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Friday mail: Would Mike Leach be a good choice for Washington?

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Brandon from Olympia, Wash., writes: Hey ted, with the pac-10 down right now, do you think that creates a good circumstance for a top-caliber coach like mike leach or gary pinkel to come to udub? my thought here is that the pac10 in general is in need of a shakeup and a guy like mike leach with an aggressive offense would definitely provide that shakeup. the huskies won't stay down forever.
Ted Miller: I find myself charmed of late by the idea of Mike Leach becoming Washington's coach. Why? It would be interesting. That offense! That quirky personality!

Seattle, as you and I know, Brandon, loves quirky (so does Olympia, for that matter).

I don't know Leach, but a number of my colleagues think he hung the moon, at least in terms of being a unique personality among football coaches.

I think Leach would be a good choice.

And so would Boise State's Chris Petersen ...


Dave from Seattle writes: You wrote this in your last chat: JIM, Birmingham: USC has more talent than anyone...TRUE!!! Talent alone doesn't make you the best team. Neither does draft picks and five-star recruits, just ask Ohio State! Ted Miller: I agree Jim... which is why --- and I guess folks don't listen to this part -- I've repeatedly said I believe a one-loss SEC and Big 12 team and unbeaten Penn State deserve to be ahead of USC if that's how things end up.

Why does a one loss UF team, who lost at home to a very average Ole Miss team, get a pass over USC, who lost on the road to a team contending for the Pac10 Championship? Please don't say strength of schedule in an over-rated SEC. Look at their non-conf schedule compared to USC's.....

Ted Miller: Dave, you are correct about one thing. The SEC was WAY overrated in terms of depth. The SEC has three very good teams: Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The rest range from mediocre to bad, and most SEC fans recognize that at this point.
That said: How else are we to make a distinction between one-loss teams other than what they have accomplished during the season?

If Florida ends up with one loss after playing Georgia, LSU, Florida State and Alabama in the SEC title game, that's just a better resume than what USC could offer (Ohio State, Oregon, California, Virginia and Notre Dame).

And you will never hear me tweak Florida for its nonconference scheduling. The Gators play Florida State every year. Sure, the Seminoles are down (for now), but they certainly aren't scheduled as a patsy.

Would I pick Florida to beat USC if they played on a neutral field for the title? Heck no. Few would.

But teams like Florida and Texas, if they finished with one loss, would simply have better resumes than USC.

Doesn't make them better, but it makes them more deserving of a title shot.


Tyler from Some Place in Oregon, writes: Ive got one thing i want to ask. I want to know why every year i watch my team Oregon State be ranked in the bottom half of the pac and still every year they win atleast one huge game and finish in atleast the top three in the pac 10. Rankings single handedly shut this program down by never giving them a shot and always making them work way harder than a school forty miles away in University of Oregon. If there is such a thing as program discrimination this is definitely the case for Oregon State

Ted Miller: It's the Great Beaver Conspiracy!

Let's look at this.

I picked Oregon State sixth in the Pac-10 in the preseason. Wrote this: "The Beavers boast nice stables of running backs and receivers and an experienced secondary. But they've got issues up front on both sides of the ball and a quarterback competition in which neither played well in 2007. Their track record says they'll exceed preseason expectations, but the question marks on the depth chart cancel that leap of faith."

That still doesn't embarrass me (and trust me, I've been embarrassed by my preseason picks plenty of times).

Oregon State opened with a loss at Stanford. At the time, Stanford was still Stanford and not this new power-running team with bowl hopes. It hurt the Beavers Q-rating.

But not as much as a 45-14 loss at then-No. 19 Penn State. Sure, Penn State is now a national title contender. We certainly didn't know that then.

So, yeah, the Beavers fell off the map.

Then they shocked the nation by beating -- physically whipping -- USC.

If they had followed that up with a win at Utah, they'd presently be ranked, probably in the top-15.

But they blew it in the fourth quarter and recorded their third loss.

Since then, the Beavers have beaten Washington State, Washington and Arizona State. Combined record: 3-22.

Moreover, how many ranked teams have three losses?

If the Beavers win their next two games -- UCLA and Cal -- I strongly suspect the Beavers will enter the national rankings.

But some may want to wait until they win the Rose Bowl, just to make sure.


Adam from Bothell, Wash., writes: Doesn't Paul Wulff deserve some of the blame for what is happening? Being a bad football team was expected, but not in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine a team, let alone my team, being this awful.

Ted Miller: Absolutely.

In the preseason, I, just like nearly everyone else -- other than my friends over at the WSU Football Blog -- picked the Cougs last in the Pac-10.

But I never imagined they'd su... er, stink this badly.

Wulff is the Cougars coach. So this is happening on his watch. He's produced no first-year coach magic. But, more damning, his team hasn't improved and appears to be waving a white flag on its season.

Still, Wulff inherited a bad team. He deserves some patience as he tried to make his vision work.

Remember, Coug fans: You guys aren't supposed to dump coaches like that program on the western side of the state.


Marcus from Brooklyn writes: I'm a worried USC fan. Please make me feel better. Ever since Tedford has gotten to Cal, Cal has become our biggest rival. They beat us in 2003 and should have won in 2004 with Aaron Rodgers. In 2006 and 2007, the games were very competitive, but we hung on and won. The only year we beat them soundly was 2005 when they had that terrible QB, b/c Longshore was injured. I have a bad feeling they're going to beat us this year and we'll end up in the Holiday or Vegas bowl...

Ted Miller: You're really this worried? This should make you feel better -- got it in an email from ESPN's College Football Research Team:

  • USC has won 4 straight vs Cal and hasn't lost at home to Cal since 2000.

  • Under coach Jeff Tedford, Cal is 0-for-LA. Tedford is 0-3 at USC and 0-3 at UCLA.

  • USC coach Pete Carroll is 24-0 in November.

  • USC is really, really, really good. Cal is only good.