Mike Leach: OU, Texas or OSU?
Let’s see, offensive coordinator jobs open at Oklahoma and Texas. The ultimate offensive genius riding a bike around Key West, Fla., waiting for someone to ask him to coach a little football while he sues his former employer and the biggest sports entity on Earth.
So would Mike Leach fit in as a stop-gap offensive coordinator in Norman? In Austin? And the answer is…
If Oklahoma State loses Dana Holgorsen to the University of Pittsburgh, which seems interested in handing over its program to the Cowboy offensive coordinator, why wouldn’t Mike Gundy make a call to the Florida keys?
Leach has publicly declared he’d like to get back into coaching. Gundy obviously would like to keep Holgorsen’s offensive momentum rolling. Chocolate, meet peanut butter.
Leach and Holgorsen are kindred spirits offensively. Personality, too, but that’s beside the point. Holgorsen’s offense stems from Leach’s. Holgorsen had more run game, narrower linemen splits, but those are minor issues. It would be very little transition going from the Holgorsen offense to the Leach offense.
The transformation at OU or Texas would be much more severe, and wouldn’t work into grand plans, anyway.
The Sooners and Longhorns haven’t been using anything like Leach’s offense. OU has Trey Millard and a bunch of tight ends and tailbacks who run up in the gut. Texas, well, I don’t know what Texas was trying to do offensively in the 2010 season, but it wasn’t anything like Leach’s offense.
Leach wouldn’t fit culturally, either.
At OU, Bob Stoops arrived 12 years ago and hired Leach to run the offense and brother Mike Stoops to run the defense. Since then, he’s had to replace four coordinators, not counting outgoing Kevin Wilson. Every time, Stoops has promoted from within. With apparently quality candidates on staff in Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell, the addition of Leach would not be a great morale move.
At Texas, Leach is a wild card. UT is a structured place, football or not. The ‘Horns aren’t called teasippers for nothing. It’s a blueblood place, not Bluebeard. Leach is a loose cannon, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but not at all what is wanted by Mack Brown.
But OSU? Gundy has a history of hiring outside offensive coordinators — Larry Fedora, Holgorsen — and Leach’s personality works just fine at Stillwater. OSU doesn’t ask its coordinators to rub shoulders with donors, and if it did, Leach wouldn’t offend State sensibilities. Same as Holgorsen.
I think it’s a fit. OSU could help launch Leach back into college football. Leach is a little bit of an outcast now because of the nature of his firing at Tech and the way he responded, with lawsuits against Tech and ESPN. But nobody really believes Leach was fired for mistreating players; the evidence is clear that Tech officials had wearied of Leach and were looking for ways to fire him for cause. Receiver Adam James, with his ESPN dad and cell phone photos of a so-called shed, was a ready-made excuse.
Did Leach act honorably? Probably not. He probably needs a good warning on how to treat players. But he’s no pariah. He’s not any kind of risk. His only risk is breaking Holgorsen’s offensive records.
If Holgorsen goes to Pitt, Gundy should offer the job to Mike Leach.
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