YouTube Acquires NFL Sunday Ticket Streaming Rights

By: @OOSSports

12/22/22

YouTube Acquires NFL Sunday Ticket Rights

By: OutOfSightSports

12/22/22

YouTube Acquires NFL Sunday Ticket Streaming Rights

Following indications that the sale of the NFL Sunday Ticket package was nearing completion on Wednesday, the league made it official on Thursday by confirming that Google’s YouTube has purchased the service’s broadcasting rights.

The New York Times previously reported that the deal is anticipated to be worth $2.5 billion per year, a substantial increase over the $1.5 billion DirecTV had been paying.

“We’re excited to bring NFL Sunday Ticket to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels and usher in a new era of how fans across the United States watch and follow the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated. Goodell also added,

“For a number of years we have been focused on increased digital distribution of our games and this partnership is yet another example of us looking towards the future and building the next generation of NFL fans.”

NFL Sunday Ticket is a sports package that broadcasts NFL regular-season games that are not accessible on local affiliates. After spending years on satellite television, the new contract puts the package into the streaming realm for the first time. The multiyear contract’s length is currently unknown.

YouTube will stream the bundle as a subscription service via YouTube TV as an add-on package and YouTube Primetime channels. Sunday Ticket will be available to customers as a premium service at a cost similar to what DirecTV currently costs. DirecTV currently has around 1.5 million Sunday Ticket subscribers as of this writing.

6 Eye-Catching Prospects From the 2022 NBA G-League Winter Showcase

12/22/22

By: @OOSSports

6 Eye-Catching Prospects From the 2022 NBA G-League Winter Showcase

The four-day NBA G League Winter Showcase concluded on Thursday, bringing together a vast array of team executives and front office personnel. Annually, the event acts as a proving ground for G League prospects, a testing ground for new rules (this year, the league experimented with a fourth-quarter, target-score rule), and a gathering place for teams to discuss trades as well as other business.

In the context of the 2023 draft, the major attraction at the Showcase was G League Ignite, who were without Scoot Henderson on Tuesday (he is nearing a recovery after a concussion and nose injury suffered in late November). The other notable draft-eligible player was NBA Academy Africa guard Thierry Serge Darlan, who had abundant opportunity to showcase himself to teams this week between two Academy scrimmages and games against prep school teams at the neighboring Tarkanian Classic.

Tuesday’s absence of Henderson was disappointing, but the game presented a helpful evaluation benchmark for the Ignite’s prospects. With that being said, here are my key observations from the past few days of watching the showcase.

Leonard Miller, F

Based on what we’ve seen thus far this season, Miller appears to have the strongest shot at being the next Ignite prospect drafted following Henderson. The concern is what range that actually ends up becoming, as the variety of outcomes for him remains quite wide. With some eye-catching box score lines, he’s been fairly effective while playing a lot of minutes early in the season. This is a good sign that he can produce at this level even though he doesn’t fully understand everything. Miller didn’t play well at the Showcase on Tuesday, shooting a poor 3-of-13 from the field, but he managed to pull down 14 rebounds. He’s still a ways away from developing into the decision-maker he can be and a dependable shooter, which are both vital aspects of enjoying a long and lucrative career in the league.

Mojave King, G

To this point in the season, the 20-year-old King has started to come into his own, playing starter minutes and turning in a number of strong performances as well as some erratic ones. He has the athletic profile to be a 3-and-D type wing, but doesn’t quite possess the creative ability and confidence to be more than that yet. King fights and executes the tiny things well, similar to Australian prospects we have seen in the past. He has the capability to be a perfect role player. But he’ll need to be a lot more effective to get there, and that’s still in the air at the time. In the spring, we will most likely be talking about King in the same category as second round/two-way type of prospects.

Efe Abogidi, F

Abogidi became a member of the Ignite after two solid seasons at Washington State, and he was previously a member of the NBA’s Global Academy program and NBA Academy Africa. Now that he’s back in the NBA with Ignite, he’ll be fighting for a two-way contract and perhaps a bid at being a second-round pick.

