The Mike Leach Saga came to a head today when Leach was dismissed by his employer. If you didn’t know, the pirate-loving Leach punished a player by making him stand in a shed for what he believed was a fake injury. In any case, this surely won’t be the end of the soap opera which will probably play out in court.
In his tenure at Texas Tech, Leach managed to go 84-43 at a school that’s in a remote area of Texas and not known for its football prowess. Leach and his Red Raiders were often the 4th or 5th school considered by highly rated recruits in the state of Texas. However, Leach’s pass-happy system produced multiple 5000 yard passers along with nine consecutive bowl appearances (with 5 wins). On the surface, it looks like Texas Tech’s decision made some sense, but it will certainly set the program back ten years. They’ll continue to suffer from the same recruiting issues as in the past — except now they don’t have Leach’s system or his brand to fall back on.
Leach’s firing has been surprisingly similar to that of Mark Mangino at Kansas. Mangino also faced allegations of abusing players which forced him out of Lawrenceville. Coincidentally, both had coached under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and both had their teams in the BCS title hunt in the past two years. With the shake ups at both programs, it’s conceivable that Kansas and Texas Tech could go back to simply being “basketball schools.” Without a doubt, June Jones at SMU in Dallas and Gary Patterson at TCU in Fort Worth are both salivating at the prospect of Texas Tech’s potential downfall.