You knew the longer Mississippi State’s coaching search went the more likely the white whale of the college football coaching search was going to enter into the picture.

Well, that day has finally come — the Mike Leach rumors have arrived.

After Louisiana head coach Billy Napier publicly said he was not being considered for the head coaching position at Mississippi State and New England Patriot assistant Joe Judge accepted the New York Giants head coaching position, the Hail State search had to be reset on Tuesday.

It’s unclear when Mississippi State AD John Cohen may have met with Mike Leach, but according to Paul Finebaum and ESPN Mississippi radio host Bo Bounds, they are both being told that meeting took place.

During a Wednesday appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” the two radio hosts discussed Leach’s candidacy for the Mississippi State coaching position.

Paul Finebaum: “Help confirm something for me. I was told by somebody close to that program that (Cohen) went down to Key West to see Mike Leach. If you believe that is true, let us know.”

Bo Bounds: “I definitely believe that is true.”

Finebaum: “Okay, if that is true then what happened?”

Bounds: “That would be, in my opinion, his home run hire. If I’m John Cohen, I would go all-in on Mike Leach. If they got him, you know Paul, because of SEC money, they could offer Mike Leach over $5 million and make him tell you no. Because he is one heck of a football coach, who has proven he can win at Texas Tech and Washington State, when the majority of the time, he’s outmanned on the football field. Which is what happens at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas and other programs in the SEC. So yes, I do believe he’s talked to Leach and I think it would be a home run hire if John was willing to do that.”

Finebaum: “If he went to see him, that would indicate, would it not, the school/his superiors have given him the green light on Mike Leach?”

Bounds: “Oh absolutely, (MSU President) Mark Keenum would give John Cohen the green light on hiring Mike Leach.”

If somehow Leach is the hire made by Mississippi State, can you imagine how much fun the Egg Bowl Rivalry would become?