Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stolen Thoughts 12-31-09

A couple of thoughts for the New Years Weekend:

Urban Meyer's heart problems may stem from riding in the car with his players. Current team members have 250+ traffic citations.

The Wiz has a great pictorial essay of the challenges of Notre Dame recruiting.

Allegedly Adam Leach made a video in a closet he was confined to in practice. Why did he show up for practice with his cellphone? Is there a texting drill that I'm not aware of?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Pirate is Dead

Long live the Great Pirate. Leach is gone. I have three different areas to discuss on this.

1) public airing of grievances
2) espn coverage
3) the real story, in my opinion

Public airing of grievances: We're now in an age where differences are aired without discretion, without filter. Get your story out to the internet, where everyone can speculate. i love the fact that we can all have a voice, it's what freedom of speech is about. Conversely, not everything should be dealt with in public. People, use some discretion. That's you, Craig James. the new world order of dealing with conflict indirectly and publicly is concerning on many levels.

ESPN Coverage: The WWL coverage of this was abysmal. They were quick to have the scoop on Leach's suspension. Word quickly got out that it was a result of the treatment of Adam James, son of ESPN personality Craig James. Gee, I wonder how they figured that out so quickly? The next day, Craig is talking on camera and issuing a statement to the Associated Press. What a crock. Deal with it in private, people. Your kid appears to have been playing the part of a spoiled punk, and nailing the role. ESPN became the a part of the story, and their coverage did not address the emails supporting Coach Leach until after Leach was fired.

Real story, as far as i know. Here's what we know: a) the TT folks were clearly not happy with the negotiations last year with Coach Leach; b) Leach seemed to unofficially seek jobs every year; c) Adam James wouldn't be playing d-1 football if it weren't for Leach; d) Leach was clearly using humiliation and embarrassment as a tactic to get different behavior from James from what he's displayed previously; e) Leach won more games than anyone at Texas Tech ever and had the best winning percentage of anyone since the Red Raiders departed the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association; f) lawyers are going to make some money on this one.

I don't think Leach was trying to pressure James into getting back on the field. My perception from afar is that he was embarrassing James while protecting him from sunlight. He was not in danger. Had James demonstrated good practice habits over the years a la Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, Eric Morris, do you think this would have been handled in this way? Me either.

The losers in this equation: Texas Tech, Mike Leach and the Big 12. The league just got a little less interesting.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

To both of my readers, Merry Christmas. If you're interested in doing a little good with your wallet and on Christmas, here are some options:

Jack's Closet: Jack is a 12 year old boy with leukemia and is raising money for snuggies to give kids in cancer treatment.

Sooner assistant coach Josh Heupel has a foundation to impact children in need.

Compassion International is one of my favorite charities. You can sponsor a child for a few bucks a month and make an impact all over the world.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LandThieves Bowl Mania

Join the LandThieves College Bowl Mania contest on Winner gets the .... satisfaction of besting 2-4 other people you don't know in a lame contest.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Observations from the Coaching Carousel

Brian Kelly leaving the Bearcats for the Fighting Irish leaves Cincy coachless for now. By Sep 25, 2010, when the Sooners play the Bearcats in Cincinnati, the two-time defending Big East Champions will have a new coach. It may be Kevin Sumlin, or someone else, but there's a chance that the disruption is going to benefit the Sooners' chances in beating a BCS non-conference team on the road.

Mark Stoops, younger brother of the Head Visor, is leaving the employ of his brother Mike at the University of Arizona to become DC or Florida State under new HC Jimbo Fisher. This has two consequences; a) it puts Stoops as DC against his brother on Sep 11, 2010 when the Noles travel to Norman; b) it gets one Stoops brother out of the Texas recruiting pipeline. There's no need to raid Texas when there is so much bounty in-state.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stoops seeks TRO against Notre Dame

