“… I have no reservations that (Costello) can run Mike Leach’s offense.”

Culture shock at Mississippi State ($$):

“At Stanford, I felt like I was going to football school every day,” said Costello. “I’d say 95 percent of college football players don’t experience that level of teaching — we’re talking very meticulous pro-style stuff. Sometimes it takes guys two to three years to pick up the stuff we’re doing.

“Then I come here and it’s — we don’t care what you’re running (defensively), we’re gonna line up, we’re gonna go faster, we’re gonna attack space. We don’t care what your coverage is. We’ve done this so many times, we’re going to out-execute you.”

“How can it be the same position? How can it be the same sport?” he marveled. “I’ve had those feelings for a while.”

I have a feeling the media folks who picked Kellen Mond as preseason second-team All-SEC are going to feel a little foolish about that by season’s end.  Maybe that’s wrong (I admit MSU’s inexperienced receiving corps could put a damper on Costello’s season), but it’s sure gonna be interesting to watch.

75 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

75 responses to ““… I have no reservations that (Costello) can run Mike Leach’s offense.”

  1. Teacher Martin

    And supposedly Kirby chose the best of all the QB transfers in Jamie Newman. Oh well, that didn’t work.

    Like

  2. Randy Adams

    I know it sounds strange, but after Kentucky vrs. Auburn, I think this game has the biggest potential for upset. After that game, Ole Miss vrs. UF. Traveling on the road, will actually be an advantage the first couple of weeks (including the Auburn/Georgia game), until these kids (emphasis on kids) get used to the smaller crowds at home. They are going to feel like scrimmages.

    Like

  3. ASEF

    Everyone keeps waiting “for the light bulb to turn on” with Mond, but Jimbo’s history seems to be the longer he’s got a QB, the more confused and hesitant the guy gets.

    Mond’s flashes mostly seem to be 2nd halves where they are trying to mount big comebacks. Playing loose and taking risks. There’s real talent there. But it seems locked in analysis paralysis 75% of the time.

    Like

  4. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    Some people here provincially believe Mike Leach can’t succeed in the SEC or won’t succeed because Starkville is Starkville, but they only expose their lack of understanding his history and their lack of football knowledge.

    It usually takes a year or two to get up and running, but Leach will have MSU winning at a 8-9 wins a year clip before too long (better than MuLLLen), and like Stoops at Kentucky, ever 3rd or 4th year he’ll have his team hit 10 wins while beating a few of the big boys.

    Like

    • I would never say he “can’t” succeed in the way you’ve outlined. I just don’t think we’ll look back at his career at MSU (whether it proves to be 2 or 12 years) and say, “Wow, that was impressive!” I think we’ll all say, “Remember when he pulled that big upset?! And that other big upset?! Wow, that was something. Never really posed any real threat in the SEC West though. Yawn.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • biggusrickus

      8 to 9 wins a year would basically be Mullen, and no, he won’t beat the big boys, if by “big boys” you mean Alabama, Auburn or LSU when they aren’t having down years. I like Leach, but the SEC is a more difficult place to coach than either the Big 12 or Pac 12. The odds of him replicating his 2008 or 2018 seasons are slim to none unless the landscape shifts dramatically in the West during his tenure.

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    • Biggen

      Succeeded should be defined than doing more than winning 8 or 9 games. He will end up being a Mullen. Succeeded in the SEC should be playing in a Championship game at some point. Do you really expect him to ever play in the SEC Championship game much less win one?

      Look at the guy’s record. He had one season with 10+ wins in the last decade. In the shitty PAC-12 conference mind you…

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      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        You’re showing your provincial ignorance.

        Go back and look at what Wazzu was before he got there.

        Go back and look at what Texas Tech was before and after Leach.

        Seriously, you people keep making my point for me.

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        • I’d be interested to know your answers to his specific question:

          Do you expect MSU to play in an SECCG under Leach?

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          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            In the next 10 years? I don’t see it out of the realm of possibility. It’s not like MSU hasn’t been there before. It’s not like Bama before Saban is a mess, so who’s to say they would never be that again?

            What you provincial people don’t seem to understand is that Leach has been successful without needing the super recruits. You know that mythical reputation Sideshow Dan the Clown has? It actually does apply to Leach.

            I was so happy when Tennessee didn’t hire Leach, because unlike Pruitt, Leach could win a division with Tennessee’s resources. Pruitt is going to try to fit The Process into a situation where he doesn’t have the recruiting national resources going against the best two recruiters in the conference for players he just won’t get. Mike Leach would’ve hoovered-up the 4-stars who could get into Bama and Georgia and in his system, he would’ve caused a lot of headaches for everyone.

