Why did the coach leave Washington State?
It is amazing how one play can change the perception of an entire nation.
Stafford throws a wounded duck in the 4th qtr of the NFC championship game. It looked more like a punt than a pass. 49er DB Tartt dropped the ball. The Rams go on to win the NFC. So the story became that Goff was the guy that held the Rams back. McCay is called a genius. Stafford becomes a top tier QB If Tartt had held on to the interception the Rams would have ridiculed for giving up all the draft picks. And Stafford would be viewed as a bum that can't win the big game.
I am reminded of this as we talk about the PAC-12 and Utah's loss at Florida. Rising throws a pick when a FG would send the game to overtime. So the story becomes Utah is overrated and the PAC-12 sucks. Had Utah scored to win the game or had tied the game and then won in overtime -- the entire outlook would be different.
I think too much is being made out of one play. Let's see how Florida and Utah each do in their next 4-5 games and then we can make a more useful assessment.
Leach and his 11.5 point advantage may be in for a surprise this weekend. Hope so. He may be paid a lot but he's not going to get anywhere at Mississippi State.
I'm not sure I believe anything Mike Leach says.
Listening to Lanning's news conference about what they need to improve on defensively had me
thinking that those were things that should have been addressed in fall camp, most were basic
principles. I hope this isn't a foretaste of things to come.
In football, defense wins championships. The reason the SEC and Big Ten are miles ahead of the Pac-12 now is because they all have big and fast defensive lines. They are 3 or 4 deep at every defensive position. You do not have to score much on offense if your opponet scores very little. Ask Alabama, or Ohio State, or Georgia, or Clemson, my four picks for the final four. You can win a natty without a great qb or skill players. If you shut-out your opposition, all you need is a field goal to win. Mike Leach was smart to leave the weak Pac-12. UCLA and USC were very wise to take only 40 million more dollars per year than any other team in the pac-12 by going to the Big-10. TV money rules all the sports. ESPN runs all the teams, college or pro. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The former horrible Pac-12 boss ruined the Pac-12 for years to come by negotiatioing the worse college football tv right deal in history. It was one of the first, and I, like John Canzano , knew right off it was a poor job by him. Before last Saturday, I thought if ESPN rescued the pac-12 very soon, by a cosmic dream, we were only five years behind the big boys. Now, I say 10, as, once again, the pac-12 will not get a final four team. Even if USC or UCLA wins all their games this year, it will not be good enough. USC will win by more than the 12 point spread over Stanford. Utah and Oregon are done. The Huskies, Beavers, Ducks, WSU, Stanford, and Cal will all go about 50-50 on the year. Chip Kelly can use the extra 40 million per year, and so can USC. I like the new Duck coach, but until he recruits some quality players in the offensive and defense lines, and more than just one or two, the Ducks are just another so-so team. Miss me with all the alleged recruits super sub par Mario Cristobal brought here. Recruits are like a pipe dream. Until they produce in a real game, they are just a name on a piece of paper. Mario was no good, and I am glad he bailed out. Utah rolled him twice in a few week span. On facebook before slick Willy Taggard even got to Eugene, I said he was a poor hire. You all bashed me when I said Mario would be just as bad as Willy. When I saw Taggart show up in Eugene in the rain with bro shades on even indoors, I was sick. Mario gave away at least two games (one was at Stanford) by horrible clock management. Do not listen to me: I saw and heard Curt Herbstreet, who was calling the game on tv say it. You kneel down and run out the clock. duh. Even if you give the opponet the ball with just a few seconds left at mid-field, and no time-outs, it is better than fumbling away the game. Good riddance to Taggart and Mario. Miami will not reach the promised land any faster than the Trojans of USC, or the chipster. My Ducks are a long way off from catching the big boys in football. Actually, so is most of the pac-12. They said Mario was a super recruiter. duh. He was at Alabama when he got recruiter of the year. duh. John Canzano or I could be big time recruiters if we were at Alabama. Sure glad I get the Big-10 and SEC channels on my comcast tv sports deal. I will not watch Portland State play a pac-12 team on tv, or in person. These games are on the pac-12 channel. Texas at home vs. Alabama next Saturday sounds better than the big sky could even dream of. For my birthday today, my black mini-jaguar kitty named Shadow gave me the ok to do whatever I wanted. I bribed him with tuna fish. He likes tv but told me about six months ago, he had seen enough of the NBA for one day. I have three tvs, and I told him to go pick another tv, and I would set him up with whatever he wanted. I did, and we were both happy! I thank God for my faith, my liberal political views, my family, my health, for being only 71, a few friends, and that I can write sports stories. Oh yeh I forgot Shadow, and he is here glaring at me. We communicate best by eye contact; it works on people too. Talk is cheap but if you look into the eyes, you can tell all. I know many of his 45.938 different meows; he does not listen to me much, but all is good! Happy Birthday to me, Donnie Duck, 71, and still above ground and thankful for each day that i get to hang with Shadow, the best friend I have ever had! GO DUCKS! Please vote blue and WE WILL DUMP TRUMP AGAIN IN 2024. Hope he ends up in federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon. It is right next door to the Spirit Mountain casino, where you can bet legally on sports and get paid as soon as game is over. All cash, and all in person! I can wave at little donny as I am betting next door! Huck the Fuskies in Autzen this fall!
