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The biggest reason the Cougars will surprise teams this year is because of their new head coach.
Leach is riding into Pullman with an 84-43 record at Texas Tech and a host of accolades alongside him. As a Red Raider, he coached a perennial contender that featured some of the top offensive threats in the game.
From Michael Crabtree to Graham Harrell, Leach was able to find success with his athletes, and designed an offense where they would thrive.
As Leach turns his focus to WSU, he finds himself in a very comparable place to Texas Tech. Before he was hired by the Red Raiders, the team finished right around .500 each season, but Leach was able to guide them to four nine-win seasons and one 11-win season.
Texas Tech was a similar to situation to Pullman, where the location is a tough sell to recruits, yet Leach found success recruiting to Lubbock. He will definitely find success recruiting to Pullman.
In the upcoming season, Leach will have some tricks up his sleeve, as he has had some time to think about it, after a three-year coaching hiatus.
Leach has a zany offense where he spreads the ball to multiple receivers. That offense will do wonders in the Pac-12 North, which featured four teams who had seven wins or less.
After Paul Wulff went 9-40 during his four-year career, Leach will be a godsend for Cougar fans that are ready to see a coach that isn’t afraid to test the odds. For instance, Leach is a maestro with statistics and will break down percentages on fourth down to determine if he believes his team will convert.
Wulff does not compare to Leach, and Leach will prove that next season.