A pirate has entered SEC territory. Mike Leach will be Mississippi State’s next head football coach. A move few saw coming, allow me to share all of the thoughts bouncing around in my brain.
When John Cohen said he wanted Miss. State’s next head coach to bring a disciplined, militaristic approach, it seemed to eliminate Mike Leach from the list of candidates. In hindsight I recall that Leach did teach a class on insurgent warfare at Wazzu.
Cohen, a former UK baseball coach, also said he wanted to “think outside of the box” on this hire. This is definitely outside of the box.
— John Cohen (@JohnCohenAD) January 9, 2020
SEC Media Days got more Fun
An event that appeared to have jumped the shark has been injected with characters. Lane Kiffin and Sam Pittman replaced the two most boring head coaches at the podium. Joe Moorhead used the opportunity to ask Dan Marino to follow him on Twitter. Whatever Leach does will be infinitely more entertaining than the yinzer. He’s no Steve Spurrier but you better believe it will still be must-watch TV.
Is Starkville Worth Visiting?
The most dreadful destination in the SEC just became a slightly more attractive place to visit to watch a football game. At least you’re guaranteed to see some high-flying offense. This move proves Leach exclusively coaches in locations that are off the beaten path.
Literally the most random towns in 3 of the 5 power conferences. https://t.co/JT5WFfktWU
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) January 9, 2020
Out of Character for State
The Bulldogs are known for their cowbells and winning in the trenches. How does the Air Raid fit into this equation?
First and foremost, Leach has to find a QB in the transfer portal. Garrett Shrader isn’t what you’re looking for in this system. Secondly, Leach has got to get quicker on the offensive line. Currently they are built to run block for guys like Kylin Hill, not pass protect for somebody like Gardner Minshew. I don’t care who he finds to be his defensive coordinator, the Air Raid puts a lot of stress on defenses by leaving them on the field for a long time. Good luck recruiting guys like Montez Sweat, Jeffrey Simmons and Jonathan Abram.
Leach has been successful everywhere he’s coached. The Air Raid worked at Texas Tech and Washington State. State isn’t the first SEC school that has interviewed him. After starting at UK, I think he wants to prove it can be done in the SEC. Miss. State is a strange enough place to give it a try. Whether it will work or not in the SEC West is the question everyone will be asking entering the 2020 season. If LSU and Alabama can win big by out-scoring opponents, why can’t Leach?
Welcome Back to Lexington
Mark your calendars for November 14. Mike Leach will return to Lexington for the first time since his days as Hal Mumme’s offensive coordinator. He’ll face a Mark Stoops defense that could be the best in the SEC (and that’s not a hyperbole). Times have certainly changed since Leach was living in the Bluegrass.
Egg Bowl 2019
Has there ever been a more impactful moment in the state of Mississippi than this?
Egg Bowl 2020
Thanksgiving Night. Lane Kiffin vs. Mike Leach. First to 50 wins.
— Mississippi State Football (@HailStateFB) January 9, 2020