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Playing the Mike Leach 'what if?' game

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Mike Leach and the Washington State Cougars host the Nevada Wolf Pack and boy am I glad he is our coach.

That's because Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples played the 'what if?' game and had a wild piece wondering what life would be like had Leach taken the job at—you're not going to believe this—Key West High School to coach the Conchs. He interviewed there in 1996.

(If you just thought of Lord of the Flies, don't worry, I did too. Actually, people born in Key West are called conchs and if you weren't born there, you need to live there seven years before being identified as a "fresh water conch." The more you know.)

Suffice to say, Leach wouldn't be our coach nowadays. In Staple's alternate universe, Bob Stoops leaves Oklahoma for Florida. Urban Meyer is the Sooners' coach, Tim Tebow is Oklahoma's quarterback, Rich Rodriguez is at Texas Tech, and Wes Welker is Tech's record setting running back.

Oh, and college football as we know it wouldn't be the same. It's a bonkers look at what might have been.

But thankfully, we don't have to worry about what might have been. Leach got his house in Key West, and we get him as our coach. Win-win!



Mike Leach: What if the Air Raid master had gone to Key West? |
In 1996, Mike Leach applied for his dream job: head coach of the Key West High Conchs. If he had been there instead of Kentucky or Oklahoma or Texas T

Washington State, Nevada football programs have plenty in common | The Spokesman-Review
Did you know Isaac Dotson was once committed to Nevada? Neither did I.

Why was Mike Leach talking about Ken Stabler, the Flora-Bama, crawfish & Gulf Shores beaches? |
Washington State coach asked about the best party he ever attended

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Washington State Cougars Preview and Prediction
Athlon predicts a 38-20 WSU victory. #SavedYouAClick

Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Washington State Cougars Preview and Prediction
Washington State has a chance to go unbeaten in non-conference play for the first time since 2005 when it hosts Nevada on Saturday.

Old YouTube Clip of the Week

Let's go back to a feature on Mike Leach during his Texas Tech days:

  • Texas Tech is about to play in the Cotton Bowl against Alabama before it was ALABAMA.
  • Just about everybody interviewed in this piece is either in TV or radio. You can tell by their perfect voices and (sometimes) perfect hair.
  • Oh hey, we're just more than a minute into this feature and a TV personality mentions that Leach is into pirates.
  • Unless you're new to WSU, this isn't news. Remember, this is 2005 and that means the whole 'Pirate Mike Leach' thing is 12 years old. It's time to retire that motif and move on to more interesting things. For real: pairing Leach and pirates isn't just cliche by now, it's lazy. Media out there: find something else and original to feature.
  • We see Antonio Huffman interviewed as a former player at Texas Tech. You may know him better by his current role: WSU's director of football operations.
  • See, even Leach knew the whole pirate thing was a bit overblown even back then. He mentions he read "a few books" and had a few discussions with his team about it and suddenly it's a trendy thing to talk about.
  • Now we learn that Mike Leach's face was once on bottled water. Huh.
  • By the way, when that interviewer mentions his interns were at the grocery store and spotted the bottled water, I'm betting you a month's salary that they were there to buy the anchors' lunch.
  • Poor interns.
  • The most interesting thing about this video? YouTube says it was published on Dec. 30, 2009, the same day Mike Leach was fired. Someone was definitely trying to show off their SEO chops that day.