Friday, December 28, 2007

Bowl picks for this weekend

Since I don't know if I'll be by my computer this are picks on the games that I'll be watching:

Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) TCU vs Houston - I'm not a TCU fan...though their offense started showing signs of life late in the year. However, the highly touted defense has been less than spectacular and Tommy Blake has dropped from 1st Round to a late 2nd day draft pick after reportedly going off the deep end mentally. I'm biased towards Houston because Abilene product Case Keenum is their starting QB. That said...Art Briles is gone and that places some big ? marks on offense. Houston's defense still can't stop anyobdy. I don't know if they'll win...but they'll cover 6.5 points. If anything, I would take the over in this game as 57.5 is a ridiculously low number.

TCU 38
Houston 34

Meineke Car Care Bowl (Charlotte, NC) Connecticut vs Wake Forest - This is essentially a home game for the Demon Deacons (80 miles). The Deacs are coached by one of the most respected yet underrated coaches in the country in Jim Grobe. He does more with less talent than any coach this side of Hawaii, and he's doing it in the ACC. Other than their stumble against Clemson, their other 3 losses were by a combined 14 points to @ BC, Nebraska, and @ Virginia. Riley Skinner is and 2nd year starter (lead the Deacs to the ACC title as a frosh) and could turn into the ACC's next Matt Ryan over the next 2 years. UConn beat a bunch of terrible teams (Duke, Maine, Temple, Akron, Syracuse, and Pitt) and were fortunate to get the bounces/calls against South Florida and Louisville. Cincy and WVU cleaned them out late in the season. Yes...I'm a homer in this game...but I just don't think UConn has what it takes. Take Wake FoFo (-1.5) and the under of 47.5

Wake Forest 23
UConn 20

Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, TX) Penn State vs Texas A&M - The Aggies were terrible under Fran in bowl games...when they made it to one. They're also 1-6 in their last 7 bowl appearances, including a 24-0 loss to Penn State in their last Alamo Bowl appearance. However, their offense looked very good against Texas and rumor has it that Fran wasn't the one calling the plays but rather OC Les Koennig was. Look for the Aggies to continue to open up the field by allowing McGee to throw the ball some. Even though I'm down on the Big 10 as a conference, I'll take the Nittany Lions to win but not cover as this game barely goes over 52 points.

Penn State 31
Texas A&M 27

Independence Bowl (Shereveport, LA) Alabama vs Colorado - This game means a lot to Alabama and Nick Saban. A loss and the Tide faithful will be up in arms over a losing season. A win and a good recruiting year (current class ranked #2 in the nation) will buy Saban some time in 2008. Colorado is a nice team and Dan Hawkins is making some dents in recruiting CA and TX. This game doesn't mean near as much to them. Long and short...CU would like to win but Bama is DESPERATE for a win. Bama (-3.5) wins but can't quite cover in this shootout.

Alabama 34
Colorado 31

I'll be back with more next week. Time to track down the story behind the Julio Jones committing to Texas Tech rumor that has been circulating the internet all day. While that would be nice...I have a feeling we won't know anything until he visits Tech just before signing day.

Masked Rider to Ride in the Gator Bowl

The Florida Times-Union is reporting that the Masked Rider will lead the Texas Tech football team onto the field at the Gator Bowl.

"There is the strongest emotional attachment to the Masked Rider among Tech fans," said Steve Uryasz, a senior associate athletic director at Tech and executive director of the Red Raider Club. "It's more than just a mascot people see at the games. The Masked Rider is as much a part of the team as a player. When he rides onto the field [before the Gator Bowl] people will feel the electricity."

Evidently the Gator Bowl banned the use of live mascots after Auburn's War Eagle attacked a Texas player in the 1974 Gator Bowl. However, they realized the importance of the Masked Rider and his link to the Gator Bowl and are allowing him to ride.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

America loves Crabs

Last night I received the latest voting results on AT&T's Player of the Year:

Michael Crabtree - 46%
Darren McFadden - 31%
Tim Tebow - 20%
Chris Long - 3%

Glad to see that people have come to their senses and realized that MC should be mentioned with the top players in the country. Stupid Heisman voters.

