Mike Leach was a busy man this week, likely racking up quite a few frequent flier miles in the process. First, he was in Southern California on Wednesday for Pac-12 Media Days. Once that was over, he jetted across the country to the ESPN campus in Bristol, appearing on ESPN's various media platforms. While his material wasn't as compelling as gnat-spitting in Macon, Georgia, there were a couple interesting tidbits.
Leach took part in a coaches roundtable on College Football Live, joining his man-crush, Kyle Whittingham, and Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre. When asked about Connor Halliday, Leach responded that he'd take Connor over any returning quarterback in the conference. The host then brought up Leach's history of having a "quick hook" with his quarterbacks (which isn't really accurate), to which Leach deadpanned, "He's gotten good enough that I haven't had to hook him lately."
Later on, the coaches were asked whether they research a player's background, when deciding which players to pursue in recruiting. Leach admitted that the staff searches social media, looking for possible red flags. He even said that they were interested in a guy initially, but backed away when they found out he had gang ties. It got me curious as to how many times these sorts of things happen, where a school wants to recruit a kid but backs off due to off-field issues.
Leach also joined Ivan Maisel on the ESPNU College Football Podcast for about 12 minutes. Maisel's podcast hasn't been nearly as interesting since Beano Cook passed away, and alot of what he and Leach talked about wasn't ground-breaking. I'll admit I was surprised that it took over eight minutes for Leach to mention that he'd written a book about Geronimo. It usually doesn't take more than a question or two for him tell everyone about his latest literary effort.
The most interesting part was Leach talking about how small the players were when he got to WSU, along with the lack of depth. He admitted that the lack of size and depth led him to try and call perfect plays. We all know how that went in 2012. He went on to say that as the players get better, and learn the system, the opposite can happen. He will sometimes call a bad play, but the execution is such that it works out. I have a feeling that with a senior quarterback and loads of skill position talent in 2014, Leach's players will be able to make a few bad play calls look brilliant. At least, I hope so.
Pac-12 Coaches Roundtable - ESPN Video - ESPN
ESPN Video: Mike Leach, Kyle Whittingham and Mike MacIntyre join College Football Live to look ahead to the upcoming season, talk about the Pac-12 and the challenges of recruiting and dealing with off-field player issues.
ESPNRadio.com - PodCenter - ESPN
Mike Leach joined Ivan Maisel for a few minutes while he was in Bristol. His portion starts at the 29-minute mark.
Media Day: Behind the Scenes - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Here's some bonus footage from WSU's turn at Pac-12 Media Days.
Flashback: Stanford - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - July 25, 2014
The only positive thing to emerge from this beatdown was Popcorn Guy.
Crowd-Funded Brewery Campaigns Are (Expletive)
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What is Americans’ Favorite Global Cuisine? | FiveThirtyEight
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