It’s not often I like to source rival media outlets, but a recent CBS Sports story indicated that former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, when asked, said he would be interested in the Minnesota coaching gig.
“I’m in a position to listen to anybody,” said Leach.
Currently, Leach is employed by CBS as a college football analyst. He is also still dealing with a lawsuit against Texas Tech, claiming wrongful termination.
Leach certainly had great success in Lubbock, but let’s not forget some key drawbacks to hiring the Air Raid guru.
1) Leach is, in fact, suing his old employer.
Wrongful termination or not, Leach is telling future potential universities that he has no problem taking them to the cleaners. A former law student, Leach knows the legal system. That still doesn’t give him a right to use it at his discretion. Bottom line: there are simply better ways to handle being released than the way Leach did.
It doesn’t matter whether Leach locked/put/told/gently led Adam James in to a closet/storage shed/luxury suite. The public perception is that Leach was involved in a player abuse scandal and when Leach walks into a recruit’s living room, he’s going to have to answer to that more often than not.
2) Spread offenses are cool, but Minnesota is cold.
There are a lot of people who get on the Big Ten because they play football like it’s 1937, but believe it or not, there’s a reason. It’s freaking cold up north. Sure, it’s possible the Air Raid could work at Minnesota, but come late November, it’s doubtful throwing the ball 50 times a game will be an effective scheme.
Look at the successful teams in the Big Ten. Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa all run a pro style offense. Penn State has transitioned smoothly to a more spread-like offense, but the Nittany Lions are still balanced with Evan Royster leading that rushing attack.
When was the last time Purdue won a Big Ten title with their spread attack?
3) Leach’s recruiting style just doesn’t fit the bill.
Leach recruits kids who fit his system. Leach does not recruit defense. In Texas, every high school runs the spread. Up north? My guess is not so much. Sure, Minnesota is able to nab a kid or two here and there from Texas, but that’s not enough to sustain an offense that meets Leach’s demands. The spread is found in warm weather states. Michigan, with its national recruiting base, is able to get those kids that fit Rich Rodriguez‘s system. Minnesota does not have that luxury, nor the budget.
Minnesota might be desperate enough to offer Leach the job, anyway. Athletic director Joel Maturi has claimed the university has the budget to get who they want (just not Tony Dungy), but it’s going to take more than money to put together a winning program at Minnesota.
Minneapolis is a tough place to win and history has the evidence to back it up. The Golden Gophers have not won at least a share of the Big Ten since 1967.