Since a devastating season opening loss to Portland St. WSU Head Coach Mike Leach has lead the Cougs to seven wins in their last nine games. This turnaround, which no one expected Sept. 5, has landed Leach in the discussion to be the Pac-12 Coach of the year.
The award was discussed on the ESPN Pac-12 blog roundtable Thursday, with two of their three staffers picking Leach as the favorite. The job he's done this season has been remarkable and the Cougs are in great position to finish the regular season with nine wins.
Not only have the Cougs exceeded expectations after the PSU loss, but few even foresaw the Cougs to be in this position before the season started. The strides that this team has made have been amazing to watch, and their improvement week to week is very apparent.
The players are obviously to credit here too, but Leach and the entire coaching staff has motivated this bunch well and has them ready to play each week. After last year's bummer of a season, it's great to see a team that will be in (and should probably win) every game they play.
The only other coach that was picked by the ESPN blog was Stanford's David Shaw, who is also a viable candidate. The Cardinal, like the Cougs, started the season with a disappointing loss but have recovered to be the favorite to be the Pac-12's representative to the Rose Bowl. While Shaw has done a great job, Stanford came into this season expected to be one of the conference's best teams.
There is still a lot of football to be played, and the remaining games could well have an impact on who wins the award. Do you think Mike Leach is deserving of the honor?
Roundtable: Who is the Pac-12's coach of the year? - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
It appears to be a two-man race between Stanford's David Shaw and Washington State's Mike Leach. Both have a strong case.
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