Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, with a strong dose of lysergic acid diethylamide. So, predicting his future behavior is generally a lesson in humility. But after last night’s loss to Oklahoma, it’s time to ask, Does Mike Leach stay or does he go?
This year’s team is as good as it’s going to get at Texas Tech for Leach. Graham Harrell is gone after this season and probable first rounder Michael Crabtree is expected to go for the quan with two years of eligibility left.
And, with all that’s right this year, Tech is a long shot to even play in the Big Twelve Championship, and is unlikely to make a BCS game, much less the national championship. After all the hype, tortilla throwing, and bleacher destruction, Tech seems headed for either the Cotton or the Bluebonnet Bowls.
That has just got to sting.
Nevertheless, he’s a hot commodity at this time. He’s achieved more with less raw talent than anyone I can remember. But, his prospects aren’t likely to go up from here.
There are openings at Washington, Clemson, and Tennessee. And, perhaps in a couple of weeks, at Notre Dame.
I expect Leach would consider three things when evaluating any offers:
- The stature of the program.
- The money of the offer.
- Whether the school would allow Leach to be Leach.
Let’s toss Notre Dame out of the picture for now. We don’t know for sure that there even will be an opening, but they certainly have the stature and money to take Leach away from Lubbock. It’s safe to assume that if Notre Dame comes calling, Leach will pack his bags.
Of the other three, Tennessee has the most stature, followed by Clemson, with Washington bringing up the rear.
Tennessee and Clemson clearly have stronger boosters than Washington, but all three probably have the money to make a very tempting offer to Leach.
The third factor may be the most interesting. Washington boosters would probably like to have a big personality like Leach. Clemson would probably be willing to put up with him, but Tennessee might have serious problems with his antics.
That said, if Tennessee wants Leach, they’ll get him. Leach would probably stay at Tech rather than go to Clemson. And Leach would probably go to Washington, because it would be fun to play in the Pac 10 (where defense is a secondary consideration on the best year). Plus, he could sail a pirate ship on Puget Sound.
If Leach doesn’t leave Texas Tech this year, I expect he finishes out his career in Lubbock.