November 15, 2007

Leach was right to criticize

For all the talk about Mike Leach's eccentric personality and his radical offense, when you get down to it, he's a pretty conservative guy. Leach rarely alters his schemes and he has a pronounced affinity for continuity on his coaching staff. Every now and then, however, events anger him to such a degree that he reacts dramatically, forcefully and decisively in the name of improvement.

This has happened twice during the 2007 football season. The first time was after a kidney-wrenching loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in which the Red Raider defense yielded to OSU like the French army facing the golden horde of Genghis Khan. Such was Leach's fury that he canned long-time friend and defensive coordinator, Lyle Setencich. It was a move many of us thought we'd never see.

Leach's most recent explosion came at the expense of Big 12 officials following a series of atrocious and questionable calls that all went against his team and in favor of the homestanding and BCS-aspiring Texas Longhorns.

The extremely cutting and insulting nature of Leach's post-game remarks, combined with the conference's historical intolerance for public criticism guaranteed that Tech's head coach would be punished. And he knew this full well as he delivered his tirade. Verily, he was hit with a 10,000 samolian fine, the equivalent of a twenty-spot for you and me.

But were Leach's criticisms justified? Did they illuminate larger issues in need of resolution? I believe the answer is yes to both questions.

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