When we acquired the firemikeleach.com URL a few years ago, it sort of started this journey for distribution of our sports analysis that we’d been peddling for pay on websites like CBS, AXS, etc. So, with Leach now in his second season at Mississippi State, it’s time to check in and see how the local village idiot is doing.
First thing to remember is that even though the school is a cesspool in an even bigger cesspool state, ensconced in a region that is a cesspool to the world, the Bulldogs still play in the SEC—and that conference cheats with its deep pockets lined by alumni donors (with money to burn) and fans (who can’t afford it, really). So, when Football Outsiders projects MSU Deep South as the 42nd-best team in the country, that has little to do with Leach himself.
We also are not high on ESPN projections, for the network has a vested interest in the SEC’s success, as illustrated by its corruptive involvement in the sport as a whole over the last two decades. But the sabermetrics at the heart of ESPN’s predictions do have merit. Let’s look at them more closely:
- Vs. Louisiana Tech (92.6 percent chance to win)
- Vs. NC State (66.4 percent)
- At Memphis (57.1 percent)
- Vs. LSU (50.9 percent)
- At Texas A&M (17.0 percent)
- Vs. Alabama (14. 5 percent)
- At Vanderbilt (85.8 percent)
- Vs. Kentucky (63.0 percent)
- At Arkansas (44.1 percent)
- At Auburn (31.6 percent)
- Vs. Tennessee State (99.5 percent)
- Vs. Mississippi (53.7 percent)
First, Leach has a schedule filled with his usual cupcakes: Louisiana Tech, Memphis, and Tennessee State represent non-Power 5 schools that the Mouth that Roared always has relied on to make his teams look better than they really are in reality. We are surprised that the Bulldogs agreed to go to Memphis, which could result in an upset.
So, this is how we see this schedule breaking down: W-W-L-L-L-L-W-W-L-L-W-W. The Egg Bowl is at home this year, and that’s why we will lean on the Bulldogs’ side for that difficult game. But we still see six losses in there, at least, after the team went just 3-7 last year before somehow winning a bowl game.
This fits Leach’s pattern: mediocrity camouflaged by wins over weaklings. We applaud the presence of North Carolina State on this schedule, but the last time the Wolfpack was any good (consistently, year to year) was in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The team has finished the season ranked just three times this century (2002, 2010, 2017). It’s a safe scheduling ploy, in truth, for a middling school like MSU Deep South to invite a Power 5 team like this.
We will see how Leach does come the end of the season, but we have shown he is a one-trick pony that any decent opposing coaches figure out quickly, so we still believe Leach won’t last past 2022 in Starkville. Only time will tell if we are right or wrong here.