t rock the boat for fear it will come back and haunt you. Leach and harbaugh are their own guys, like it or not, they do what they do and own it. As much as I respect CMR and Kirby and bobo, etc., they spend time and energy to never be photographed, and if they are and they have a beer in their hand all hell breaks loose.