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Leach in strong company with past success

Here's one last note that indicates how Mike Leach had built his program at Texas Tech.

Leach directed the Red Raiders to bowl games in each of his 10 seasons coaching there before he was abruptly fired on Wednesday.

That's a feat that was matched by only four other coaches at the same FBS schools during that same period: Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, Bobby Bowden at Florida State, Mack Brown at Texas and Bob Stoops at Oklahoma.

Not only does it show Leach's success at Tech, but it also highlights the extreme competition that Leach faced in the Big 12 South Division in trying to keep up with Longhorns and Sooners.

Texas and Oklahoma have been the dominant programs in the Big 12 during this decade. The fact that Leach was able to build his program and keep it growing at the same time as the zenith of his divisional rivals might be the most underappreciated part of his time at Tech.

Those two South behemoths accounted for two national championships and four other trips to the national championship game, including the Longhorns' trip this season.

Leach did an outstanding job of making the Red Raiders nationally relevant, considering the kind of competition he faced on a regular basis.