Leach Is Out At Texas Tech, But Who's In?

↵Texas Tech athletic director Gerry Myers is advised to tread ↵carefully in his search for a new football coach. Tech fans tend to be ↵gun-happy and lawless in the best of times, and most of the fanbase is ↵solidly on the side of the deposed Mike Leach. ↵

↵

↵Bizarrely, Baylor head coach Art Briles has shot down rumors he might leave, which is probably ↵the first time in the history of the Baylor football program that the ↵head coach has discouraged interest in a move. So he's out. Your ↵options, then: ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵The retread. Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, ↵last seen unenthusiastically participating in every defensive ↵coordinator rumor mill across the South, has been sufficiently roused from his torpor to express an ↵interest in the job: ↵

↵
↵⇥"I'd be interested in visiting with them," Tuberville said. "I ↵⇥haven't had any contact yet with anyone down there." ↵
↵

↵That's close-ish to the right geographic footprint for Tuberville's ↵recruiting, but since the reason Tuberville is available was his ↵spectacularly ill-fated decision to hire spread guru Tony Franklin*, ↵Texas Tech's signature aerial bombing style would be an uncomfortable ↵fit. And if Tuberville wants to bring along the offensive ↵assistants/anchors that sunk his ship at Auburn, surely Tech would ↵politely decline. Tommy's got an open mind, though: ↵

↵
↵⇥"It'd be crazy to change it,'' he said. "That's a trademark ↵⇥of Texas Tech now. It's helped put them on the map. It's helped in ↵⇥recruiting, I've noticed. Mike's had a good chance of getting ↵⇥quarterbacks and receivers to come there - in the past, (Tech) wasn't ↵⇥able to get them. We've run a lot of the spread over the years, and I'm ↵⇥very familiar with it.'' ↵
↵"We've run a lot of spread over the years" may be a dirty, ↵gritted-teeth lie (or "marketing") but it is an indication ↵that Tuberville will bend over backwards for the opportunity. Tech, as ↵of yet, has not bitten.
↵
↵UPDATE: Tuberville reportedly is interviewing Tuesday on the Tech campus in Lubbock.
↵

↵The Vegas wedding. AKA the Bill Stewart: in the ↵aftermath of an emotional bowl victory, the interim head coach is ↵promoted to the head job and surrounded by expensive assistants you ↵allow him to hire once you sober up and grimly consider the damage done. ↵

↵

↵The man in this case would be spectacularly-named Texas Tech ↵defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. McNeill has the dual advantages of ↵not being a special teams coach and not looking like the mayor of ↵Mayberry, but his resume is seriously thin. He's been a position coach ↵for 23 years and fell into the DC job at Texas Tech after the previous ↵guy stepped down due to "personal reasons" after a 49-45 loss ↵to Oklahoma State. He was the interim guy and got the job; if he got the ↵head job at Texas Tech he would be the Gerald Ford of football coaches. ↵

↵

↵Also the guy has no game: ↵

↵
↵⇥During 30-minute news conference Wednesday, McNeill said he was ↵⇥"very interested" in the job with a "double yes with ↵⇥exclamation marks." ↵
↵

↵Someone hook that guy up with the cast of Jersey Shore ↵stat. ↵

↵

↵Meanwhile, Stewart's not exactly disproving the widespread criticism ↵of his hiring, riding Pat White's senior season to a Meineke Car Care Bowl ↵victory. This year West Virginia went 9-3 again but managed to lose to a ↵6-6 Florida State team with no business in the Gator Bowl. Ace recruiter ↵and assistant head coach Doc Holliday, one of the expensive assistants ↵brought int to keep the ship afloat, has just taken the head job at ↵Marshall. If Tech continues to experience success after this ↵hypothetical hire, how long before the offensive coordinator gets hired ↵elsewhere? ↵

↵

↵The Luke Skywalker. I guess this requires Spike ↵Dykes to be Darth Vader, but other than that it's pretty apt: Sonny ↵Dykes is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at ↵Arizona. He's the son of Texas Tech legend Spike Dykes, a current ↵Broyles award nominee, and spent seven years learning the Air Raid under ↵Leach. He's a weird hybrid of a return to Tech's old culture and a ↵continuation of its current one. ↵

↵

↵A problem: Arizona was just shut out in ugly fashion by Nebraska and ↵finished this year 58th in total offense and 61st in scoring offense ↵despite the benefit of a 2OT game against Oregon. For what it's worth, ↵they did have an unusually tough schedule with nine Pac-10 conference ↵games, a road game against Iowa and a home game against MAC champion ↵and fringe top 25 team Central Michigan. In 2008, though, the Cats were ↵8-5 and finished 33rd in total yards, and 16th in scoring. ↵

↵

↵The Usual. I.e. pick off a high-performing head coach ↵from a local smaller conference. In this case it's Houston head coach ↵Kevin Sumlin getting the most attention. Sumlin just had an explosive ↵year with Case Keenum that saw the Cougars notch wins over Oklahoma ↵State and Tech itself en route to finishing 1st in passing and total ↵offense and second in scoring offense. Houston was the only team in the ↵country pass-happier than Tech. ↵

↵

↵Sumlin didn't overlap with Leach at Oklahoma, but he has ↵experience with the system, clearly enjoys the whole idea of going ↵"guns up" and has made Houston one of the better teams in ↵Conference USA. He's also just 45. He's only got two years of head ↵coaching experience and just two years as a "co-OC" at ↵Oklahoma, though, and so may be a bit green for a Big 12 job. Not that ↵the rest of the names on this list other than Tuberville have more ↵experience. ↵

↵

↵*(Franklin was undermined from day one at Auburn and fired midseason; ↵when I attended the Auburn-LSU game in the halcyon early days of the ↵Franklin regime one elderly fan in our proximity had a series of tiny ↵conniption fits, each one prompted by the Tigers going no-huddle and ↵then looking to the sideline for a play call. Auburn fans were not ↵receptive to new-fangled trickery, to say the least. Lord knows what ↵that guy must think about Gus Malzahn's wild, motion- and ↵misdirection-heavy glorified high school sets. Probably something about ↵cranberry juice.) ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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