Abogidi practing with the NBA’s Global Academy program

While he’s not a physically intimidating player for his size, he’s been efficient and productive in his minutes, rebounding with a motor, protecting the basket effectively, and showing the ability to knock down occasional jumpers. He didn’t accomplish much on Tuesday and may get lost in the flow of a game at times. But there are tools here to work on here for the forward that are fixable and give him quite more potential than what appears on the surface.

London Johnson, G

Johnson, who is 18, will compete for Ignite for the next two seasons before becoming eligible for the 2024 draft. One silver lining to Henderson’s absence was getting to watch Johnson play starter’s minutes for Ignite, where the point guard impressed with his poise and defensive effort. He looked quite comfortable at the G League level for a player who was in high school less than a year ago, which serves as a strong indicator of his NBA future.

Babacar Sané, F

Sane, a 19-year old native of Senegal, joined the Ignite in late October as a student of NBA Academy Africa. His physical frame at 6′ 6″, 194, is huge for his potential and future draft stock. His broad shoulders and excellent measurements for a wing give him potential scouts just cannot overlook.

Sané is still getting accustomed to playing at this level, as the game moves a little fast for him a lot of the time, but he fought hard on Tuesday and possesses the qualities that should earn him a serious look from NBA teams. He is still not ready for the NBA yet, and hasn’t made much of an impact on a regular basis, but it’ll be fascinating to see how he has developed as a player at the finish of the season.

Thierry Serge Darlan, G

Darlan, who has been widely perceived as the best prospect to come out of Africa (though for context, the historical bar there is not particularly high) is contemplating what to do next season. The guard has the options of joining the Ignite and playing in college, but he is draft-eligible as well.

Darlan is still learning his feel for guard position and also had a few mishaps in the tournament, but there are a lot of exciting parts to his game: he is a superb athlete, a talented passer, defends his position well, and plays with a PASSIONATE enthusiasm at all times. If he is placed in a great developmental environment, his game has the potential to take off, and it is clear that he has a future in the NBA.

New Orleans Bowl: WKU vs South Alabama │ Preview and BEST BET │12/21/22

12/21/22

By @OOSSports

New Orleans Bowl: WKU vs South Alabama │ Preview and BEST BET │12/21/22

The Sun Belt has won five consecutive games over Conference USA in the New Orleans Bowl, and I anticipate that streak will resume tonight. Perhaps most importantly, the line has dropped from South Alabama -9 to South Alabama -3.5.

S. Alabama Senior DB Keith Galmon Jr

Western Kentucky’s second-ranked passing offense (339 yards per game) will face South Alabama’s 12th-ranked defense unit, which has shut down damn near everyone. The Cougars went 10-2, dropping 10-6 to Troy and 32-31 to UCLA in their two losses. This season, WKU was an underdog three times and lost all three. The Hilltoppers have lost five players, notably their top receiver, second-leading tackler, two offensive linemen, and two defensive backs as well, all who have gone through the portal or declared for the draft. South Alabama has won five games in a row and is expected to be at full power. I’m taking South Alabama to cover.

Why?

South Alabama is competing for its first bowl title only in its third-ever appearance. In 2014, the Jaguars competed for the Camellia Bowl but ended up falling to Bowling Green, 33-28. The program also played in the Arizona Bowl in 2016, but lost to Air Force 45-21. This is the first winning season the program has had since joining the FBS in 2012. Capturing the program’s first bowl trophy would be the cherry on top of what has already been a phenomenal season for the Cougars.

The Pick: South Alabama -3.5

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Billionaire Mortgage Lender Mat Ishbia Finalizes Purchase of Suns

By: OutOfSightSports

12/21/22

Billionaire Mortgage Lender Mat Ishbia Finalizes Purchase of Suns

Detroit native and billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia has completed the acquisition of the Phoenix Suns for a record-setting $4 billion, resulting in the most expensive purchase ever including an NBA franchise.

Ishbia with Tom Brady

The old record was set in 2019 when Joe Tsai acquired the Nets for a sum of $2.35 billion. The purchase of Ishbia represents an official exit from the position held by Robert Sarver.

The purchase includes not just the Suns but also the Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Tuesday evening, the franchise issued a statement in which it stated that the transaction also includes, “more than 50% ownership of the team including all of Robert Sarver’s interest and a portion of the interest of minority partners.”

