Tell me, how accurate a take do you find this?
There are two ways to look at the hiring of Mike Leach.
On the one side, the guy has never won anything.
In 18 years as an FBS head coach at Texas Tech and Washington State, he has as many conference championships as you do.
He has never coached a team in a conference title game, has just one top ten finish, just two double-digit win seasons, and for all the flash and fun, there isn’t even an outright division title.
And then there’s the flip side – he has never come close to having as much talent to coach as he has now at Mississippi State.
Nah, Leach and MSU aren’t going take over the SEC West and start winning conference championships – at least not right away – but there’s reason for the big boys to freak out.
Basically, Mississippi State is now going to be a problem to deal with. Even if the championship runs aren’t there, this is going to be a team that can pull off a win against anyone because the system is so dangerous.
Here comes the grand experiment that was worth wondering about when the Tennessee job became open a few years ago. What’s going to happen when the system matches up with a team full of top-shelf recruits on the lines?
My feeling is that if Leach couldn’t pull off a conference championship in the Pac-12 or the Big 12, there aren’t enough stars in the sky to align right to pull off even a divisional title over the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU. (Insert “if even Dan Mullen couldn’t” snark here.)
But is he going to make Mississippi State a pain in the ass to play and more than occasionally knock off one of the powerhouses along the way? It’s hard to see how he won’t given his track record.
If I’m an MSU fan realistic about my program’s ceiling, that’s likely enough to make me happy.