If the rumors are true, Mike Leach is back in charge of a college football team, and suddenly 2011 has just become a little bit better.
Mike Leach will - according to ESPN - be named the coach of Washington State rather soon, despite the vast improvement in 2011 of Paul Wulff's Cougars.
Mind you, the word "improvement" is something of a misnomer for Wulff, who's Cougars managed just nine wins in - get this - four seasons. They were so bad that even New Mexico State and New Mexico had valid arguments about who was the worst side in football. And ESPN.com "The Bottom 10"was Wazzu real estate.
But while Leach probably won't do anything in the short term (we're not expecting WSU to be bowl-worthy in 2012), we do expect some better things - especially on offence. Leach's Texas Tech teams were synonymous with the terms "Throw the ball" and "Scare the Hell out of defences", and he could put good wide receivers in the pros - look at Michael Crabtree for example. We expect Washington State to take little bits of recruiting away from Washington, Oregon and Oregon State, and maybe even compete in California too - despite the presence of Stanford and some school called USC.
The biggest problem for Leach might be recognition. You can be sure that ESPN's not going to make a huge effort in Leach's direction (because Craig James - the man who helped to get him fired at Texas Tech for allegedly confining his son into a small, dark place after he sustained a concussion) is so well installed at the Bristol table), and they OWN college football. Nor are the writers after the first few games. Washington State's been off the map for years, and probably will be from years to come.
Personally, we'd love Gameday to come up to Pullman next year - if anything so we can get a break from the now-monotonous trips to Autzen!