All Sports Rumors & News >

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.

From our partners
Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

Enjoy a daily photo from Bullz-Eye.com of one of their beautiful models.

Online Dating Guide

Improve your game today!

You've got to brush up on your game to get the girl! Find your hookups with this online dating guide.

Sexy Girls and Cars

Check out this slideshow of hot babes and cool cars.

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Learned

At the end of the year, it’s always interesting to look back at all that has happened in the world of sports over the last 12 months. 2008 brought us a host of compelling sports stories, including the culmination of the Patriots’ (unsuccessful) quest for perfection, a Bejing Olympics that featured incredible accomplishments by the likes of Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and the Redeem Team, and, of course, Brett Favre’s unretirement, which managed to hold the sports news cycle hostage for a solid month or more.

As is our tradition, we’ve once again broken our Year End Sports Review into three sections. The first is “What We Learned,” a list that’s packed with a number of impressive feats. And when there are feats, inevitably there are also failures.

Don’t miss the other two parts: “What We Already Knew” and “What We Think Might Happen.”

The New England Patriots weren’t so perfect after all.

After rolling through the 2007 regular season unscathed, the Patriots entered the 2008 Super Bowl as overwhelming favorites to roll over the pesky, but seemingly inferior New York Giants. The Pats were just one win away from staking their claim as the best football team in NFL history. But thanks to a dominating Giants’ defensive line, an improbable catch by David Tyree, and a virtually mistake-free performance by Eli Manning, the unbeatable New England Patriots were beat. It’ll go down as one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, and considering Tom Brady’s season-ending injury in 2008 cost the Pats a chance for redemption, it seems that many have forgotten how New England stood just one win away from perfection. – Anthony Stalter

Michael Phelps is part fish.

Eight gold medals in one Olympiad? No problem. Michael Phelps made the seemingly impossible look (relatively) easy en route to one of the most – if not the most – impressive Olympic performances ever. Phelps had to swim all four strokes, compete in both sprint and endurance races, and deal with the constant media attention and pressure that came along with his quest. Sure, NBC turned up the hype, but what Phelps accomplished is simply incredible. – John Paulsen

Usain Bolt is part cheetah.

First, Usain Bolt made Jamaica proud by setting a new world record (9.69) in the 100-meter sprint. Then, he broke the 12 year-old 200-meter world record with a time of 19.30 seconds. He showboated during the first race but cleaned up his act to win the second race in a professional manner. Some even say that Usain Bolt – not Michael Phelps – was the biggest story to come out of the Bejing Olympics. – JP

The Big 12 has the best quarterbacks in the nation.

The Big 12 housed some of the best quarterbacks in all of college football in 2008. Texas’s Colt McCoy, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Missouri’s Chase Daniel and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell were all considered Heisman candidates at least at one point during the season, while McCoy and Bradford are still in the running. Amazingly, Bradford and McCoy aren’t done; both will return in 2008. And although they don’t receive as much attention as the top signal callers in the conference, Kansas’s Todd Reesing and Baylor’s Robert Griffin certainly turned heads this year as well. In fact, the highly versatile Griffin is only a freshman and could make the Bears a very dangerous team for years to come. – AS


Read the rest after the jump...

2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Might Happen

It’s time to look ahead to 2009 and play a little Nostradamus.

Last year, we predicted that God would anoint the “Devil-free” Rays World Series Champions (ding!), that Brett Favre would play another year or two (ding! – sort of), that Isiah Thomas would be canned (ding!), and that Kobe would be playing for a new team by the trade deadline…

Granted, that last one didn’t come true, but how were we supposed to know that the Grizzlies would trade Pau Gasol to the Lakers for an unproven rookie and a bag of peanuts? Our occasional inaccuracy isn’t going to keep us from rolling out another set of predictions – some serious and some farcical – for 2009 and beyond, including President Obama’s plan for a college football playoff, Donovan McNabb’s new home and the baseball club most likely to be 2009’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Read on, and in a year, we guarantee* you’ll be amazed.

*This is not an actual guarantee, mind you.

Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: “What We Learned” and “What We Already Knew.”

Michael Vick will play for the Oakland Raiders next season.