            Again, y’all have such a poor concept of football outside the SEC that you have no frame of reference to properly judge what Leach has accomplished at Texas Tech and Wazzu.

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            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              *who couldn’t get into Bama and Georgia…

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            • biggusrickus

              Not sure why you’re insulting people about this. Most people allow that Leach can consistently win 8 or 9 games. Why you think he’ll do more than that is beyond me. He’s won more than nine games twice in 20 years and didn’t get to play in his conference’s title game either of those years. If we assume that he has one 10-win season out of 10 years coaching MSU, guess what? That’s Mullen’s resume.

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              • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                I’m not insulting, I’m pointing out that people in the Southeast have a general ignorance of what Leach has accomplished that when combined with our tendency to be provincial about our brand of college football is a not attractive quality.

                Like

            • J.R. Clark

              Here we go again with Corch riding Mike Leach’s dick. So predictable.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Russ

        I agree, but since Mullen is the OMG Greatest coach evah!!11!! shouldn’t that mean Leach will also become the OMG Greatest coach evah!!11!! x2?

        😉

        I think Leach will have some success and pull some upsets, but long term he’s not going to elevate MSU to anything more than they’ve always been.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Biggen

          Pretty much this. I think Leach is a fine coach and makes for great Sportscenter sound bite material. MSU could have done a lot worse and probably not much better.

          But I seriously doubt I’ll ever see him in Atlanta in early December, ever. It just aint happening. So if winning 8 or 9 games means he is “succeeding” well then mission probably accomplished.

          Like

    • Washington’s DC trolled Leach for years, basically saying that he never changed a thing about his offense.

      Have fun going up against the SEC West with that mindset pirate.

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    • Derek

      Leach won’t succeed in Starkville because of Leach.

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      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        Hasn’t stopped him yet, but sure Derek, because you say it, it must be true.

        Do you ever tire of being wrong? It happens so much. I think it would bother me by now.

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        • The entertaining thing here is that Corch doesn’t realize he and Derek are opposite sides of the same coin!

          LOLOLOLLOLOLOOHOGHSOGHOSGLSDGOl

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          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            No, that’s more Bonerfart and Derek.

            I’m the puckish one off to the side.

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            • Bonefart is simply a textbook troll. He’s way off-base, but at least he’s perfected the art.

              You and Derek just engage in the online equivalent of “slap fighting.”

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          • Derek

            I show my work. Corch literally makes universal and unsupported declarations he literally pulls from his literal hind parts and then literally whines when you point out he’s literally fos, literally. And he could use a dictionary.

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            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              Except you don’t. You cherry pick data that supports your point, and then when someone (usually me) points out the bigger picture, you disappear and go onto the next thing.

              It’s LITERALLY what you do.

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              • There is a reason that Leach can’t get hired anywhere other than backwaters like Lubbock,Pullman, and Starkville.

                There is also a cap at who you can get to come to those places. 6-7 wins a year, occasionally 8 and a trip to Tampa is the ceiling.

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        • Derek

          Leach’s empty trophy case impresses only you.

          I guess Leach has just been kept down by the man.

          Mike Price can take WSU to the Rose Bowl (twice). Mike Leach, not so much. (I guess the pirate should spend more drunken nights at the nudie bar because that is the level of dedication it takes to get Wazzou to a Pac 12 title (twice).)

          Sherrill took MSU to Atlanta. Leach won’t.

          I like how you set the bar at 8 to 9 wins like thats something to be impressed by. In 9 years Mullet did that 5 years.

          Will he bad awesome as Dan?!?!?!

          Maybe but who gives a flying fuck?

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          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            Your ignorance of the relative success of Wazzu during their entire number of years in the Pac-12 and Leach’s place in it is noted, Derek.

            More cherry picking, zero context or understanding of the bigger picture. That’s The Derek Way.

            Like

  5. bucketheridge

    I can’t remember what podcast I was listening to earlier this week, but I believe it was Seth Emerson talking about how Kirby mentioned that Leach was “still running the same 8 plays” and another anecdote about Leach simply asking guys on the sidelines why they didn’t throw it to so and so, because he was open. Not whether they went through progressions, but just like the back yard where you look for an open guy. Coaches describe his “system” as really nothing more than a few plays with route tree options for the receivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MGW

    Should be fun to watch. Unless it’s a banner year, the better teams tend to shut it down. But man when Leach gets a better team on its heels and they can’t stop it, it’s a beautiful thing. Pure frustration and lots of points. Talented DB’s throwing their hands up and yelling at each other…. red faced coaches… awesome stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, he’s a genius. 🙂

      “Bobo is looking for one of the quarterbacks to emerge as a consistent leader and decision maker on offense.

