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The University of Mississippi football team was back to being the University of Mississippi football team in 2011. Amidst another atrocious season where Ole Miss had fallen to a 2 – 7 record, Rebel Black Bear fans received news that Houston Nutt had been ousted as head coach. After a move that many thought was long overdue, AD Pete Boone begins his coaching search.
Which strategy is Boone using to find his man? The common theme as of late has seemingly been to pursue the up-and-coming young gun offensive or defensive coordinator. There are undoubtedly a few coaches in this category that could do a fine job. However, I think Ole Miss should go a totally different direction with the coaching hire. I think they should go with a man who is already established. He’s a man a little longer in the tooth than a young buck like Dabo Swinney or Will Muschamp, and certainly not nearly as enthusiastic, animated or excitable. He may even be a little rough around the edges with a hardened philosophy, a violent temper, ”don’t ask don’t tell” morals and more than questionable disciplinary ethics. He’s also pretty quirky with a dry demeanor, odd personality and a twisted sense of humor. Furthermore, he never played football past high school and inexplicably earned a law degree with no intentions of pursuing that career path. To top it off, he has an unhealthy obsession with pirates, and he’s Vince Gill’s doppelganger.
“But Roger, who is he and why the hell should this asshole coach at my school?”
This asshole is Mike Goddamn Leach, and he’d be a great fit at Ole Miss. First of all, he’s an offensive guru highly adept to the passing game, a phase of offense Rebel fans haven’t seen executed correctly since the mouth-breathing Manning era. Don’t come at me with that Jevan Snead crap. That lesbian turned out to be awful. Leach’s old Texas Tech offenses could score on anyone, even with inferior talent. In a conference built on a physical, grind it out style of play, Leach’s high-flying offense will be something unfamiliar to the SEC. Leach, an arbiter of the forward pass, would bring an element of excitement to a conference that sometimes needs a little. Aside from the element of excitement that he’d bring, Leach simply belongs in an SEC environment. To put it mildly, Leach likes the sauce. Alright fuck it, he loves the sauce. Taking a guy like Mike Leach from boring Lubbock, TX and throwing him into to the tailgating mecca of Oxford, MS is akin to throwing gasoline on a fire. It’s trouble waiting to happen. The toughest challenge with Leach at Ole Miss would be keeping him away from the Grove pre-game. Wild tailgating, southern belles and bourbon is dangerously up his alley. Just slap an ankle monitor on him every Saturday morning and cut him loose. He’ll wander around but will eventually find his way to the stadium in time to call a great game.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, Mike loathes the Aggies. Texas A&M, an SEC fall 2012 pledge, doesn’t deserve the warm, hazeless welcome they are expecting into the nation’s most elite football conference. They bitched and moaned their way out of the Big XII, and Mike wants to make them pay. Leach would take great pride in hazing the piss out of the Ags like he became accustomed to in the Big XII. I can see a rivalry birth here, as well. A&M loses Texas and Texas Tech as rivals, and Ole Miss just needs a more prominent one. It’s a natural fit.
Ole Miss football hasn’t seen a level of respectability in some time. They need the right guy to get them back there. Heed my advice, and let Coach Mike Leach take y’all on a weird, wild ride back to winning football games and competing for conference titles. If he doesn’t get you back to the win column, he’ll ensure Ole Miss continues to never lose a tailgate.