It seems The Great Poop Tornado of 2012 has spun itself out, friends, as news -- if you can call it that -- broke last night that Buzz Williams won't be taking a job he never was going to take in the first place. As we survey the destruction, we pause to put back on our Sunday-best RUMORMONGERING gear and try to figure out:
WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?
Since we're in the business of rampant speculation, here's my half-baked take on what's transpired over the last 72 hours -- and, as always, bear in mind: I've got no sources, no inside information, and I probably never will. This is just one man's opinion.
In the last three days, Buzz Williams made one of the more fascinating power plays we've seen at Marquette: trying to leverage interest from a middling program with no sustained history of success into ... something. What that "something" was, I'm not exactly sure: maybe it was a ploy for more money, maybe it was an attempt to assert his place as Head Shotcaller in the athletic department -- I don't know. But I'm pretty sure it was a power play of some sort, for one reason and one reason alone:
BUZZ WILLIAMS IS A COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH.
Despite the very nice things that people like Howie Magner write about him (and that's not a shot at Howie, who I think is an excellent writer and a very good reporter), Buzz is still a member of that remarkable group of people who have a near-sociopathic need to improve their lot whenever possible. I think of Buzz as the mother raptor in Jurassic Park, systematically testing the holding pen's electric fence for weak spots. Last year, for example, his name was connected to the openings at Texas A&M and Oklahoma and Arkansas, and he got a big pay hike and a rollover (read: lifetime) contract.
This year, SMU became the vehicle to push the envelope to new, previously-unexplored heights. Let's see what happens when my name gets attached to a job that's worlds worse than Marquette in almost every way (save for money, of course), and I tell Larry Williams that SMU wants permission to talk to me. This time, though, it didn't work: Larry Williams called Buzz's bluff, and said: "Sure, Buzz, have at it. We'll give you permission to talk to them. Good luck." (There may have also been a "LOL" in there from Larry's end. I don't feel comfortable speculating that far.)
And that was the end of that -- no boost in pay, no new contract, no bronze statue in Buzz's likeness erected outside the Al -- because, as Jeff Goodman pointed out immediately after the press release was issued, there was never a chance in hell that Buzz Williams was leaving Marquette for DePaul's soon-to-be basement-mate in the cellar of the Big East. When Buzz saw that Larry (and writing all these "Buzzes" and "Larrys" is making this sound like a bad rewrite for a Three Stooges movie) wasn't going to blink, the joint, "we're already looking forward to next year" statement was issued, and everybody retreated to their respective corners. Fin.
Or maybe not.
What do YOU think?