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Friday Morning Notes - "Is this guy really the head coach?" Edition

Texas Tech Football:

Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy has an excellent feature on Coach Mike Leach, focusing on his quirky nature, which we all know all too well. I often tell you guys to go read the whole article and this is one of those times. Here's a small portion of the article:

The most indelible character in this soap operatic league is Leach, who is coaching in a sling these days, have recently broken his left elbow in a wipeout on his road bike. This is the same man who once suffered severe shin splints while rollerblading during a recruiting swing through southern California; a man whose infatuation with pirates is such that he occasionally flies the skull and crossbones from the video tower at Tech practices, and on whose desk lies a Bluebeard-era flintlock pistol.

"When I first met him," allows junior quarterback Graham Harrel, "I thought, 'Is this guy really the head coach? This can't be real.'"

Leach's eccentricities -- he is also fascinated by Geronimo, Daniel Boone and, more recently, Donald Trump, whom he's befriended -- constantly threaten to overshadow the minor miracle he's pulled off in west Texas. Now in his eighth season in Lubbock, the 46-year-old Leach has transformed a solid program into a perennial Top 25 program and fan's delight -- a swashbuckling aerial assault that haunts the dreams of defensive coordinators, and has powered the Red Raiders to seven straight bowls while turning the NCAA passing crown into the University's personal property. (Tech has won it four straight years, and currently leads the nation in passing yardage with -- this isn't a typo -- a 500-yards per game average).

LAJ's Don Williams focuses on Missouri's tight ends, Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker.

The great Phil Steele thinks that Missouri gets a victory tomorrow on his weekly Top 25 predictions and whatever you do, don't dismiss Phil as he's been right 80% of the time with his Top 25 picks (he's also picking OSU to beat K-State and Colorado to beat Kansas).

DT's Adam Coleman also features the Missouri tight ends and has this from Coach Leach on covering the duo:

"I think there is an adjustment as far as tight ends have the capability to block," Tech coach Mike Leach said about defending a tight end. "Do you put in a guy who's powerful like he is, or do you put in a guy that's lighter and can cover him? You just have to make a decision on how you're going to play them, and it's pretty much based on what the other guys likes to do with them."

Coleman also previews tomorrow's game and Harrell had this to say about last year's matchup with Missouri:

"It was a tough game; we got beat down here in our place because they came in and just outplayed us," Harrell said. "It was kind of a low point in the season because the next week we went to Colorado and got beat again. That was two weeks in a row we didn't play very well, but then after that I think we pulled together and started playing well."