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Spartans to face Texas Tech without Leach

12/28/2009

It turns out Michigan State won't be the only team in the Valero Alamo Bowl missing some key personnel.

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has been suspended by the school and won't coach in the Jan. 2 game against Michigan State (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET). A Red Raiders player and his parents filed a complaint against Leach, and Texas Tech will turn over the head-coaching duties to defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeil during its investigation.

Wow. I'm absolutely stunned by this news, especially so close to the game.

I thought the Allstate Sugar Bowl won the award for strangest atmosphere as a team (Cincinnati) with an interim head coach about to become a permanent head coach elsewhere faces an opponent (Florida) whose coach stepped down from his post Saturday night, only to say the next day that he would take a leave of absence and possibly return for the 2010 season.

The Alamo Bowl might have an even more bizarre feel, as a Michigan State team missing 14 players because of suspensions or dismissals faces a Texas Tech team without its offensive guru coach.

The Red Raiders will continue to run Leach's offense, but you have to wonder how his suspension will affect those players. At least Michigan State has gone through several weeks of practices knowing who will be available for the game and who won't. Texas Tech has to be in complete shock right now.

It should make for a fascinating night of football at the Alamodome.