As expected, some names have already surfaced as to who might replace Mike Leach as the next Texas Tech coach.
Leach was unexpectedly fired Wednesday by Tech officials after taking the school to 10 bowl games in his 10 seasons as the school's coach.
The list of candidates to succeed Leach include Baylor coach Art Briles, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes, Tech defensive coordinator/interim coach Ruffin McNeill, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
Leach ran a wide-open offense which is the stable of most of the aforementioned coaches.
Briles was Leach's running backs coach from 2000-'02 and has breathed new life into the Bears' program, while Holgorsen was either the offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator for Leach from 2000-'07.
McNeill, meanwhile, is very popular with the Tech players and is responsible for making a complete positive makeover for the Red Raider defense. He also has been at Tech under Leach since 2000, and many believe he deserves a chance at leading his own program.
Dykes was a three-year baseball lettermen at Tech, and was the Raiders' wide receivers coach under Leach from 2000 until he became the school's co-offensive coordinator in 2005 and '06. Dykes is the son of former Tech head coach Spikes Dykes.
Sumlin has posted an 18-8 record and back-to-back berths in the Armed Forces Bowl in his two years at Houston. Also, last year his quarterback, Case Keenum, led the nation in total offense and was second in passing offense behind former Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, and this year Keenum leads the nation in passing.
UH also leads the nation in total offense and passing offense, and is second in scoring offense this year, which are stats usually accumulated by a Leach-led squad.
Tuberville was Auburn's coach for 10 years until resigning in 2008.
-- Dwain Price