Category Archives: Mike Leach. Yar!

Meanwhile, in Starkville

The Pirate has a, shall we say, unique way of motivating the troops.

Can’t wait to see what he has in store for Georgia.

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The Pirate has a fix he’d like you to know about.

Mike Leach’s “ambitious plan” to solve the player compensation issue in college football has so many holes in it — antitrust, academic, roster management — that it’s never going to be taken seriously.

Leach believes players should have a choice when entering college: You either join as an (1) amateur or you join as a (2) professional.

“With professionals comes responsibility,” he says. “Yeah, you will potentially make more money. But you are drafted and can be traded. That’s what professionals do. This college football group [of administrators], they are all shocked by that. Why are you shocked by it? Name one league of professionals who don’t do it that way.”

How many leagues of professionals have amateur players?  Eh, Leach is a coach.  And football coaches are always going to let their control freak flag fly, so I get where he’s coming from with this:

Under Leach’s plan, amateurs follow similar rules currently applied to college athletes. They are unpaid and they can freely transfer. However, amateurs would receive a $100,000 bonus once they graduate from the school with which they originally signed. If you transfer, Leach says, you’d give up the right to earn the bonus.

Those choosing to be professionals would be paid a salary from the school, sign a binding contract, and could be traded and cut from the team. They still must attend school. School salary pools are structured similar to the NFL, where franchises are limited in their spending.

Like I said, this is DOA.  There’s no collective bargaining agreement with the players.  And there’s no antitrust exemption.  Speaking of which, Leach does get this part right:

“They can’t even solve their own problems,” Leach says of Congress. “They don’t know the first thing about football, and we’re going to defer to a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re doing? What is the time frame? I don’t think they get it accomplished, but in the event they do, we’ll all be dead.”

Yar!

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Mike Leach has some tailgating tips.

Because… Mike Leach.

Ask Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach a question on any topic, and you can count on a thorough answer. With the Bulldogs scheduled for an 11 a.m. CT kick against Arkansas on Saturday in Starkville, Leach was asked his top five items to bring to an early morning tailgate.

The coach happily obliged, starting his list off with something to drink.

“Well, some will bring Bloody Marys I imagine,” he said. “…Probably a comfortable lawn chair. Get a little sleep in before kickoff. You would definitely want something good to eat (that will) energize ya, but that’s quick and easy. Five, huh? Shoot, I don’t know.”

At this point, Leach was struggling to come up with more things to round out his list. That’s when a reporter interjected to suggest coffee, to which Leach agreed before going on the list the remaining early morning tailgate necessities.

“You definitely want that,” he said. “Definitely some level of stimulant. You need your sunglasses for sure. And then, probably if you’re really having a good time, you’re gonna have a long after the tailgate thing, too. So you’re definitely gonna want a good TV set up or somebody to have one. One of those screens out there on the lawn to watch the other games because you’re gonna be done before most of ’em.”

LOL.  If there’s any coach I could see dropping in on an early morning tailgate before a game, it’s Mike Leach.

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Today, in Leachisms

Hey, when he’s right, he’s right.

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“It’s everywhere and nowhere.”

The Air Raid offense, that is.

Mike Leach settles into a leather chair in his office overlooking Mississippi State’s practice field after a routine spring session with his team and is asked to give a status report on the Air Raid offense, which has been carving up major-college defenses for the last 25 years.

As is often the case with Leach, his assessment of the pioneering, pass-centric scheme he helped hone into a record-breaking tour de force is a bit over the top but not without merit.

“Well, three of the last four teams that won the Super Bowl have run it so I guess it’s doing pretty good,” the 61-year-old head coach said.

Birthed from the mind of Hal Mumme at a high school in East Texas in the 1980s and passed down to the latest batch of Leach-inspired, 30-something coaches, the Air Raid’s evolution over four decades has made the offense both ubiquitous and inconspicuous.

It would be difficult to watch a football game at any level and not find a team running at least some of the Air Raid’s foundational concepts and plays — mesh, Y cross, four verts, the quick game.

However, finding a team at the highest levels of the sport running Air Raid in a way that resembles what Mumme unleashed on the Southeastern Conference as Kentucky’s coach in 1997 is nearly impossible — outside of Leach’s teams.

It’s amazing how it’s mutated at both the college and pro levels.  It’s also pretty amazing how many branches have grown from the Air Raid coaching tree.

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Mike Leach has some thoughts about conference expansion

And I’m okay with them.

With Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC in two years, questions have circled regarding how the conference will restructure itself.

Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach — who spent a decade in the Big 12 with Texas Tech and eight seasons in the Pac-12 with Washington State — believes he has the answer.

“They oughta let me handle that,” Leach said Tuesday before taking the main stage at SEC Media Days. “I’ll have that done by lunch. I think it would be brilliant to let me handle it.”

Leach joked there are about 500 configurations for how things will pan out, but a simple one would be keeping the East vs West structure.

Alabama and Auburn would shift to the SEC East while Oklahoma and Texas would join Mississippi State in the SEC West.

“You knock those guys off and send them to the East and we have to play Texas and OU, tell me how I’ve lost on that deal,” Leach said. “I have a lot of respect for those guys, but in this conference they can just go ahead and get in line with everybody else.”

Really, combine that with a nine-game conference schedule and you’ve got a fairly non-complicated solution.  Leach wasn’t done, though.

Leach said he has no issue with the two schools joining the SEC but believes the definitions a conference and league are being clouded. The growing conferences create concern of when cross-divisional teams would face off, which is already an issue to Leach.

Mississippi State hasn’t faced Florida since 2018 and the next matchup is in 2025.

“It’s a little bulky,” Leach said. “If it’s just a conference, everybody plays everybody quite a bit. Ten to 12 is what you’re after, but I don’t think it’s realistic to play more than 16 games or too many more.”

That’s the sound a coach coming from a conference with a round robin schedule makes.  He’s right, but there’s no way that works in the New SEC.

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A succinct Pirate

LOL.

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The art of the hire

Yet another great Mike Leach story, from Bruce Feldman ($$):

When Leach was at Texas Tech, one of the defensive coaches he interviewed, the late Carlos Mainord, who had previously worked as a defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders in addition to being Miami’s defensive backs coach under Jimmy Johnson, left perplexed about whether he was offered a job. Mainord called Sonny Dykes, a young Tech assistant he’d known for years because of his relationship with his dad, Spike Dykes, the former TTU coach.

“Should I get Jimmy (Johnson) or Spike to call him?” Mainord asked.

“Nah,” Sonny told him. “Don’t get them to call. You should just show up to work like you’ve got the job, and he’ll get so uncomfortable about it that he’s not gonna tell you to go.”

Mainord did just that and worked as Tech’s new safeties coach, spending the next half-decade in Lubbock.

“It really was the Costanza approach,” said a former Red Raider coach.

I wonder if they gave him the Penske file.

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Today, in tortured analogies

Of all the hot takes in the world, this is certainly one of them.

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Fergit, hayul.

Mike Leach, with a classic “other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” quote about his ongoing legal dispute with Texas Tech:

“In Lubbock, there were four bad apples that were determined to cheat me out of my salary,” Leach said Monday. “We know about that. And the other four years on my contract. And then continued to hide the documents illegally. But short of that, I thought everyone was great.”

Yar!

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