WSU Cougars

Is Mike Leach leaving WSU? And do the Cougars already have a replacement ready?

Washington State head coach Mike Leach works the sidelines against Oregon in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 in Eugene, Ore.
Washington State head coach Mike Leach works the sidelines against Oregon in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 in Eugene, Ore. AP

As is college football tradition, the season winds down and the rumor mill warms up.

One rumor circulating Saturday involves Washington State University coach Mike Leach. Leach “has a very good shot at being offered” the head coaching job at Tennessee, according to a story by footballscoop.com.

The story published Saturday morning when Leach was preparing the Cougars for the Apple Cup, a game they must win to claim the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the Dec. 1 conference championship game. The report was picked up by various other websites.

“The expectation from those we’ve spoken with is that Leach would accept the position if offered,” the footballscoop.com story states. “We can further add that sources tell FootballScoop Washington State officials have had internal discussions about their plans should Leach move on (in addition to Tennessee, Leach could be wind up being a target at other SEC schools as well). In the event they need to make a hire, sources tell FootballScoop Washington State would move without hesitation to promote defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to head coach.”

Also on Saturday, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos fired Cornhuskers coach Mike Riley. Moos, who hired Leach at WSU in 2012, left the athletic director position at WSU in October to take over at Nebraska. Moos said his list of potential replacements include Texas A&m coach Kevin Sumlin, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, former San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly and former Nebraska star Scott Frost, according to the Lincoln Star Journal.

Chip Kelly has since signed on as UCLA’s new coach.

Leach had been rumored as a candidate among fans because of his connections to Moos.

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