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Mangino, Leach renew old relationship

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Saturday's matchup between Kansas and Texas Tech will be more than merely a challenge between the current North Division leader and a team sharing the Big 12 South lead.

It will also be an intriguing game between two of Bob Stoops' most notable coaching protégés when Kansas' Mark Mangino and Texas Tech's Mike Leach match wits.

Both were offensive assistants on Stoops' first staff at Oklahoma in 1999. And the contrasts between their strategies and coaching outlooks originally couldn't have been more diametrically opposed.

The Kansas City Star's J. Brady McCollough had an interesting story about how different the two coaches are -- and were back when they were coaching at Oklahoma. Leach's strategy featured an air-first mentality, while Mangino's was grounded on a hard-nosed running strategy.

The two clashed on the importance of the counter play in that offense. Eventually, it almost sparked fisticuffs between them before Jonathan Hayes, an Oklahoma assistant then who now works as a tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, jumped in to settle both down.

Interestingly, both Mangino and Leach have moderated their philosophies.

Today, Mangino's passing offense with quarterback Todd Reesing is one of the Big 12's most explosive. And while Leach still favors a high-powered passing attack, he's utilizing a polished and efficient running attack more than in previous seasons. The result has been a 7-0 start that is the best for a Tech team in 32 seasons.

The success both coaches have enjoyed in the Big 12 reminds me of that first staff that Stoops put together for the 1999 season. Here's a look at Stoops' original coaching staff with the Sooners and where they are now.