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Blog Entry

Leach and Louisville

Posted on: November 17, 2009 10:56 am
Edited on: November 17, 2009 2:47 pm

The latest from the coaching rumor mill is that there is a mutual interest between Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Louisville.

It is almost a certainty that Cardinals’ coach Steve Kragthorpe will be relieved of his duties after this, his third season. Louisville is 4-6 with games left against South Florida and Rutgers. It needs to win those to have a chance to go bowling for the first time since 2006. Kragthorpe is 15-19 at Louisville.

The school is already assured of its first consecutive non-winning season since 1987. 

Leach just went through a bitter contract extension negotiation earlier this year. But he emerged with a who’s-your-daddy chip after a battle with AD Gerald Myers. Leach owes no buyout if he leaves. The Red Raiders are 6-4 which ties for their worst 10-game start since 1999, the year before Leach was hired.

The colorful coach is known to have a wandering eye. He interviewed with Washington last year and was reportedly interested in the opening at UCLA  before Rick Neuheisel took over in 2008.

"If there are communications [from Louisville], it's not been with us," said a Leach representative on Tuesday.

Louisville AD, Tom Jurich, is one of the more aggressive ADs in the country. He got Rick Pitino to coach basketball and moved quickly after Bobby Petrino left to coach the Atlanta Falcons after the 2006 season. At the time, Kragthorpe was one college football’s hottest coaching properties.

Such a move would make sense. Texas Tech is coming off its best season in Leach’s decade-long stay. It went 11-2, losing to Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl in 2008.

The Big 12 South Division is one of the most rugged in the game with annual powers Texas and Oklahoma in control. A move to the less competitive Big East would allow Leach better access to a conference title and BCS bowl.

Leach is in the first year of the extension which pays him $2.8 million this season. That includes an $800,000 bonus he will be paid on Jan. 1 if he is still at Texas Tech.


Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2009 10:53 am

Leach and Louisville

Techmo, I agree with most of what you said, except when you say that the Big East doesn't even remotely compare to the Big 12.  Yes, Texas is a legit top 5 team, no argument there, but so is Cincy.  Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M this year are really no better than WVU, and Pitt and maybe even Rutgers.  For the past 4 years I've heard everyone dog the Big East but then when it comes down to bowl time, they have one of the best bowl records in the NCAA.  So, I would argue that while there is an impression that the Big East is sub-par to other conferences, they have more than held their own when it counted.  Cases in point: Going back the last three years, the only Big 12 school in BCS bowls in 2006 was OK, they got beat by Boise St.  Louisville beat Wake Forest in Orange Bowl.  2007 West Va crushed Oklahoma 48-28 in BCS bowl and Kansas beat Va Tech.  2008 Oklahoma lost to Florida in NC, Texas won their bowl and Cincy lost to Va Tech. 

So, the track record speaks for itself.  Although people may perceive the Big East as a Basketball conference, we hold our own in football when it comes to playing out of conference and in the BCS bowl series. 

Now, as far as Leach goes.  I totally agree.  He can recruit the top quarterbacks and receivers from anywhere because they know they are going to have a chance to put up huge numbers and be on ESPN for it.  I also agree that he is good at making the best of an above average group of recruits.  Louisville has always been known as an Offensive powerhouse with the likes of Chris Redman, Dave Raggone and Brian Brohm throwing the ball and receivers like Deion Branch, Mark Clayton, Ernest Givens and Harry Douglas catching it.   Leach could easily bring Louisville back within 2 years with his style of play.  Personality won't be a problem either.  Heck, Louisville had Bobby Petrino, John L Smith and Howard Schnellenberger.  Those three coaches are not the most introverted guys.

Since: Aug 2, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2009 4:19 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 2, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2009 4:14 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 19, 2009
Posted on: November 19, 2009 4:11 am

Leach and Louisville

The game was played on Jan 1, 2008 hence it is the 2008 Cotton Bowl, not the 2009 as you think.  Proof read your own thoughts.

Since: Aug 2, 2006
Posted on: November 19, 2009 4:10 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2009 9:59 pm

Leach and Louisville

This makes little to no sense for either side.  For Leach, while Lubbock isn't a destination resort, it is still in close proximity to a wealth of talent.  Even taking what Texas and OU cast aside is more than enough to keep a program in good shape.  Leach has never been big on recruiting outside the state.  Conversly, Louisville requires a more national approach to recruiting.  This is not Leach's strong suit.  If you look at Louisville's recent sucessful seasons, they had a pipeline of players from Florida.  That is not something that Kragthorpe could sustain and Leach will not be able to either.  Lastly, even if the fit were good for both sides, it makes no sense for Leach to take a step backwards for this gig.  Louisville is a commuter school and it's expansion and budget does not rival what he currently has in place.  He may have a wandering eye, but it will not be for this job.  Louisville will not be able to attract a semi-big name from a sucessful BCS school.

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2009 4:05 pm

Leach and Louisville

I think it is valuable to understand Coach Leach's recruiting class this year - probably the best since he has been at Tech. Contrast that with the shambles Louisville is in and the obvious difficulties Leach would have getting the athletes to run his high octane offense. The rest of the nation doesn't understand, almost every high school in Texas runs some imitation of his offense (his recruiting base). Last consider that OU is in a rebuilding mode albeit still dangerous and ut will be rebuilding for the coming years. Leach along with Coach Stoops are the few teams that have success against Mack Clown. I can't see what Louisville would have to better Leach's position. Leach will leave Texas Tech for the NFL most likely...

Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posted on: November 18, 2009 4:02 pm

Leach and Louisville

Don't see it happening...

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2009 2:11 pm

Leach and Louisville

YOU ARE RETARDED.  It usually goes like this: SEC>>Big 12>Pac 10>ACC>Big 10>Mountain West (non BCS)>>>>>>>>Big
East.  however, this year is weird, it looks more like SEC>Pac 10>ACC>Big 12>Big 10>Mountain West (non BCS)>>>>>>>>Big

In both cases, Big east is the easiest conference, plus Mike leach would still have pull in TX.  The TX recruits would make Louisville a big east POWERHOUSE if he recruited there like he did at Tech

BAYLOR, THE BIG 12 SOUTH'S WORST TEAM BY FAR MATCHES UP WITH UCONN (which before the murder was one of the Big East's best teams).

You also have

Texas Tech
Kansas State

which this year, would not be beaten by ANY big East team, in fact the only one that would have a chance is Cincy (and only at kansas st or nebraska's rebuilding teams)

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2009 12:51 pm

Leach and Louisville

Leach and Louisville

I don't see Leach leaving Tech for Louisville.  That would hardly be a move up.  He is in a position to command a big move.  Why make a huge step down. I don't see it.

There, I fixed it for you.

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