Once NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell allows suspended quarterback Michael Vick to re-enter the league, let’s be honest, there’s really only one team that will take a shot on the convict: the Oakland Raiders. Sure, the Raiders would have to possibly give up a draft pick because Vick will still technically be property of the Falcons, but with Matt Ryan on board, Atlanta would probably be willing to give Mikey up for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos…snack size. With Vick on board, JaMarcus Russell could shift to tight end or full back or offensive tackle or something. Or, Vick could play wide receiver! Or running back! Think of the possibilities! The Oakland Raiders will be the most unstoppable team in the league! That is, of course, until Vick gets the itch for his old hobby. – Anthony Stalter

The Nationals and Pirates become the official AAAA teams of their respective divisions.

After finishing at or near the bottom of the division since the franchise’s move from Montreal, Major League Baseball executives analyze the entire Washington Nationals player system and conclude that they have no chance of fielding a competitive team in the near future. In the boldest decision of his tenure, Commissioner Bud Selig demotes the team’s Major League roster to AAAA status, a phrase long used by baseball personnel to describe players that are too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors. In an added twist, Selig designates that the team’s assets are fair game for all four remaining teams in the National League East, as a means of creating parity. In order to keep the number of teams even in each league, Selig also downgrades the Pittsburgh Pirates, losers of 94 or more games since 2005, to AAAA status as well. It will be six weeks into the regular season before an NL East team claims any of these former Pirates or Nationals. – David Medsker

Barack Obama will have a plan in place for a college football playoff by 2016.

He has already spoken out twice in favor of an eight-team playoff format for college football. Granted, there are more pressing concerns for the President-elect – the economy, the war in Iraq and a forward-thinking energy policy, just to name a few – but there’s no reason that Obama can’t appoint a “Playoff Czar” to get the conference presidents and the bowl organizers together to hash out a system that works for everyone. Are the bowls worried about losing money? Rotate the semifinals and the final amongst the four bowl cities. Are the conferences worried about losing money? They shouldn’t be – the ratings for an eight-team playoff would dwarf the ratings the current system is getting. And better ratings means more money. This is something that 85%-90% of the population can agree on, and that doesn’t happen often. Mark our words – President Obama will make it happen, especially if he gets a second term. – John Paulsen


Read the rest after the jump...

Is Colt McCoy the best quarterback in the Big 12?

Here’s a fluffy conversation to start everyone’s day-after Thanksgiving recovery: Who’s the best quarterback in the Big 12? Jimmy Burch of the Star-Telegram writes that Texas’ signal caller Colt McCoy holds the honors, even if the Heisman voters don’t eventually think so.

Colt McCoyIn short, McCoy is the league’s MVP. He is more valuable to the Longhorns as a rusher, passer and leader than any player on any other roster in the Big 12.

McCoy drove home that point against A&M. He threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 49 yards and two scores. He picked up his 31st career victory as a starting quarterback, passing Vince Young for most in Longhorns’ history.

Most important, McCoy jump-started the Texas offense — time and again — on a night when the Longhorns (11-1, 7-1 in Big 12) struggled early to rack up the style points they needed to blow away BCS voters.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford? He hands off to three players who could start ahead of any member of the Longhorns’ current tailback tandem. He is protected by a huge, veteran offensive line.

Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell? He throws to Michael Crabtree, the nation’s best receiver and a certifiable first-round NFL draft pick.

McCoy keeps the wheels spinning behind an offensive line that is good but not as dominant as others in the league. Most of McCoy’s most telling tosses wind up in the hands of Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, two undersized and underappreciated guys who won’t wow any NFL scouts with their measurable qualities.

McCoy has my vote, too. I loved him as a freshman, believed last year was just a small setback and think he’s currently having the best season of any quarterback in the nation. Bradford is an absolute stud and Harrell executes Tech’s offense better than any quarterback before him. But McCoy does so much for the Longhorn offense in terms of passing and running that he deserves (at this point) to be the frontrunner for the Heisman. But I think we should wait to see how this year plays out before drawing any conclusions. What if he struggles in the Big 12 Championship Game or stumbles in the title game if UT makes an appearance? Those games ultimately should decide the value of a player – not the ones at home against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night. (Although it’s also fair to judge a player’s entire body of work throughout the season, not just one game.)

Comment starter: Who do you think is the best quarterback in the Big 12?