Ishbia was referred to be the “right leader to build on the franchise legacies of winning” by Sarver, who also stated that Ishbia will “shepherd” both teams into the next phase.

“Matt [Ishbia] has exactly the right spirit, commitment and resources to pursue championships,” the statement read. “Equally important, though, is his philanthropic outlook and commitment to using sports as a way to elevate and connect people. I know he shared unwavering support for women’s basketball and I look forward to watching him become a unifying force across the Valley of the Sun.”

According to Wojnarowski’s report, Justin Ishbia, Mat Ishbia’s brother and a founding partner of Shore Capital, is also making a significant investment in the Suns. He is going to take on the role of the franchise’s alternate governor.

After being found guilty of workplace misconduct and given a one-year suspension along with a $10 million fine, Sarver made the decision in September to sell both the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury. This decision came after a league investigation found that Sarver had engaged in inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

Disgraced ex-Suns owner Robert Sarver

According to the findings of the investigation, Sarver had used the n-word a minimum of five times “when recounting the statements of others” while serving as the active owner of the Suns and Mercury, The investigation also discovered that Sarver behaved in an unacceptable manner with employees on a consistent basis, including, “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” which included “sex-related comments,” the NBA said in a statement. The disgraced owner did not just target women though, “inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.” was found as well.

In November 2021, ESPN released accounts from over 70 current and former Suns employees that outlined a poisonous workplace climate under Sarver that was both racist and misogynistic. The environment was described as being in existence while Sarver was in charge of the Suns. These examples included descriptions of times when Sarver used the n-word, such as when he said he hired Lindsey Hunter as head coach in 2013 rather than Dan Majerle because of his “black” background.

In spite of the results of the investigation, the league came to the conclusion that Sarver’s actions were not “motivated by racial or gender-based animus.”

Mat Ishbia, the current Chief Executive Officer of United Wholesale Mortgage, is a former college basketball player who studied at Michigan State University from 1998 to 2002. He was a part of 3 consecutive squads that reached the Final Four, and in 2000, he won the national championship with Tom Izzo and the Spartans.

Wojnarowski claims that Ishbia has maintained a tight relationship with Tom Izzo, his former coach at Michigan State, and had previously made a commitment of $32 million to the men’s basketball team at Michigan State.

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Steelers @ Panthers Week 15: Key Takeaways, Points and What We Saw

By: OutOfSightSports

Sunday 12/18/22

Steelers @ Panthers Week 15: Key Takeaways, Points and What We Saw

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers by setting the tone from kickoff on. With a 6-8 record and a road victory against Carolina, Pittsburgh’s AFC North title chances are dead, but a wild-card berth is still a slim possibility. Their ability to control and play the game at their own tempo was demonstrated by the Steelers’ 21-play drive to begin the second half, which occupied most of the third quarter. Pittsburgh tallied 91 yards and extended their advantage to 21-7 with a TD. The seven-pass, 14-run series was the longest in terms of plays and time of possession of any NFL team this season. Neither a block in the back nor a Diontae Johnson taunting penalty were able to derail it. It was also the Steelers’ longest possession in terms of plays and time since at least 2000. The Panthers rallied with 10 consecutive points to tie the game, and the Steelers’ several second-half penalties assisted them. But that one Steelers drive was enough to finish off the Panthers.

Carolina has seemed to drift away from their recent competitive play. The Panthers entered the game having won three of their past four games, and with legitimate aspirations of looking to win the NFC South crown, while the Buccaneers are continuing to struggle to put away their opponents. The Panthers’ recent success has been largely due to the run game and their situational defense, neither of which were visible on Sunday. They ran the ball 16 times for a season-low 21 yards. Interestingly, the Panthers abandoned their heavy-package run plays as indicated by the attempts, employing it on only a few of snaps in the first half, which was surprising given its success in previous games. The preceding three games, Carolina’s defense on third downs has been improved significantly, allowing only 35.8% of third-down conversions. Sunday? The Steelers were effective on 12 of their first 15 third-down attempts. This is how you lose a home game with significant stakes to Mitchell Trubisky.