      “I want a guy who plays that position that is able to move our offense up and down the football field,” Bobo said. “The job for the offense is to get first downs and first downs lead to points.”

      I wish I could make half a stack saying stuff like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        I had the conversation the other day with a Sakerlina fan about why Hill won the QB job instead of Hillinski, who has far more upside and would do better to take some lumps in Bobo’s system this year in order to have a great junior season.

        I had to explain to him about Joe Cox, the red-headed menace, and even before Cox, JTIII, who I still think is the least talented QB to have started a game for an SEC program this century (yes, even more than Bauta, who would’ve made a fine zone-read spread option QB somewhere else).

        Bobo prefers the guy who knows his system and will make the least amount of mistakes over the guy with more upside who can make more plays but who will also take more chances.

        Bobo is who he is. It’s actually why I think he’ll be a good fit with Boom. It’s why I thought he’d be a good fit back here with Kirby. They have the same basic idea of what an offense should be, it’s just Bobo can generally execute it better than any OC that Boom has ever had.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know that Leach is going to do anything outstanding at MSU like win a division, but he can duplicate what Dopey/Sideshow/Portal Master Dan MuLLLet did.

    TJ Costello is a darn good QB if he’s healthy. Overlook that at your peril because the Pirate doesn’t need a Justin Fields/Jamie Newman type of guy to run his scheme.

    Like

  8. I don’t think Leach’s success or failure (on the field) will simply hinge on Xs and Os as much as it will strength and conditioning, to be honest. If he doesn’t have a strong S&C program his teams will be ground into dust in games that matter, scheme aside.

    Anyone have any read on this?

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  9. PTC DAWG

    It’s MSU, who really cares?

    Like

  10. lol. “if you dont like mike leach, it’s because you dont understand football.”

    Circular arguments for the win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      I dunno, Chuck. I’d say there are many reasons not to like Mike Leach, including some Mike provides on his own (this seems to be Derek’s main impetus for not liking Leach).

      I don’t think it’s fair however to diminish what he’s been able to do and his overall contributions to the offensive side of the ball simply because the person doing so doesn’t like Leach.

      Like

      • Derek

        I like football. I don’t like basketball on grass.

        Don’t give a rats ass about his politics. I find his personality quite entertaining actually. I hate his football.

        I will agree that his ideas came along at a friendly time given the rules advantages for the offense and that some of them have been adopted and they have leveled the field in some respects against the defensive “death stars” that Saban has built.

        But football will always be won in the trenches. And it should be.

        If you want finesse watch soccer or basketball.

        Like

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

          You see, I don’t disagree with some of what you say here, but your tone… it’s all wrong. Your damning Leach with faint praise just doesn’t cut it.

          Football is football when 11 line up against 11 and get down to it.

          I like all the different flavors, which is why I vastly prefer college football. You can’t get a pure Air Raid in the NFL. You can in CFB. You can’t get the flexbone option in the NFL. You can in CFB. You can’t get zone read spread option in the NFL. You can in CFB. You can’t get the miso-mash that is the Briles Offense in the NFL. You’ll see it at Ole Miss.

          I can watch games from noon until 0200, for 14 straight hours and see all different kinds of offenses, and even more different kinds of defenses. There is no “right way” to play football.

          We do agree that you need excellent athletes that can run on both lines, but everything outside the lines can be as different and a varied as you believe it takes for you to win.

          When teams are vastly different than other teams in their conference, teams with more resources, especially when they’re in places like Lubbock, Pullman, or Starkville, then being vastly different helps them even the field.

          I’m all for that. And when it pushes the other team to their breaking point and they’re running 70 plays in a game, it’s as beautiful to me than the team running 50 plays a game running 15 play drives out of the option.

          Don’t be so provincial.

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          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            *Should be Arkansas, not Ole Miss.

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          • I don’t think provincial means what you think it means.

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            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              No, it means exactly what I know it to mean, ain’t no thinking about it.

              Most of us here tend to be extremely provincial with the brand of football we play in the Southeast.

              I include myself in that.

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          • Derek

            Fast doesn’t bother me.

            What bothers me is empty first and goal at the 1 in shotgun formation.

            I get that it works. Fine. I still hate it.

            The dividing line for me is:

            Are you emphasizing “will” or “space?”

            If you value space over will, I don’t like it.

            I think the game should be about the big uglies. Take them out and its no longer football.

