Playing The Long Game, Mike Leach Uncorks Leachian Playoff Diatribe

Playing The Long Game, Mike Leach Uncorks Leachian Playoff Diatribe


Playing The Long Game, Mike Leach Uncorks Leachian Playoff Diatribe

Eccentric Washington State coach Mike Leach, whose 6-0 team is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll, knows for dang sure what’s going to happen at the end of the year if Washington State is one of, say, five or six teams in contention for a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff (which still sounds like a placeholder name).

And so Leach blessed us all with a lengthy and acidic rant about the postseason system in major-college football, and how it compares to the systems used in football at literally every other level, below or above.

Leach has said some strange things over the years. A personal favorite was the time in 2009 when he sent quarterback Trevor Potts onto the field wearing “Nick” on the back of his jersey, and then explained he did it because of his admiration for a former Kansas linebacker, Nick Reid, who hadn’t played since 2005.

But nothing Leach says in that playoff rant is strange at all. The College Football Playoff, as it is, is just a tease. It’s just sitting there begging to be expanded to eight, then 16 teams, theoretically quadrupling the number of people excited about it without watering the whole thing down. Sixteen teams. That’s the number as far as I’m concerned.

But anyway there are only going to be four teams in it this year, and Leach is playing the long game, politically. There are seven undefeated teams ranked above the undefeated Cougars and five undefeated teams ranked lower than the Cougars — No. 11 Miami (4-0), No. 18 South Florida (5-0), No. 19 San Diego State (6-0), No. 22 UCF (4-0), and No. 25 Navy (5-0). The ranks of the undefeated will, obviously, thin as the season goes on.

But Washington State is going to have a decent look at the CFP. It doesn’t face another ranked team until November 4th, when it hosts Stanford, the finishes the season with a pair of road games, at Utah on Nov. 11, and at No. 5 Washington on Nov. 25. That game is shaping up to be a whopper, and if both teams continue down the path they’re on, there’s a pretty good chance the winner gets in, and the loser is left out.

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