Yikes! There’s a rush to get the old guys back. College football teams are turning to the past to restore glory rather than to the new gun-slinging youngsters. That’s true, at least, at Kansas (Les Miles), North Carolina (Mack Brown) and the rumors are flying out of Lubbock that many Texas Tech alumni want former coach Mike Leach back. Rock on Geriatrics! Less is more for KU.
Leach, currently coaching at Washington State where he has guided them to their fourth straight bowl game, denies that he is interested in the Tech job again. He said: “They didn’t pay me the last time and I’m happy here. They haven’t paid me for 2009, and we won 9 games that year. They haven’t won 9 games since!” Leach is one of my all-time favorite coaches. Always quick with the wit and one-liners. He once told a player, “Son, if you get into a fight don’t take your helmet off. We’re looking for smart football players, not dumb ones!”
A lot of other head coaching jobs have opened up and it will be interesting to see whether this trend to hiring older coaches continues or whether the stampede to the new high-scoring offenses continues. One thing I am sure of is that these coaches that have been out of the game for a while will probably have a little trouble adjusting to how the officials are now calling the game. All three of the above mentioned coaches are strong defensive guys and NCAA rules have been put in place to protect and favor the offensive players. Get used to basketball-style scores!
Never has one team so dominated their opponent in a state championship game as did the Central Plains Oilers in their 52-6 victory over Solomon last Saturday. Solomon ran 24 plays for a net of minus-23 yards. They completed 1 pass for a minus-3 yards. They gained no first downs! Solomon kept adjusting their offense during the game but the Oilers compensated. Coach Steve Tiernan of Solomon said, “It wasn’t like we didn’t try different things but no matter what we did, they had an answer.”
A great win for a great football team but, now, all of a sudden, it’s basketball season and the Oilers have a state championship to defend there as well. It is a quick turnaround as high school play starts this week. Practices must be hectic and interesting in the gymnasium for the Oilers!
— Central Plains is not the only school in the area that is behind on basketball practice time. The Pratt Greenbacks lost in overtime to Sabetha on Saturday and have a basketball game at Larned on Friday evening. Fluid offensive play will probably be hard to come by for coaches of teams that just started practicing this week!
— Kansas is not the only school that is having a hard time attracting fans to fill their football stadium. Last week Duke hosed Wake Forest and at kickoff time there were only a hundred or so fans in the stands. That’s for a Blue Devil team that already had 7 wins too! I think their fans have already shifted to basketball!
— In the last week I watched a lot of football games, both college and professional and I think I saw more bad officiating than at any time in the past. Are the officials getting worse or have the rules-makers added so much stuff, so many controversial penalties, that they have made the guys in the striped shirts vulnerable? Either way, it hurts the game!
— So it is time to shift our interest, our sport from the pigskin to the basketball. Remember the words of James Naismith, the guy who started all of this with a peach basket: “The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was done to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play ‘Drop The Handkerchief!’”
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.