            Btw: you know the internet has numerous dictionary options right?

            Like

  11. 69Dawg

    One of the things we seem to forget is that we’re talking about MSU. Mullens would have been coach for life there even if he couldn’t beat BAMA. As long as the Dread Pirate can win enough to get to bowls and most importantly beat Ole Piss on the regular, he will be King of Starkville.

    Like

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      That’s where it gets interesting. Does the Laner stick around more than a few years at Ole Miss, or does he find the first pine box out of Oxford like Tubberville did?

      Does Laner take the Auburn job after Gus gets fired? Oh my Lord, that would be the most delicious thing possible!

      Like

  12. 69Dawg

    Another thing why no talk of the Laner at Ole Piss? He has been conspicuously absent from the news. Could it be he has finally matured enough to keep his mouth shut?

    Like

  13. DawgFlan

    I have weighed both arguments, and find both Judgey McNamecaller and Namecaller McJudgerson to be over-excitable keyboard warriors. One has mastered the picking of fights, and the other has mastered the disproportionate response.

    Oh, we’re talking football? I read the QB’s quote as a mixture of relief and uncertainty. Like – I hope it’s this easy, but really?

    As for Leach. Yes, he will have access to better athletes at MSU than past stops. But the quality of athletes he will face, particularly on defense is on a completely different level. Add to that SEC DCs and programs that actually emphasize defense.

    Put me down in the camp that would be surprised to see Leach have even MuLLLen level success, let alone surpass it. Leach is a pass and stat-happy version of Paul Johnson, in a much tougher conference. Likely some surprising initial success (in terms of upsets here and there), followed by a long-tern slide into mediocrity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Leach is a pass and stat-happy version of Paul Johnson…

      I confess that I have never understood this comparison. Leach doesn’t run a system that inhibits whom he can chase on the recruiting trail. The Air Raid is an established offensive scheme that’s been adapted and used, at least in part, on both the collegiate and professional level. Like it or not, he’s an influential offensive mind.

      I’m not predicting MSU is on track to win the SEC any time soon, but to act like what he runs is a Johnson-type outlier isn’t convincing.

      Like

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        I took the comparison between Leach and Fish Fry to be more about their ceiling on the scoreboard due to the nature of their offenses, not necessarily about an ability or inability to recruit.

        If Flan meant what you think, then I like you would have to disagree with him.

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        • My point wasn’t about recruiting ability, but the nature of their offenses.

          It’s a weak comparison.

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          • DawgFlan

            More a comparison of their stubbornness. After teams played PJ and GT a couple of times, most figured out how to slow them down, and PJ didn’t adapt as fast as the defense coaches did. I see the same for ML. Innovation isn’t something you do once.

            Plus, not as close a comparison, but I do think defensive recruiting will suffer some. Recruiters will be asking “Do you want to go against the same dozen pass plays in practice for 4 years?”

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      • Derek

        The similarities begin and end at evening out talent differentials.

        A really good leach or cpj will beat a vastly more talented team that isn’t executing.

        The differences are stark. I assure you of this, fwiw, that if you took the top 44 players in the country, you get a passing qb and I get an option qb and we play leach vs cpj in 6 weeks, CPJ will pants leach and badly.

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    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      Okay, that’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

      I agree some, especially with the Fish Fry comparison. Lest we forget, Fish Fry did win a since vacated conference title and went to two NY6 bowls, which if Leach did that this decade would make him MSU’s greatest coach ever. I do disagree there will be a “long-term slide into mediocrity.”

      We’ll see, though.

      Like

  14. Don in Mar-a-Lago

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  15. ASEF

    Leach Lovers miss some important points about the man.

    1) He loves his brand more than he loves coaching at this point. He’s not innovating/adapting any more. You don’t see him reinventing parts of his team the way Saban has done. Leach does what he does, and when it works, it works spectacularly. It can also blow a 4 score second half lead to UCLA (lololol).

    2) Jimmy Lake, Washington DC under Petersen, openly mocked Leach for showing up every season with the same plays and said it was his easiest week of preparation during the year. His defense consistently dominated Leach’s offense.

    Are SEC coordinators going to use what Lake did? Call him for tips and advice? And will Leach adapt for those tactics in a conference that invests more on defense than all the others?

    We’ll see. But at Wazzu, Washington’s defense showed up on Leach’s schedule once a year. In the SEC, it will be there at least 5 games a year.

    It would be entertaining to see Leach modify his approach and build a compelling final act to his coaching career. But I honestly don’t think he’s got it in him.

    Liked by 1 person