Not that this was a huge surprise, but it does appear that Mike Leach is not coming to Kansas. In all reality this was probably a bit of a long shot considering some of the jobs that opened up and what many believed Leach would look for. Either way Washington State does come as a bit of a surprise even if Kansas wasn't the answer. UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and a host of other schools probably targeted Leach, but Washington State seems to have swooped in with a nice offer and the right situation for Leach to return to coaching.
If you step back and look at the landscape, Kansas probably does look like a pretty tough place to step in and win right now. You have a program that finished 2-10 and rarely looked competitive in two seasons under Gill. We play Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others EVERY year in the conference meaning we have just THREE non conference games.
Contrast that with a 5-7 Washington State program in what might be considered a slightly down Pac 12 and it might pave the way more rapid success. The fact is, Leach has been successful in Lubbock so he probably feels pretty confident in his ability to be successful anywhere and the jobs that were on the table clearly looked more attractive than Kansas.
So what's next for Kansas? It's pretty obvious based on the way that today played out, we've already moved on. Or at least Sheahon Zenger has moved on. Without a doubt Mike Leach offered a proven track record that was second to none this year, but that isn't to say we don't have options.
Checking out the coaching rumor mill Kansas seems to have a handful of solid potential coaches on their list. Larry Fedora, Mark Stoops, Brent Venables, Sonny Dykes and Dave Doeren seem to be the most common names.
Dominoes will continue to fall as the week comes to a close and we're likely going to see other coaches on our theoretical list fall off, but at the end of the day we have to keep in mind that a new direction was necessary and it's not as if we fired a sure thing and missed on the next big thing in the process. Zenger is going to be looking for the right fit, a longterm fit and at the end of the day whoever that is also has to believe Kansas is the right fit or it isn't going to work anyway.