In which we hereby evaluate the stock price of the S.S. Leach, a maritime property currently owned by landlubbing investors in Lubbock, Texas, but likely on sale within the next year in an IPO or sudden hostile takeover. All investing advice is exactly that: advice. As with any investment, returns may vary, unless we're talking about Chan Gailey, who is scientifically proven to yield an exact 7-5 record every year over a 20 year period.
Year in profile: Stock price peaked dramatically on 11/8 with a 56-20 stripping of Oklahoma State, taking the team to 10-0 in the hottest heat of the Great Big 12 South Bubble of 2008. Leach was saluted as a genius come full blossom, and found his minions pollinating press posies with prodigious praise prodigiously:
But if he had gone to say, U.S.C., 10 years ago and installed his system there, it would be comical. He would score every time - and he would have a defense by default because he would get great athletes.
Bubbl'd. The proclamations of a Leachian Annus Mirabilis proved premature: while Texas Tech ran out to their best record ever and beat number one Texas in the process, the remainder of the year fell under the shadow of as dramatic a pantsing as could be envisioned. We speak, of course, of the Nutcrush at Norman.
Losing 65-21 on national television qualified as a dramatic market correction, but especially so for the Red Raiders' vaunted line, comprised of Mankind, The Burrito Tower, and many men with many nicknames that all evaporated into a uniform moniker of "Speed Bump." Texas Tech looked both out-hustled and out-coached, a combination sending Texas Tech's stock price plummeting as the bubble began to burst.
Double-bubbl'd. The full correction came in the Cotton Bowl when Tech was run roughshod by Ole Miss, the by-proxy national champion, in a 47-31 brawl following pattern for all Texas Tech losses: abundant points topped by being outmuscled by the other team at the line of scrimmage and bleeding out on defense despite new ownership, new attitude, pardon our mess, try our new flavor, blah blah blah.
Outlook: A case of things changing and remaining the same. We remain convinced that a coach puts together one kind of team and is incapable of doing much else. Though he may have the excuse of working with "scraps" of recruiting, Leach's teams remain indifferent on defense and prone to losing games to anyone with an edge along the lines. (Football nostrums 101, yes, but what of the "it-doesn't-matter-because-the-scheme-cures-all" argument?)
It gets worse for Leach when you consider the timing of his current contract tiff. With all the major coaching jobs full, Leach is now locked into Texas Tech for the foreseeable future. He's a lousy interview--okay, not lousy, but he's weird, and that scares the Muggles a bit too much for their own good--and tends to commit the cardinal sin of saying whatever he thinks. (Again, a great and unique trait disparaged by the tiny dwarf-minds of the universe.)
Current stock outlook: Bear-ish. Right, now, Leach is a financial services stock. Capable of great heights, but stuck in a deep rut created of circumstances not entirely under his control. Like any good pirate, capable of striking with flair on a hot streak, and then scuttling his own good fortune when lined up head to head with a ship of the line. Caveat emptor.