College Football Week 13 Primer

Top 25 vs. Top 25:

Sam Bradford
No. 2 Texas Tech at No. 5 Oklahoma, 8:00 PM ET ABC
Raise your hand if you don’t appreciate what the Big 12 has given us this year and I’ll come over and punch you square in the mouth. The Big 12 has handed us game of the year matchups virtually every week this season and this week is no exception. Many college football pundits have had this Saturday circled on their calendars as the day when Texas Tech finally falls. Oklahoma has stumbled only once this year (vs. previously top ranked Texas on October 11), but outside of that no other team has come close to knocking them off. The Sooners have averaged over 50 points a game, but they’ll take on a much-improved Red Raider defense this week in Norman. OU is going to score points, but can they stop Heisman hopefuls Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree? No defense in the nation (not even Texas) has slowed down the dynamic duo yet and it’s hard to believe that anyone will at this point. Still, the Sooners will be looking to avenge last year’s 34-27 loss to Tech in Lubbock. In that game, No. 4 ranked OU lost Sam Bradford early in the first half and allowed Crabtree to haul in 12 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown. Oddsmakers have established Oklahoma as a 7-point favorite, but one has to believe that this is going to go down to the wire.

No. 14 Brigham Young at No. 7 Utah, 6:00 PM ET
No love for the Mountain West – this one won’t even be shown on national TV despite huge ramifications for the Utes. A MWC title and a possible BCS at-large bid is on the line in this game as Utah has another opportunity to justify their high ranking. Before being upset by TCU, BYU expected to be where Utah currently is – ranked in the top 10. The Cougars will have to overcome a stingy Utes defense that is damn near impossible to run against, yielding just 3.0 yards per carry. The onus for BYU in this game will be on quarterback Max Hall to carry the offense, while the Cougar defense will have its hands full with Brian Johnson. Considering this will be yet another tightly contested game, the Utes should be prepared. They’ve got five wins this year by seven or fewer points, including their nail biting 13-10 win over TCU three weeks ago. Oddsmakers have made BYU a 6.5-point underdog.

No. 15 Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State, 3:30 PM ET ABC
How sad is it that in the same week of Ohio State-Michigan, this is the best matchup in the Big Ten. Penn State’s win over Indiana may have looked like a blowout, but the Lions struggled with Hoosiers in the first half. Truth be told, PSU’s offense hasn’t looked that impressive in weeks. After reaching the end zone 12 times threw the air in their first fives games, the Lions have managed just five touchdown passes in their last six contests. The Spartans struggled in their last Big Ten statement game (a 45-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State on October 18), but Brian Hoyer (548 yards, 5 TDs in two games vs. PSU) has really stepped up of late and is putting together a nice season. Of course, all eyes will be on RB Javon Ringer. Ringer is third in the nation in rushing and if MSU’s massive offensive line can open up holes for the small back, Sparty will have an opportunity to keep PSU’s spread offense off the field and possibly walk away with an upset. Penn State is a 14.5-point favorite at home.

No. 20 Pittsburgh at No. 19 Cincinnati, 7:00 PM ET ESPN2
The job head coach Brian Kelly (who I suggested should be a candidate to replace Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee) has done this year in Cincinnati despite losing three quarterbacks has been remarkable. To keep the Bearcats afloat in the Big East is outstanding it speaks volumes about Kelly being a true winner. Speaking of the Big East, first place is on the line in this game as Cincy will try to avenge its 24-17 loss to PITT last year by throwing early and often. The Panthers have struggled against teams with like to attack downfield and Tony Pike has played very well lately in Kelly’s offense. The mission is clear for Cincinnati: Win the next two games at home and claim the Big East title. PITT is a 5-point underdog.

Upset Watch:

Graham HarrellNo. 2 Texas Tech at No. 5 Oklahoma, 8:00 PM ET ABC
As previously mentioned, there’s a ton of folks waiting for the Red Raiders to fall this year, but I’ve already bought into the hype. No defense has even remotely slowed down Harrell or Crabtree and while Bradford and the OU offense can go toe to toe with anyone, I say Tech walks away with a straight up upset. Of course, they may need to score 60 points to win.

Other Notable Games:

Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State, 12:00 PM ET ABC
This could be the worst Michigan-Ohio State matchup in the history of this rivalry. If the Buckeyes don’t beat the Wolverines by more than four touchdowns, Jim Tressel should resign. Michigan has never found a way to stop a mobile quarterback, so Terrelle Pryor should find life pretty easy this week at the Horse Shoe.

Florida State at No. 25 Maryland, 7:45 PM ET
Does any team want to win the ACC? The Terps have provided some great upsets this season, but they don’t seem to fare well when favored. Still, their rushing attack matches up well against a solid Seminole front seven and this is one of the more underrated matchups of the week.

No. 21 Oregon State at Arizona, 7:00 PM ET
The Beavers can still punch a ticket to Pasadena this year, but they’ll need to get past a Wildcat team that gave USC fits a couple weeks ago.

Related Posts