Mississippi State coach Mike Leach got his first dose of the SEC when he was an assistant at Kentucky under Hal Mumme in the 1990s. Leach was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UK from 1997-98.

The Bulldogs play Kentucky this week, and this will be the first time back to Kentucky as a head coach. Leach said one of his other visits there was a book signing.

“It’s a great place, I have a lot of friends there,” Leach said at his Monday press conference. “Just a gorgeous city Lexington is, got a great setting for a football game. I’m looking forward to going back to Kentucky.”

Leach said he’s often asked the Memory Lane questions even though there’s not a lot of time to walk down it.

Leach also said he keeps in touch with Mumme, and they’ve spent time in Leach’s favorite get-away spot, Key West, Florida. They talk about all kinds of things, but football is certainly one of them.

“He’s doing a lot of clinics and things nowadays, so he’s still definitely involved,” Leach said. “He’ll always definitely be involved in football, I can promise you that, whether he’s got a team or not, he’s always in the thick of it.”

Leach said Mumme’s been known to draw up plays on cloth napkins if paper isn’t available.

“We’ve had some funny expressions on waiters’ faces over the years,” Leach said. “If he can’t find paper, he grabs a cloth napkin and starts drawing stuff. He’s still in it, front and center.”