SEC Media Days: Mississippi State Head Coach Mike Leach unconcerned with realignment
From Halloween candy to ranking Pac-12 mascots, Mississippi Head Football Coach Mike Leach always seems to have something interesting to say about everything.
Which makes him a walking soundbite machine at SEC Media Days, where the Bulldogs took their turn at the mic on day two in Atlanta.
The Bulldogs head into the 2022 campaign coming off a three-win improvement, having finished with an overall record of 7-6 and a league mark of 4-4, culminating with a 27-point loss to Leach’s former school Texas Tech in the Liberty Bowl.
Not the kind of reunion he had in mind with his old running mates, but his time with the Red Raiders does give Leach a sense of familiarity with teams like Texas and Oklahoma that he’ll be sure to face in the SEC down the road, thanks to his recent contract extension through 2025.
Whether or not he cares about that sense of familiarity is another conversation entirely. “Oh, I don’t care. I don’t care one iota. I mean it’s funny because the Texas/OU crowd, I get asked that. Like all of a sudden, we’ve got to run for cover because they’re coming in and then, but it’s laughable on a certain level because we can’t play everybody. Split it up somehow – the two teams furthest east are the two Alabama teams, so if you knock those guys off, send them to the east, and we have to play Texas and OU, tell me how I’ve lost on that deal.”
Mississippi State wide receiver Austin Williams said, “Three-win improvement and three losses by eight points. I felt like we were right on the brink. But our team cohesion – we’re on the same page, the same mission. We have a bunch of guys bought in and everybody is on the same page. There’s nobody kind of dragging everybody back. And there’s just kind of a belief in ourselves. We’ve always kind of viewed ourselves as the underdog, a little chip. But everybody kind of embraces that and is just really bought into everything the coaches have, and we saw some improvement.”
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Mississippi State has less than a one percent chance to win the SEC West division this season.