With all of the discussion on Mike Leach and the controversy surrounding him at Washington State, I've started to wonder what would have happened if we'd hired him instead of Edsall. It seems to me that Wazzu is facing problems with their football program that are uncannily similar to the problems we faced last year, and that there is one big similarity between Edsall and Leach: they both like to do things "their way." Furthermore, their problems seem worse, since Marquess Wilson left the team in the middle of the season, citing abuse by Mike Leach and his staff. There are, of course some differences in where each program is coming from. Under Ralph Friedgen, we were at best an average ACC team, whereas Washington State was by far in worse shape under Paul Wulff than Maryland was under the past regime. So, now a question: would the 2011 season and the off season immediately following it have been any better under Mike Leach? I think there are four key areas surrounding this hypothetical:
- The team's performance during the 2011 season: we all know how what happened on the field last year, Washington State is 2-8, with wins coming against Eastern Washington and UNLV.
- Locker room morale and departures: would "Gossett State Penitentiary" happen under Mike Leach? Allegations of abuse by coaches are huge, moreover it seems like Mike Leach is trying to build a better-disciplined team at Washington State. Furthermore, would we lose as many players? One could argue that a player's departure during the season is much more worse than a player transferring once the season is over.
- Public relations: neither Mike Leach nor Randy Edsall are known for their PR skills. Would a terrible season and its aftermath under Leach create the PR nightmare it did under Edsall?
- The changes made going into the 2012 season: we all know that Edsall made some important changes coming into this season. Recruiting picked up and went in a direction that we're all excited about. Edsall changed his coaching staff and brought in better assistant coaches. Would Mike Leach have done the same? Would he have been as enthusiastic about Maryland Pride or the "Keep it Local" movement that has started here at Maryland?
Your input is greatly appreciated. While I never wanted Edsall as head coach to begin with (College sophomore kbuts151 wanted Mike Leach badly) he's done some good work improving the program; I believe if we didn't have the injuries we have now we would have been a much better team this year, and what we really need now is to overcome our youth and inexperience in order to become a good team.