Rumor has it this guy's parked outside Stoops house, playing this song.
The Chicago Sun Times is stalker-like in their reporting of Stoops to Notre Dame. Today they "reported" the coach could be named "as early as Sunday" and that Stoops remains the lead candidate.
The paper indicates Stoops has not told the school "No" and therefore is still a candidate.
Stoops issued a statement today. I'm not sure he said no, but it was at least "get the ###### away from me".
So, we're headed down one of two paths here:
1) Stoops is a soothsayer along the lines of Nick Saban or Dennis Franchione. It's possible.
2) Stoops is staying put.
Here's the official LandThieves theory: When Florida fired the Zooker a few years ago and the Florida job was in play, Stoops went strangely silent. I don't recall him issuing denials, I recall him disappearing and not returning calls or texts from media types until he made a decision. As a result, I think it's unlike Stoops to come out publicly and deny something if he's really contemplating the opportunity. In his statement he said, "There haven't been any plans for a meeting or negotiations with Notre Dame and there will not be. Any reporting to that fact is completely erroneous. I will not be the next coach at Notre Dame." I have no reason not to believe him.
Furthermore, I think the Sun Times are being played with misinformation. My theory is that Brian Kelly is going to be the next coach. Kelly has said he'd listen if Notre Dame calls. Conversely, if Nebraska beats Texas, there's a decent chance the Bearcats leap the Horned Frogs and play the SEC Champ for the BCS title. Brian Kelly is not going to leave Cincy for another job if he gets the chance to play for a national title. As a result, I believe the new coach could be named as soon as sunday, particularly if Cincy is playing in the Orange or Fiesta Bowl.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shamangino Gone

The Stoops coaching tree just got clipped a little. Mangino agrees to resign from KU. Let's take a look at Mangino's record at KU, and where it ranks all-time.

  • Mangino finished his tenure at KU with a 50-48 won-loss record, for a 51% winning percentage.
  • The last KU coach to win 50 games at Kansas: Bert Kennedy, who went 53-9-4, from 1904-1910.
  • Last KU coach to leave the school with a career winning percentage over .500: Jules Sikes, who left in 1953 after compiling a 35-25 record. His next destination was East Texas State.

Kansas has NOT been a premier job. It's been a stopping off point for some coaches, a grave yard for others; if they win in Lawrence, they get snapped up somewhere else. For example:

  • George Sauer went to Navy after two years ended 1947, when we went 15-3-3 at Kansas
  • Pepper Rodgers parlayed a 4 year, 20-22 record into a job at UCLA.
  • Mike Gottfreid played a 15-18-1 record from 1983-85 into a job at Pitt.
  • Glen Mason leveraged a 47-54-1 record from 1988-96 into a job at Minnesota.

I certainly don't condone this if it's true. Mangino certainly appears to have shown some interesting leadership techniques in leading the Jayhawks, and many of those are successful long-term. The last Mangino-less winning season in Kansas was 1995, when Glen Mason went 10-2.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Big 12 End of Year Awards

Well, the Big 12 awards are out today, and it's time for my own as well.

Offensive Player of the Year: Colt McCoy/Jordan Shipley, Texas
Defensive Player of the Year: Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
Special Teams Player of the Year: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. The Coaches pick of Mack Brown is ludicrous. They were picked to finish first in the conference, and many expected them to be undefeated. He met high expectations. Who had K-State as second in the Big 12 North? Anyone?
Ty Willingham Addition by Subtraction Award: tie, Gene Chizik/Ron Prince
Bad Idea Jeans Award: Sergio Kindle, for
texting and driving
The Outcomes Based Education Award : Big 12 writers, whose
math did not add up in their preseason polls.
Leon's There's no we in team either Award: Texas, which had the best D in the conference, and one player on the first team All Big 12 squad.

The ObamaCare Injury of the Year: tie: Robert Griffin, Baylor; Jermaine Gresham, OU; Sam Bradford, OU. Shouldn't season-ending injuries be rationed so that all teams have equal access to a wrecked season?
Muhammad Ali Rope a Dope: Nebraska Cornhusker vs Oklahoma Sooners. Never seen a college team defy the opposition to move the ball and try to score like the Huskers did that night. Trent Dilfer would have been proud.
Pinocchio award: Dez Bryant, for lying to NCAA investigators.