The college football bowl season of 2021 has been one to remember. It’s not that there have been a ton of extraordinary games or intriguing matchups. The story has mostly been teams cancelling due to COVID outbreaks, players opting out to prepare for the draft, and star players generally not showing that they’re eager to participate.
The Autozone Liberty Bowl is a mid-level bowl that has a little bit of tradition behind it but usually draws only mild interest. This year’s version marks the most fascinating game so far on the college football bowl slate. Mike Leach is the head coach of the Misssissippi State Bulldogs. They’re taking on his former team, Texas Tech, in Memphis.
Leach was fired from Tech after allegedly mistreating a player who had suffered a concussion. The university contends that since the firing was with cause, he didn’t have to play them. According to ESPN, the controversial coach doesn’t agree. It’s making for an uncomfortable and exciting story leading into the Liberty Bowl.
“They still owe me for 2009, the last time they won nine games, so maybe they’ll deliver the check. So we’ll see what happens [at the Liberty Bowl].”
Mike Leach became one of college footballs brightest coaching stars after his Air Raid offense dominated defenses in the Big 12 and Pac 12 conferences, where he coached at Tech and Washington State. Leach left Pullman, Washington to become the head man at Mississippi State in 2020.
Last year, the Bulldogs were invited to the Armed Forces Bowl despite Leach leading them to a 3-7 record. They defeated #24 Tulsa in an upset, setting the stage for this year. The Bulldogs finished a respectable 7-5. Now, Mike Leach leads them into the Liberty Bowl with a chip on his shoulder against his former squad.
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