Posted on: February 17, 2009 9:59 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Mike Leach's job in danger?

They're going to fire Mike Leach.

At least it sounds that way after the cryptic statement released by Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers on Tuesday. Leach let pass a 6 p.m. ET deadline set by the school to sign a lucrative extension.

So now what?

"We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week," Myers said in the statement. "Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters."

Decision-making process? What's left to decide? Myers himself said that Leach either signed the contract or that it would be pulled off the table and the coach would serve out his current deal through 2010. The only decision left to be made, it seems, is to keep Leach as coach.

The school and coach are now backed into a corner. Texas Tech can't keep a coach who 1) doesn't want to be there and 2) can't recruit if he did somehow stay.

The only resolution might be for both parties to start over.

Even if Leach decides to keep coaching going under his current deal, the school can't allow it. It can't allow the program to be run into the ground by a disgruntled coach looking for his next job. Let's not forget, in terms of staying power, Tech is closer to Big 12 South bottom feeders Baylor and Texas A&M than it is Texas and Oklahoma.

There already is a special Tech regents teleconference called for Friday, "including but not limited to the position of the football head coach." That doesn't sound like the regents are ready to discuss spring practice.

That's what is so stupid about this thing. The two sides have agreed to the money -- $12. 7 million over five years. The hang-up is basically over a buyout/termination clause. There has to be a number in the middle that both sides can agreed on. It isn't that hard, fellas.

This is a heck of a bluff to call on both sides. Leach has been unable to go elsewhere while employed at Texas Tech. It isn't because of his winning percentage. The Pirate was too crusty around the edges for Washington, Tennessee, Auburn and Miami, all jobs he coveted the past two seasons.  It may be that Lubbock is the only place in the country that tolerated Leach's shtick.

Some of that support is starting to wane. The only thing worse than being undesirable is being undesirable without a job. If he is fired, let's see how many offers Leach gets in February. All the jobs are filled. Let's say he sits out a year and comes back in 2010. He will be damaged goods and the short list of possible openings doesn't seem to fit: Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia and Indiana.

Notre Dame: Please. The first tie Leach wears will be his first. (not counting clip-ons)

Louisville: AD Tom Jurich is about done hiring coaches with a wandering eye.

Virginia: See Notre Dame.

Indiana:  Bob Knight went to Tech for his rebound job. Leach to Indiana for his rebound job? Ain't happening.

Mike Leach will be able to get a job, just nothing on a par with Tech, a competitive program in a power conference that can afford to pay him $2.5 million per year.

Unless the sides -- Leach, his agents and the school -- can hammer out a deal soon, this situation has gone beyond the point of repair. There are too many egos, too much money at stake for everyone to walk away.

That includes Myers who will come out of this looking bad no matter what happens. He let it get to this point by not locking up Leach during the season. Even if a deal is struck, he is responsible for making Tech look like backward bumpkins.  Texas Tech has failed to realize that it is Texas Tech. Leach could be that once-in-a-lifetime coach for a program that hadn't done much before him.

There is no middle ground. Either a deal gets done, soon, or Leach is fired. Shortly after, Myers might follow him out the door.




Posted on: February 9, 2009 2:56 pm

Miami has a new defensive coordinator

Randy Shannon has settled on John Lovett, North Carolina's special teams coordinator/defensive assistant. Except an announcement sometime this week.

Lovett, 58, becomes Miami's third defensive coordinator in three seasons. He has been a d-coordinator at Auburn, Clemson, Maine and Bowling Green.  

 Don't expect any major rules changes to come from the annual NCAA rules committee meeting this week in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. I spoke to secretary-rules editor Rogers Redding who specifically mentioned that the timing rules will stay in play. The length of games (and plays per game) were reduced slightly in 2008 with the new timing rules.

"I think there's a sense of, let's let these soak in for a while," Redding told me. "Let's take a deep breath."

He said there was some discussion of adding a two-minute warning but that there wasn't enough support.


Posted on: January 1, 2009 9:50 am

Terry Bowden to North Alabama

T.B.'s long national nightmare is over.

For at least a couple of years Bobby's kid has been hankering to get back in coaching. There were a lot of jobs that seemed perfect for him. Heck, he had West Virginia until outside influences corrupted the process.

Congrats to Terry, then, for finally landing North Alabama. I know next to nothing about the Division II program. Apparently it did well in the playoffs last season. Terry should prosper in a winning program located in his comfort zone, Alabama. His presence alone will get North Alabama better play in the Montgomery, Atlanta and Birmingham papers.

But if this is all he could find after all the openings and all the searches, something is wrong. Rick Neuheisel got work. So did Mike Price. What did Terry do so horrible that made him unhirable for major I-A programs? And, no, I don't want to hear innuendo and gossip. I want to know what there was to make folks overlook his record (111-53-2). It wasn't his age (early 50s). It wasn't his personality (ever met a Bowden?). 

It's something close to ironic that the school that Terry led to an undefeated season, Auburn, hired a coach with a 5-19 record.

We'll miss you Terry, on the national circuit. You were a welcome comrade on the road doing color on the radio for national games. We owe for a lot of things. Glad you finally landed a gig. You deserved better.

Who knows, if you do well in Florence, the big time might still await. 


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 15, 2008 10:11 am
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Auburn
Posted on: December 12, 2008 10:40 am


Forget all this nonsense about Will Muschamp going to Auburn, the biggest news of Friday morning was Urban Meyer's comments. He told a Miami radio station that Notre Dame is still his dream job.

(Sideways cocked head like a dog that has just been shown a card trick)


That should do wonders for Florida recruiting. Or maybe I was right when I suggested Notre Dame is waiting to make a coaching change on the chance it can shake Meyer loose from Florida.

--Jim Grobe's name has surfaced in the Auburn interview process.

