Mike Leach Brought a Decade's Worth of Embarrassment to Mississippi State in Less Than a Year

By Stephen Douglas
Mike Leach
Mike Leach / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
facebooktwitter

Mike Leach is not having fun anymore. As the Mississippi State Bulldogs prepare to finish their season against the Missouri Tigers, the curmudgeonly coach went on a rant about the hardships and uncertainty of playing college football during a pandemic which has now claimed the lives of 300,000 Americans. Leach, who was presumably paid to go on this rant next to a large bottle of Coca Cola, sounded fed up with everything he had to deal with this season and finished by blaming "the politicians" who made this "one of the most joyless season on earth."

Yes. Hopefully, we do. With all the cancellations and infected players, it often seems like we shouldn't have done it this way in the first place, but there had to be a college football season. For normalcy! For the kids! Mostly for the money, of which Leach got a lot. So sorry if this was "joyless." No one really had to do this.

Maybe Mississippi State should listen to Leach's final words here.

"Hopefully we have the presence of mind not to repeat it this way again."

Mike Leach

Maybe they should fire Leach. Ever since he was hired by MSU, he's been a constant embarrassment on and off the field. If the school is lucky, he can get them into some bowl that doesn't mean anything to anyone in a couple years. If they're not, they spend the next couple years expressing their disappointed in bad tweets. Let's look back at the banner year Leach had in Starkville and wonder if any other school had such a joyless season.

The Bulldogs began their 2020 season with a huge upset over the sixth-ranked defending national champions, the LSU Tigers. A great time was had by all, especially Leach, who joked that the Packers, Patriots and Chiefs weren't available to play that day so they settled for LSU. Does it matter that LSU turned out to be a .500 or worse team that was only ranked in the top 10 because of players who were no longer on the team?

A couple days later Mississippi State went from unranked to No. 16 in the polls. Leach was asked why he didn't wear a mask during most of the game. His explanation was positively Leach-ian.

Yes. So many issues. It's amazing that anyone can every keep a mask on their face ever, what with the jokers who don't know to wear a mask messing with them. Like Leach, for example, when he grabbed Lane Kiffin's mask in June at an crowded indoor event at the Mississippi state capitol.

Notice that Leach, far away from a headset, in a situation where he did not have to talk to anyone, was not wearing his mask correctly. Mississippi State could have fired Leach right then and there and it wouldn't have been as embarrassing as what followed. After beating LSU, who (again) turned out to be garbage this year, Mississippi State went on to lose seven of their next eight games with the lone win coming against Vanderbilt, one of the worst teams in the entire country.

So is it any surprise Mike Leach isn't having fun anymore?

Apropos of nothing, there were 2,665 new cases of COVID in Mississippi on Saturday, the same day that Mississippi State lost to Auburn to drop to 2-7 on the year. On September 29, the day that Leach smirked and explained how hard it is to wear a mask, there were 589 new cases. On April 1, the day Leach tweeted a meme of a woman knitting a noose for her husband after two weeks of quarantine, there were two. The school was "disappointed" in the Leach tweet. At least one player transferred because of it.

Looking forward, Mississippi State, the school where Leach works, has decided to push back the start of their spring semester over COVID concerns. Whenever students return to Starkville, hopefully, Leach won't be there. His act was tired when he signed a four year, $20 million deal to coach the Bulldogs. After Auburn paid $21 million to part ways with Gus Malzahn, getting rid of Leach will seem like a bargain for MSU. If you want a good laugh, take a look at the bonuses Leach will not come close to seeing this year, like $75K for making a tier three bowl game.

So Mississippi State should end it now. Leach has packed a decade's worth of institutional embarrassment into a single short season. No matter what happens on Saturday when they take on the No. 25 Missouri Tigers, they will finish with the school's lowest win total since either the Sylvester Croom or Jackie Sherrill eras.

If cancel culture truly existed, it would come for Leach. The rest of society is trying to move on from antiquated B.S. Leach peddles. College football should get on that bandwagon. Mike Leach is only popular ironically. He's politely called curmudgeonly or cranky. He just seems miserable and if the W/L record isn't tipped to the right side, there's no reason to put up with him.

College football fans "love" him because he's good/bad television. He goes off script and off topic and says things that other coaches don't, which is something every reporter, writer, blogger and bored person wants. He's bad for the perception of our sport, but he's good content. Is that really who you want as the face of your program in 2021 and beyond?

This season is their out. Maybe his team sucked because of the coaching. Maybe they sucked because those were the players he inherited. Too bad. He sounded happy to let guys who won a lot more games last year transfer. If Leach likes guys he recruits so much, he could have stayed at Washington State where he had signed a similar contract a month before he bolted for the SEC.

How did that work out for him? Poorly. He repeatedly made a joke of a pandemic that killed 300,000 people and counting. The offensive guru got shut out by Kentucky. Then, in an attempt to cap the season and everything that is wrong in the world according to Mike Leach, he blamed the circumstances every school was dealing with for his problems. Then in his final flourish of faux profundity, he hoped things were done differently next year as if there was a single person who wanted to go through this again. Mississippi State would be smart to help his dream come true.

facebooktwitter