Social Media Loved Mike Leach, But Will Mississippi State?
Mike Leach is the new coach at Mississippi State. He'll bring his unique brand of whatever it is to the SEC. This makes three stops on his tour to towns that are decidedly Mike Leach-esque. Lubbock. Pullman. Starkville. It sounds like the tentpole shows of a roots rock band with problematic politics.
But there he will be. Rivals with Lane Kiffin. The Egg Bowl somehow got even more intriguing than a game-altering urination celebration.
Throughout his career Leach has been an offensive guru. He's also struggled to get over the hump from good to great. At Washington State, his Apple Cup performances were rotten.
Competing in the SEC West is a tall order. If Leach pulls this off, it will be an impressive feat -- one not seen since, uh, Dan Mullen had a No. 1 ranked Bulldogs team.
Time will tell.
Time will tell if Mississippi State made a mistake using crowdsourcing for its big hire. Because they -- and some other universities -- did.
It's no surprise that Leach did so well with the focus groups. Remember all those viral clips. Remember all the goofiness. Remember the time he stepped in it with the fake Barack Obama video. The guy has everything Mississippi could want.
In practice, this method is a bit different in new. But it's basically the same thing as hiring a person with hopes the fanbase and general public will like it/believe it was a wise decision. It's just easier to collect data -- albeit not terribly reliable data -- now than it was in the past.
Considering all the money and public relations at stake, it seems silly not to do this due diligence in the future. Programs should be leery of turning the coaching carousel into American Idol or reliant on a thumbs-up emoji, of course, but a little toe dip into the online waters can't hurt.