Thursday, December 1, 2011
3-point stance: Good fit for Leach
By Ivan Maisel
1. It’s not a surprise that Mike Leach ended up at Washington State. It’s a surprise that it took so long for the two of them to find one another. Leach is an iconoclast who is most comfortable when he is off the beaten path. Pullman makes Lubbock look like Times Square. Mike Price lasted only five months when he left Washington State for Alabama because he went from zero scrutiny to a fishbowl. Leach can be his own very different man with the Cougars. The fans will love him for it as long as the team is respectable.
2. The key to Bedlam on Saturday night in Stillwater just may be whether anyone scores quickly. No. 3 Oklahoma State leads the FBS with 20 touchdown drives of one minute or less, according to the geeks at ESPN Stats & Information. No. 10 Oklahoma is fourth with 16. Part of the threat of the spread offense is its any-given-play nature. If a defense breaks down in one place on one play, it still could mean 6 points. But you have to think it won’t happen to these two defenses. They see it every day in practice.
3. I am very curious about the attendance at the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday night. The league began by having the higher-ranked of the division champions serve as host. It appears to be good business and an extra reward for regular-season play. The strategy also will avoid the empty seats that conferences not named the SEC have had to deal with at their championship games. The inaugural Big Ten Championship Game at the neutral site of Indianapolis doesn’t appear as if it will sell out.