NBA Free Value Pick 12/17/22

By: @OOSSports

12/17/22

NBA Free Value Pick 12/17/22

NBA | DALLAS @ CLEVELAND | 12/17 | 8:00 PM EST

These two teams competed against each other on Wednesday in Dallas, and the Cavaliers emerged victorious with a 15-point win.

The size of the Cavs creates significant matchup issues up top for the Mavericks, and things are really not expected to get any easier for them as Maxi Kleber (hamstring) and Dwight Powell (thigh) are both likely to miss the game due to injuries. When you combine this information with the fact that the Cavaliers have a record of 11-3-1 against the spread at home, you can see why they have a favorable chance of delivering another decisive victory.

The Pick: Cleveland -8.5 (-110)

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#4 Alabama vs #15 Gonzaga: What to watch for, where to stream, and key points going into this Top 25 matchup

By: OutOfSightSports

Date: 12/16/22

#4 Alabama vs #15 Gonzaga: What to watch for, where to stream, and key points going into this Top 25 matchup

The Alabama Crimson Tide will take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Courtney Cox Arena in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow at 1 pm ET on CBS.

Alabama is playing their third straight opponent ranked among the top 15 teams in the country in #15 Gonzaga. Alabama is one of only two teams in the country, along with Arizona, to have three victories over teams ranked in the top 25 as well.

Brandon Miller of Alabama is currently dropping the most points per game for a freshman this year in the country, averaging 18.5 points while also pulling down 8.4 rebounds a game. A year ago, when these two squads played against each other in Seattle, the Crimson Tide emerged victorious. The Zags have a record of 6-1 versus teams ranked in the top 5 during the REGULAR season since 2018-19. Their lone defeat came at the hands of Duke on a court that was regarded as neutral Las Vegas. Even if I don’t want to acknowledge it, Bama is, at the very least in my opinion, doing all in their power to convince me that they belong among the top five teams in the country at this time. T his is an extremely important game for Gonzaga as well, because a loss would bring their overall record to a lackluster 8-4, despite their best wins coming against Michigan State, Xavier, and Kentucky. Additionally, according to the statistics, the Zags’ victory over Kent State was really a more impressive victory than their victory over the Washington Huskies. If they were to lose to Alabama tomorrow, their record would still not be disastrous, but it would not be good enough to merit a spot in the top 25. If the Zags want to have ANY hope of getting a 1-seed at this point, which is highly improbable, they are going to have to absolutely run the table from this point onward. They have played and lost to Texas, Purdue, and Baylor, all of whom are considered to be really formidable teams who I just do not see them taking down in a rematch at this current point in time. With that being said, it seems like the WCC has taken a step forward, meaning Gonzaga will play a slightly stronger conference schedule for their standards. If they are unable to win this game, I believe that even getting a two seed will be an exceedingly difficult assignment for them.

We’ve become accustomed to Gonzaga at the top for the past five years, with a 1 seed last year, a 1 seed the year before that, what would have been a 1 seed in 2020 if the tournament wasn’t called off due to Covid, 1 seed in 2019, 1 seed in 2017, and a 2 seed in 2015. Given how their season has started and how the duration of it unfolds, the Bulldogs may find themselves in some new ground when it comes to seeding. Timme will be crucial. As previously said, all three of their losses were against good teams, and all of them easily qualify as quad 1 losses. There’s nothing particularly shameful about it; it’s just that they’re held to a different standard than most programs, so when they struggle, everyone geeks out and proclaims they’re awful. They do not “suck.” Even after three losses, you can’t argue they aren’t a top 20 or better team in the country, even if they haven’t performed like it. Drew Timme is establishing career highs in almost every category: Averaging 20.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 33 minutes per game- all career highs while shooting only 11 percent from deep on less than one attempt per game, which is whatever, given that small of volume. This is odd though, because at the NBA combine, he looked impressive. He had one game where he was 4-5 from three, and that was from a longer NBA 3-point line. Most expected him to return and expand his game at the college level, but he has not done so yet. Maybe it’s due to the plays they run, or perhaps they believe that because he’s so effective inside, there’s no reason to have him shooting 3s.  I expected him to be more effective from the perimeter, or at least show that he can score and make plays from there, which is almost vital for big men in today’s NBA. That just hasn’t happened, possibly because he needs to be inside the arch, where he is terrific, which will make the Zags great.