Sankey is sticking with 2026 for expanded playoffs to give the SEC 2 extra years of the money not to taper fan’s expectations
Spot on summary of week 1. Fingers crossed for the Pac 12. Somebody ought to ask for some of Larry Scott’s money back.
I don't believe any school is good enough, according to the Pac-12 "conditions". SDSU, Fresno State, & Boise State are non-starters.
Pac-12 should have roped in Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, & Texas Tech those years back.
There's nothing the conference can do.
BYU should had been invited, not Colorado. The Pac-12 is too much of a snob and bigoted towards Mormons that the Cougars never had a chance to get invited.
Best case scenario? Counter-offer the Big-10 for USC & UCLA. Then invite TCU, Houston, UTSA, SMU., Miami & Florida State. Need to do the former in order to pull the latter.
If not, it's only time until the Pac-12 turns into the WAC 2.0. A bunch of retreads with Oregon State & Washington State hanging on the carcass of what's left of the Pac-12.
Inviting SDSU, UNLV, Boise State, & Fresno State doesn't add anything to the pie, it only decreases the average for each team. . . and dilutes the name of the Pac-12.
George Kliavkoff needs to do this, or just resign. Because if the Pac-12 doesn't get back USC & UCLA, then the Pac-12 is already dead and doesn't know it.
-- Arizona Alum Class of 1992
actually going 0-2 vs the SEC was not a "killer". It exposed the Pac's weaknesses, and flaws for what they are...and what it's become under Scott and now Klavilkoff needed to be exposed. It's a "soft conference". It's become the champion of "women's sports", "women's rights", "gay rights", "Black lives matter", "Trans rights matter", and "mental health", Everything except what it should be, an athletic conference dedicated to winning championships and making it's members stronger. The PAC for better or worse has gone into " Turtle mode". withdrawing all exposed limbs into a hard shell and letting all accusations and insinuations bounce off while it collectively tries to fine it's way. While it sits and whines about it's two main members going off to join another conference, and wrings it's collective hands on how to survive without them...the Big 10 is going about pounding it's chest, and becoming the most balanced of all conferences. You don't see them running gay rights, Trans rights, of BLM, commercials non stop 24/7...They run football and basketball promo's to keep people interested in what they are about...WINNING! and making their CONFERENCE MEMBERS STRONGER!!! The PAC 12 is going about things IMO all wrong. And NOTHING is going to change untill they address the elephant in the room...1) LEADERSHIP at the commissioner level, 2) Public support by presidents, chancellors, donors, AD's for a solid direction/goal. 3) Dedication to WINNING in the MAJOR REVENUE SPORTS from the top of the conference to the bottom. Not going "ALL IN" on that means there is no REAL leadership or solid goals, and the powers that be in the conference are willing to just keep re-arranging the deck chairs and keep on virtue signaling, while the Titanic sinks!
Leach's WSU teams seemed to always have a strong D-Line.
As a WSU alumni I have been and fan and follower of Mike Leach. He wrote a great article about dividing college football players into two groups. Group one (College Student Athlete) would play for a football for a college. They would receive a scholarship and $150K after playing 4 seasons and graduating. No transfer portal. Group Two (Semi-Pro College Athlete) could cut any deals with any college without restrictions. But they could be cut or traded by the college at any time. I would love to hear Mike talk more about this idea.
I run a pool of 52 players and I include at least a few FCS games each week, but I can’t find the lines on those games. Can you help?
I noticed you a couple of those line in you column today.
John, I 'm only writing a comment. There is order in games in the SEC or PAC. The Southwest is oozing with talent and lack of talent. Man, it is entertainment that is a dunk driving lawyer's dream. drjimxlaw64@gmail. com
John, now that the PAC-#? Is assured of its champion making the CFP in 2026 or sooner, doesn’t make sense to stay at 10? Hard to believe the addition of, say, SDSU would add enough revenue to mean that it wouldn’t dilute the revenues of the other 10 teams. Same with SMU. Boise? No way that would dilute the revenues.
Thanks is for having Leach in your story. I hated playing his teams but sure miss The Pirate!
Part of the SEC's fun in all this is probably watching the unloading of the Cristobals and Lannings on us as if they were really head coach material at this level in the first place. As soon as I began reading off-season features about how good Lanning had been at keeping the pencils sharpened and taking notes I suspected we'd been had again. Those are real good things to have in an assistant and he probably should have continued to be one. The fact that he looked like a deer in the headlights most of the game on Saturday and was sweating more than the people playing in it wasn't real confidence-inspiring either. I feel sorry for the guy. It must be terrifying to realize that you and all the people you hired don't have a clue. But mostly I feel sorry for us because now we don't have a good team and it looks like we aren't going to have one for a long time.