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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Need to Know

Mike Leach a Lobo?

According to a former Albuquerque-area news producer, New Mexico will fire Mike Locksley on Oct. 9, after the Lobos play rival New Mexico State, and replace him with spurned former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. SPORTSbyBROOKS has the details:

A former executive producer of University of New Mexico Lobo TV sports programming and long-time news producer for KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported yesterday on his Facebook page that UNM will fire football coach Mike Locksley and hire Mike Leach as Locksley’s replacement after the Lobos play in-state rival New Mexico State on Oct. 9.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Probably because it is — and maybe because it came from a former Albuquerque-area news producer’s Facebook page. Here’s what we do know, however: simply terrible under Locksley’s watch, New Mexico would be granted immediate respectability if it added Leach. Still, the whole thing seems fishy — rarely do programs fire coaches in mid-season; rarer still do programs do so this early; it’s even less common to see a university pinpoint a game three weeks in advance as the firing date.

For now, just hold on. We’re due for the inevitable vote of confidence and denial from the New Mexico administration. Then comes Locksley’s speech about how the program is close to turning the corner, followed by a prepared statement from Leach detailing how happy he is in his new announcing gig, how some team would have to “bowl him over” to consider him returning to coaching. Which is all hogwash: New Mexico doesn’t want Locksley, Locksley isn’t close to turning it around, and Leach wants back in. It’s a perfect match — let’s see if it gets done.

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  1. Zaboo says:

    I think Leach is more likely to wind up at Colorado.

  2. Burnt Orange says:

    Colorado and New Mexico are definite possibilities, So are UTEP and Kansas State (if curent coaches retire)as those schools have each demonstrated a willingness to hire controversial coaches in major sports. UH if Sumlin heads for greener pastures could be added to the list but my personal favorite is Washington State.

  3. jeremy says:

    New Mexico fits, because he still close enough to Texas to get kids to go to UNM.

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