12.01.2011

Can Mike Leach Make Washington State a Contender?

The Washington State football team made a big splash yesterday by hiring former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to a five year contract. Leach is expected to make a base salary of $2 million each season with the opportunity for incentives each year. This is good news for the Washington State program after firing Paul Wulff, who was fired earlier this week after four losing seasons.

Leach led Texas Tech to ten bowl games in ten seasons at the school and turned a non-contending Red Raiders team into one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football during his tenure. Leach was fired in 2010 after mistreating an injured player.

Leach is taking over a Washington State team that has been one of the most consistently bad teams in the Pac 12. During Wulff's tenure, the Cougars went 9-40 and were basically an automatic win for any decent team that played them. The big question is, can Leach turn this program around?

There is no question that Leach will bring his high-powered air raid to Washington State. It will definitely be interesting to see how long it takes before the Cougars put up the same kind of offensive numbers Texas Tech did. The good news is that Washington State really hasn't been much of a program, so any improvement will be positive, meaning the need for immediate results may not be a dire as it would for an established program.

This is a great opportunity for both Leach and Washington State. Here we are with a coach that knows his stuff that made a big mistake with a player. Assuming Leach has learned his lesson about mistreating players, he could really do something special at Washington State. He brings excitement to a team that has been dead in the water and puts them on the map by just by being there. Once Leach is able to recruit players to fit his system, Washington State can be a team to watch in the Pac 12.

[Image: Lehigh Valley High]

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