Rumors Saturday placed Mike Leach among the finalists for the head-coaching job at Tennessee, but Leach said he expects to be back at WSU next season.

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On the field, Washington State was routed Saturday by its cross-state rival Washington Huskies. Off it, rumors swirled about coach Mike Leach’s future in Pullman.

Football Scoop reported Saturday that Leach was a strong, if not the leading, candidate to replace Butch Jones at the University of Tennessee. A separate report Saturday said Tennessee would announce its next head coach Sunday.

From Football Scoop:

“While we have heard from sources throughout the week that [Tennessee athletic director John] Currie feels comfortable with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano if he needs to go there, the buzz in the profession the past 24 hours has been that Mike Leach seems to have a very good shot at being offered the position.

“The expectation from those we’ve spoken with is that Leach would accept the position if offered. We can further add that sources tell FootballScoop Washington State officials have had internal discussions about their plans should Leach move on (in addition to Tennessee, Leach could be wind up being a target at other SEC schools as well). In the event they need to make a hire, sources tell FootballScoop Washington State would move without hesitation to promote defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to head coach.”

After the 41-14 Apple Cup loss, Leach was asked if he expects to be back at Washington State next season.

“Yeah I do,” Leach said. “I’m strictly focused on the Washington State Cougars. I have a limited knowledge of the internet, which is pretty clear, I don’t even turn anything on other than my phone, when it gets stuck, my kids turn it on. You guys are on your own with that. I can’t speak to rumors I don’t know anything about. I’m focused on Washington State, excited about that, we’re going to a great bowl and I for one couldn’t be happier.”