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Mike Leach a popular pick for Pac-12 Coach of the year

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The Coug Head Coach should be considered for the award after overseeing this season's turnaround

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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?

*****

Football:

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.

Thursday Night All-Stars | The Spokesman-Review
These players have impressed me the most during Washington State's weekly underclassmen scrimmages.

Heisman Watch List: Top Ten Rankings - Campus Insiders
Who's on top of the Heisman Watch List? Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott, Baker Mayfield lead the pack of Heisman hopefuls.

Week 12 Vegas Lock: Potential Pummel in Pullman - Maize n Brew
With Colorado trotting out a freshman quarterback making his first road start, all eyes are draped over Mike Leach and the improved Washington State Cougars.

No. 24 Washington St sheds losing ways, earns respect
No. 24 Washington St sheds losing ways, earns Pac-12 respect under Mike Leach

From The Rock to Pullman: Joe Salave'a leads WSU's American Samoa recruiting pipeline - CougCenter
Joe Salave'a, a teacher on the field and a father figure off of it, is the key ingredient to Washington State's recruiting pipeline to American Samoa.

WSU Cougars links: Get to know the Colorado Buffaloes | The Seattle Times
We preview the WSU vs. Colorado game with help from the Boulder Daily Camera's CU beat writer, Brian Howell.

Baseball:

Cougar Baseball Announces 2016 NLI Signing Class - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
WSU Head Coach Marty Lees announced the 2016 NLI Signing Class Thursday.

Athletics:

Director of Athletics Bill Moos Podcast - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
During his latest podcast, conducted Thursday morning, Director of Athletics Bill Moos discusses football's regular season home finale vs. Colorado and men's cross country at the NCAA Championships.