Alabama’s lone defeat came at the hands of UConn in 4 overtimes. No shame there though; the Huskies have beaten every team they’ve faced this season and have beat everyone they have played by double digits. Given the nature of college basketball, this should be an exciting, yet unpredictable game. I’m betting for Brandon Miller to have a terrific day and lead the Crimson Tide to a narrow victory. Bama tends to be the hotter team, as they are far higher in the standings, but I would say these two teams are quite closer that the average fan would believe. If you put these teams on a court with no fans or people, I would say Alabama wins 5 or 6 times out of 10, but that is not the case with this game being basically a home game for the Tide. With that being said, role with the Crimson tide to win this game.

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NBA Free Pick 12/15/22 | 8:00 PM EST

12/15/22

By: OutOfSightSports

NBA Free Pick 12/15/22 | 8:00 PM EST

Seeing Ja Morant and the Greek Freak play will be a blast. In their win against the Warriors on Tuesday, the Bucks didn’t need Jrue Holiday’s defense, but they’ll need it tonight against Morant. The Grizzlies have a 12-2 record at home. Over their last 10 games, Memphis’ defense has been the second-best in the NBA, thanks to the efforts of shot blocker Jaren Jackson. The Milwaukee Bucks’ offensive rating of 103.4 on the road this season ranks dead last in the NBA.

THE PICK: MEMPHIS ML (-135)

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NBA Free Value Pick│ 12/14/22

By: OutOfSightSports

NBA Free Value Pick│ 12/14/22

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers │Wednesday, December 14, 2022 │ 10:10pm EST

The Clippers have the fourth-worst offense rating in the NBA, but if both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are healthy and ready to play, they will be too much for Minnesota. LA’s defense is one of the best in the league, so the Timberwolves will only be able to keep it close if they have a great shooting night and hit a lot of threes against the Clippers.

Even though a 7-point spread is tough, I have to pick the Clippers to win and cover. They just beat the league’s best Boston Celtics by 20 as well. The Clippers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six home games against the T-Wolves. The T-Wolves have gone 4-8 against the spread in their last 12 games overall and 11-4 against the spread in their last five road games.

Pick the Los Angeles Clippers -7.0 (-110)

™️

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Mike Leach: A once in a lifetime coach and person

12/14/22

By: @OOSSports

Mike Leach; A once in a lifetime coach and person

The phrase “American original” is overused and overpriced, but it perfectly describes the late Mike Leach, who died Tuesday as a result of complications from a heart problem. There has never been a college football coach like him, and there will never be another after him.

Leach was eccentric, intelligent, brave, humorous, at times harsh, and always out of the ordinary. In an era when coaches are becoming increasingly (and boringly) uniform, he emerged from an unusual mold that was quickly broken upon his arrival. Only Leach could have paved a path from playing rugby (rather than football) at BYU to receiving a law degree at Pepperdine and eventually becoming possibly the most prominent offensive coach of the twenty-first century.

He was an unrepentant maverick who spoke differently, coached differently, and marched to a different rhythm. During his stay in Washington State, he walked almost seven miles round-trip to work every day, frequently spending the time on the way home to make rambling late-night phone calls to reporters. His mind was an endless conversation generator.

Coach talk was something that Leach didn’t just do. During the week, he was known as the go-to expert in his field when it came to pirates, gave out free wedding advise, and talked at length about hypothetical animal battles. Then on Saturdays, he called more passes than any coach in the history of college football.

What precipitated college football’s shift from “Thou Shalt Establish the Run” to “Spread It and Chuck It?” When Mike Leach began to win games in this fashion.

The Air Raid offense was developed between 1989 and 1996 by then-offensive coordinator Leach and his boss Hal Mumme at the relatively unknown tiny colleges of Iowa Wesleyan and Valdosta State. Within a few decades, it would completely alter the landscape of sports.

Some of Leach and Mumme’s offensive ideas came from BYU’s playbook when LaVell Edwards was the head coach, but their underlying philosophy was more radical and subversive. The old guard scoffed at The Air Raid because it was just a gimmick, but it was effective, and its inventors took great pleasure in annoying the skeptics.