The Wake Forest coach is in the midst of a 10-year contract. He talked to Nebraska last season before the school hired Bo Pelini. The question is, who hasn't interviewed on The Plains? As soon as Ball State coach Brady Hoke's name was attached to the job, he emerged on a list of finalists at San Diego State. A Mobile, Ala. Fox station reported that Will Muschamp is going to be the new coach at Auburn. Wrong!

--How is George O'Leary able to recruit?

That's the first question after Central Florida kept his job Thursday despite another player collapsing. It's never a good thing when your bosses hire an NCAA troubleshooter (for a pretty penny, no doubt) to review training methods. I love the line in this story where it is described that Central Florida interviewed 40 athletes and staff members about Brandon Davis' collapse. It couldn't talk to Davis, though, because he is still in the hospital.

Yeah, you might want to get his side of the story.

--Syracuse apparently has hired someone named Doug Marrone from the Saints. I'm sure he's a fine man and we know he is a Syracuse alum. But on the surface, the Cuse just traded a hot (at the time) NFL defensive coordinator for a hot NFL offensive coordinator.

The clock is offically ticking on AD Daryl Gross.  

Posted on: December 10, 2008 9:19 am
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 11:22 am

Random thoughts on a football Monday

Colt McCoy is the Heisman leader in the prestigious Rocky Mountain News poll. Yours truly voted in it this season.

 Nagurski Award (best defensive player) went to a Big 12 player? Texas' Brian Orakpo was sixth in sacks and 11th in tackles for loss. Okaaay ....


CBSSports.com's All-America team (including our defensive player of the year) will be released on Friday.

 Once again, one person didn't vote in the Harris poll. That made it three times this season someone was missing from the 114-person panel.

 Eighteen coaches voted for their own school in the coaches poll. The individual ballots were released  Monday in USA Today. There were some interesting results.

--Oregon's Mike Bellotti voted for Cal (No. 25) but Cal coach Mike Tedford did not.

--North Carolina finished with six points in the coaches poll. Two of them came from coach Butch Davis who voted the Tar Heels No. 24.

--Mike Leach voted Oklahoma No. 1, Texas Tech No. 2 and Texas No. 5. No. 5? That at least equaled the lowest ranking of the Longhorns among the 61 voters.

--Nebraska got all of five points in the poll. Four of them came from coach Bo Pelini who slotted his Huskers No. 21.

--Most overrated team by a coach: Missouri. Gary Pinkel had his Tigers at No. 18. They barely stayed in both polls.

--Three five-loss teams finished with votes -- Kansas, Rutgers and Buffalo.

 Here are the combined top five of the seven Big 12 coaches who voted in the coaches poll. This is an issue, of course, because Texas finished .01816 of a point out of the BCS title game.


1. Oklahoma (five first-place votes)
2. Texas (1)
3. Florida (1)
4. Alabama
5. USC

The seven are: Art Briles, Baylor; Mack Brown, Texas; Dan Hawkins, Colorado; Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Gene Chizik, Iowa State; Bo Pelini, Nebraska. Only Chizik and Mack Brown had Texas ahead of Oklahoma on their ballots. Briles, Hawkins, Leach, Pinkel and Pelini voted Oklahoma No. 1.

Four coaches voted Texas No. 1 in the coaches poll. Amazingly, one of them wasn't Mack Brown: Chizik, Todd Dodge, North Texas; Rick Neuhiesel, UCLA; Mike Price, Texas-El Paso.

Chizik worked for Brown. Dodge played at Texas. Price played Texas this year was grateful for the Horns coming and filling his stadium. Neuheisel is the head scratcher but a lot of stuff The Rickster does causes us to scratch our heads.

 How my BIG playoff would have looked in 2006 and 2007:



Regular season national champion: Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC

Playoff bracket

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 West Virginia
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 5 Missouri
No. 2 Virginia Tech vs. No. 7 Kansas
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 USC


Regular season national champion: Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC

Playoff bracket

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 5 Wisconsin
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 7 Auburn
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 Boise State

 The old lady next to us offered us a drink, she was guzzling gin out of a thermos. That much I remember from the last time the Cardinals won a division. Back in 1975 they were the St. Louis Cardinals and I was just out of high school.


Friend Jack Scanlan and I somehow scored tickets in the bleachers at old Busch Stadium to what was then the biggest football game in The Loo's history.  On a cold, cold day, Jackie Smith caught a touchdown pass and the Cardinals of Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf and Mel Gray beat the Giants 14-6.

It was a bigger deal then than it was today in Arizona. The Cardinals migrated from Chicago in 1960 and spent 27 mostly-frustrating seasons in my hometown. I still follow the Cards enough to know that the Bidwells are still the Bidwells.  Cheap and clueless.

Good on ya to Arizona, though. The city deserves a team to fit that magnificent stadium.

And, no, take the old lady up on her offer. I was only 18, besides I'm a vodka man.

Posted on: December 4, 2008 11:18 am


Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told me this morning that defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is not pursuing any other jobs.

Muschamp's name came up before Tommy Tuberville's "resignation" became official as I was scrambling to get the story. I was told then that Muschamp turned down Auburn.

When I asked Dodds if he had been contacted by Auburn he said, "I don't know the answer to that ... They may have contacted Mack or something."

He immediately added, "I know the answer to the question that he's not pursuing any jobs outside."

Does Dodds think the school can keep Muschamp? "I feel good about that," he said.

Muschamp was Auburn's former defensive coordinator. In his first season at Texas, the Longhorns lead the Big 12 in total defense. He was recently named head coach-in-waiting at some unspecified date when Mack Brown steps down. Muschamp is scheduled to receive a raise to $900,000 per year beginning Jan. 1.




Category: NCAAF
Tags: Auburn, Texas
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com