I know this might not go over all that well, but I've never been one to sugarcoat things when it comes to my teams, so here goes! An excerpt from yesterday's Cougar Sports Weekly, my subscription-based, direct-to-your-email-inbox newsletter:
The popular opinion among fans is that Leach is killing it in living rooms, luring talent to WSU that wouldn't otherwise consider the Cougars if Leach wasn't leading the charge. It's time to pump the brakes just a little bit on that idea. Here are two classes side by side. One is this 2013 class recruited by Mike Leach; the other is a WSU class from the recent past (star ratings via Scout.com, because I feel like they evaluate the west coast -- all the way up to Washington -- better than the other services):
Mike Leach, 2013 Paul Wulff, 2011
as of June 26
10 10 4* 1 1 3* 1 4 2* 7 5 NR 1 0
I've pointed this out to a few people on Twitter, and each of them has been surprised. That 2011 class started incredibly strong, with four-star linebacker Chester Su'a and three-star defensive end Logan Mayes among the early commits. Having 10 commitments right now isn't revoluationary, and beyond that, at least one objective measure would suggest that this current class pales in comparison to 2011. ...
Look: There are some guys in this class I'm really excited about. And I realize trying to convince people to be rational over recruiting probably is a fool's errand, anyway, because ... well, irrationality is pretty much inherent in any endeavor where people are hanging on the whims of teenagers. But I feel like it's my duty to say, hey, we've been down this road before. Our coach is awesome, but to say he's lapping his predecessors just isn't accurate.
Now, before you jump down my throat in the comments with all the reasons why this class actually is superior to anything Wulff assembled, know that I gave equal time in the newsletter to the arguments for that side -- you'll just have to subscribe to see what they are.
My overall point simply is this: Let's slow down a little on this "everything Mike Leach does is the greatest in the history of ever" thing we've got going on right now. Sometimes it's legit -- "she's not coming out of this thing unscathed" comes to mind -- but sometimes, Leach is just a pretty good recruiter.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read more about -- and if that doesn't grab you, I also wrote a 2,000-word takedown of APR as part of the newsletter -- subscribe! It's easy, it's cheap ... and I even have a testimonial now!
@NussCoug Good read in your Cougar Sports Weekly! Interesting take on the APR. Well worth the pocket change ;-)— Michael Larson (@CougMike) June 27, 2012
See? Well worth the pocket change! Mike said so!