In 1997, Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton was so anxious for a style that would put butts in seats and provide star quarterback recruit Tim Couch a vehicle to flourish that he took a chance on the two radicals. Coaches took notice of that strategy after it helped Kentucky to its first winning season since the 1980s and made Couch the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft.

Oklahoma signed Leach to be offensive coordinator under new head coach Bob Stoops, and he transformed Josh Heupel into a 3,000-yard passer. After one season at the University of Oklahoma, Leach accepted his first head coaching position at Texas Tech. From that point on, he significantly altered how offenses were built and plays were called.

While Heupel was helping Oklahoma win the national championship in 2000, Leach was in Lubbock instructing sophomore Kliff Kingsbury to throw the most passes in the nation. This would be a reoccurring motif. Today, the four quarterbacks who attempted the most passes in a single season were all coached by Mike Leach: Kliff Kingsbury (712 attempts in 2002), Graham Harrell (713 attempts at Tech in 2007), Connor Halliday (714 attempts at Washington State in 2014), and B.J. Symons (719 attempts at Tech in 2003).

This is the eleventh consecutive year that a Leach team has led the country in pass attempts. His teams hold FBS records for the most passes thrown in a game (Washington State threw 89 against Oregon State in 2013), the most passes attempted and completed per game for a season (64.3 and 42.5, respectively, at Wazzu in ’14), and the most passing first downs per game (23.5 at Texas Tech in 2003) A man who did not model himself after anyone else ended up inspiring a whole generation of copycats as he rewrote the record book. Take a look at the coaching ranks at the moment and tally up the number of Leach disciples who either played for him or coached under him: Kingsbury, who is in his fourth season coaching the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals; Heupel, who led Tennessee to 10 wins this season. Harrell, who is the offensive coordinator at West Virginia after a stint in the same job at USC; and Sonny Cumbie, the coach at Louisiana. USC coach Lincoln Riley, who has mentored three of the last six Heisman Trophy winners and TCU’s Sonny Dikes. Yeah, he mentored some pretty huge names in the world of college football.

There are a great number of other people who have just taken parts of the Leach playbook and implemented them without working for him. His ideas and strategies are now widely utilized across all levels of competition in the sport. It is not a coincidence that the FBS average for team pass attempts per game reached 30 for the first time in 1999, which was Leach’s season at Oklahoma. That number peaked at 33.6 in 2007, as the Air Raid effect continued to spread throughout the college football landscape.

The only snag was that Leach was never able to put everything together to the point where they could win a championship. He had two opportunities, ten years apart, at two different schools, and he came very near both times. His Texas Tech team from 2008 went 11–2 and won a share of the Big 12 South Division title along with Oklahoma and Texas, but they had to watch Oklahoma advance to the league championship game and then the BCS championship game instead. In 2018, Washington State finished with an 11–2 record and matched for the title of Pac-12 North champion, although they were defeated by Washington in the tiebreaker.

The trait of persistence that made Leach so successful also worked against him. Because he was indifferent to defense, disdained the running game, and was fixated on recruiting individuals to match his obscure system, he rarely fielded teams with all of their necessary personnel.

And to tell you the truth, Leach’s personality just didn’t mesh well with blue blood programs. He was a fantastic coach for difficult jobs, but he was just eccentric enough that he never got the simple ones.

Leach, the winningest coach in school history, was fired in 2009 amid controversy about how he handled a player with a concussion. This undoubtedly had a chilling effect on Leach’s ability to obtain another position during the subsequent hiring cycle. In 2012, he took over a Washington State program that had endured eight consecutive losing seasons. By the time he left, Leach had the highest winning percentage of any Wazzu coach who had been there for more than two seasons since before World War II.

At Mississippi State, the steady progress looked familiar, improving from 4–7 to 7–6 to 8–4. But there were health issues during this 2022 season, eliciting quiet concerns that the 61-year-old might have to retire. He seemed to bounce back in recent weeks—then came the stunning news Tuesday.

Mike Leach was a man who made the game of college football better for everyone. He changed the way the game was played and influenced so many people in his lifetime. My condolences go out to Leach’s loved ones and friends, and really the entire college football world. We lost a hell of a coach yesterday.

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