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Report: Mike Leach hired by Washington State

Bruce Feldman and others are reporting on Twitter that Mike Leach will be named as the new head football coach at Washington State.

Leach has been sitting tight waiting for the right opportunity after he left Texas Tech in a controversial breakup at the end of the 2009 season. He’s been hanging out in Key West and doing some announcing. Leach is widely considered to be one of the best offensive minds in college football and he turned the Texas Tech program into consistent winners. His overall record at Texas Tech was 84–43.

Meanwhile, Washington State has become an embarrassment in the PAC-12 under Paul Wulff, going 9-41 over the past 4 years. To put it in perspective, Wulff is coming off his best season with the Cougars at 4-8. Washington State isn’t considered to be on of the marquee programs of the PAC-12, but the school has had some excellent teams over the years and has produced some good quarterbacks like Drew Beldsoe and high draft picks like Ryan Leaf.

Leach has helped to develop some excellent college quarterbacks. He coached Tim Couch at Kentucky and Couch became the #1 pick in the NFL draft. At Oklahoma he coached Josh Heupel and he coached Graham Harrell at Texas Tech. Michael Crabtree was considered the best receiver in college football under Leach’s supervision.

It looks like a great fit for both parties involved. Leach will bring a high-powered offense and some attitude to a program that has hit rock bottom. The PAC-12 is competitive, but Leach comes from the equally competitive Big-12 where he battled the likes of Oklahoma. Leach probably won’t elevate Washington State above USC and Oregon, but he’ll likely make them competitive. He should also do well with recruiting given his history of coaching scoring machines.

Leach also brings some baggage as well, so he’s a high risk/high reward candidate. The Adam James incident was ugly for Leach and for Texas Tech. For that reason, he didn’t get serious consideration from the biggest programs. For example, I couldn’t see Leach being considered for the open UCLA job. But Washington State is perfect. Given their recent history, what do they have to lose? At the same time, it’s a big enough program where Leach could do some serious damage and build a dangerous football team.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Will the Jaguars stay in Jacksonville?

Jacksonville Jaguars Blaine Gabbert gets hit by The New York Jets Bart Scott in the fourth quarter in week 2 of the NFL season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 18, 2011. The Jets defeated the Jaguars 32-3. UPI /John Angelillo

Mike Florio isn’t convinced. He makes a good point about Wayne Weaver’s credibility, as Weaver insisted repeatedly that the Jaguars were not for sale. There’s no provision requiring Shahid Khan to keep the team in Jacksonville as part of the sale, and while the lease extends to 2029, there may be ways to get around it. Given the amount of money at stake and the specter of Los Angeles looming out there as a possible destination, anything is possible at this point.

As a Browns fan, I’m sympathetic to any situation where a community might lose a team. But Jacksonville just doesn’t support the team. Let’s see if the community can rally around the new owner and convince him to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

MMA fitness workout with Georges St-Pierre

Did you eat to much turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving? This is the time of year where most people lose any progress they’ve made all year. Athletic builds suddenly add a spare tire around the belly.

It’s the perfect time to start an intense workout regiment, and emulating the MMA guys is not a bad idea.

MMA World Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre is now a legend in the MMA community, and now he’s sharing his workout program and training secrets with a new series of MMA workout DVDs.

We love MMA, but now it’s more than just a sport or a form of entertainment. It has spawned a new lifestyle approach, and central to that is the sculpted look you see with the best MMA fighters. Women love that look and guys are inspired by it.

It’s only attainable, however, if you’re willing and able to undergo an intense workout program. You have to be committed, and you have to be the type of person that sets the bar high. You might not be able to fight like St-Pierre, but you can achieve that same look through persistent hard work.

So get ready for the holidays the right way!

2011 NFL Week 13 Odds & Point Spreads

Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie celebrates a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter of the NFL NFC Championship football game in Chicago, January 23, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Four odds of note:

Colts –20.5 @ Patriots, 1:00PM ET, Sunday
I about fell over when I first saw the opening line for this game, which was actually New England –21. But the spread makes sense. First of all, the Colts haven’t covered in seven straight weeks so oddsmakers have to push the envelope to see what price bettors will be willing to pay in order to keep fading Indy. Secondly, New England is just two weeks removed from covering a 17-point spread against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football, so oddsmakers realize that bettors are at least willing to lay that number when it comes to wagering on the Pats. But 20.5? For a NFL game? Dear, Barbara.

Falcons –1.5 @ Texans, 1:00PM ET, Sunday
There’s an unwritten rule when it comes to wagering: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. The Texans are starting T.J. Yates at quarterback against a Falcons team that has won two straight games and is chasing down a playoff berth in the NFC. Why wouldn’t you lay the 1.5 points on Atlanta? All they have to do is win, basically. That said, the Texans knew as soon as Matt Schaub went down for the season that no matter who was playing quarterback, their defense and running game would have to carry them. The Falcons have been inconsistent on offense all season and while their run defense has been stout, they will be tested by the Texans’ excellent rushing attack. Plus, Atlanta could be without two of its top three cornerbacks as Brent Grimes (knee) and Kelvin Hayden (toe) are both expected to miss this Sunday. Beware the trap.

Raiders +2.5 @ Dolphins, 1:00PM ET, Sunday
Speaking of traps, the 3-8 Dolphins are a 2.5-point favorite against the 7-4 Raiders who are battling the Broncos for the AFC West crown? Hello, Oakland and the points! Again, beware the bet that looks too good to be true. Miami’s defense has been a rock over the past couple of weeks and the Fish were one big play/stop away from beating the Cowboys last Thursday. Miami clearly hasn’t given up on the season despite its record and will probably enjoy playing the role of spoiler from here on out.

Chiefs +9 @ Bears, 1:00PM ET, Sunday
Who is going to lay nearly 10 points on a Caleb Hanie-led Chicago team after his performance last Sunday in Oakland? The Chiefs failed to cover as a 17-point underdog two weeks ago in New England but they nearly came from behind and beat the Steelers last Sunday night. I think there’s going to be plenty of Kansas City backers come Sunday, so it’ll be interesting to see if the line moves, and by how much, come Sunday. The Bears are much tougher at home than they are on the road, plus they have Matt Forte, Devin Hester and a (usually) stingy defense. But Hanie radically changes what Mike Martz wants to do on offense and it’s tough envisioning them covering a 9-point spread.

2011 NFL Week 13 Point Spreads

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ESPN and the Bernie Fine case in Syracuse

SPORTSbyBROOKS has been all over the Bernie Fine story, and he asked the tough question – why didn’t ESPN share the damning audiotape of Laurie Fine with the authorities back in 2002? Check out the video above as the story is starting to grow.

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