As far as a Virginia preview...I don't think I can do any better than what Seth at DTN is doing on a daily basis. His position breakdowns are very in depth and he's now posted a Q&A with a UVA blog. My only question...what is with the Hoos nickname for UVA???

For those who didn't care, you missed a great game between Purdue and Central Michigan last night in the Motor City Bowl. The Boilermakers had a huge lead (21 points???) in the 3rd quarter before the Chippewas (sp) came storming back to tie the game with just over a minute left. However, Purdue was able to move into FG range and make a 40 yd FG as time expired to win 48-45.

In related news, the Purdue kicker went as far as predicting Texas to win tonight's Holiday Bowl vs Arizona State.

While I'm not sure that he's dead on with his pick...Mack usually does a good job of getting his guys ready to play in bowl games (6-3 under Brown and 5-1 in their last 6 bowls) so the Horns are the logical pick here...and Vegas now has them at a 2.5 point favorite. I'm not sure where I would play this line. That being said...I would be smart and take the over on 62 points.

Texas 41
Arizona State 38

Oh well...back to trying to figure out why I'm at work this late in the year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alive and Engaged...let's talk recruiting

Sorry for the "dead blog" for almost two weeks now...sometimes life can get in the way. Anyways...since I've last posted I did have one exciting bit of semi-Texas Tech related news to throw out there...I'm engaged!!!

She's finishing up law school at TT in May before returning to Dallas. No worries...I made sure to set a wedding date 2 1/2 weeks after the Red Raiders win the 2009 B(C)S National Championship!!! January 2009 can't get here fast enough.

Ok...putting away my homer hat for a second. Let's talk recruiting. Yesterday was JUCO signing day and Tech signed 3 players to the defensive side of the ball.

McKinner Dixon - Originally signed with Texas Tech out of high school. Played often and sometimes started as a true freshman. He finished the 2005 season with 29 tackles (6 for a loss), 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Academic problems forced him to transfer to Cisco JC but he'll be back and ready to make an impact again in 2008. He was the #15 JUCO prospect according to

Jarell Routt - He originally signed with Tech in 2006 but has spent the past 18 months at a JUCO in Kansas. At 6ft and with reported 4.4 speed, he should help the secondary for the next two years.

Brandon Sesay - Another highly regarded JUCO prospect at DE. The #11 JUCO player according to, Sesay, had offers from Cal, Florida, Michigan, Tenn, and Oregon but committed to Tech early and stuck by his committment. At 6'6" and 270lbs, he will be in contention to start opposite Brandon Williams in the fall. He signed with Georgia out of HS.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Crabtree quotes

A few noteable quotes from MC during an ESPN chat yesterday:

Joey (Jacksonville, FL): What WR in the NFL do you think symbolizes
you the most?

Michael Crabtree: I think I'm like a mix of receivers. A little Chad Johnson, a little TO, a little Randy Moss.

Ahh yes...MC confirms my TO comparison from this post during the Mizzou game:
5:48 – Crabtree with a drop on a wide open pass over the
middle. I had this thought after the Okie Lite game…but does MC not have the best hands in the game? His abilities are starting to remind me of Terrell Owens. Once you get the ball in his hands…he’s as deadly as anybody in the country because of his strength and athleticism.

See I'm not just an idiot blogger. Every once in a while...something I say has a little bit of merit. Hopefully we won't see the "antics" of the aforementioned players develop in MC while he's at Texas Tech.
Cody (Schenectady, NY): It's amazing what you've done as a Freshman.
Do you plan on playing four years of college football?

Michael Crabtree: Yeah, I plan
on it.

The only word coming to mind right now is LIAR. Oh well...I'll get my hopes up for now! I decided to lump these 3 quotes together:

Frank (Kansas): What did you do to celebrate after beating OU?
Michael Crabtree: Nothing. We went the
next day and practiced.

Brett (Lubbock TX): What is your response to the "system receiver"
Michael Crabtree: I don't think
it's a system. It's more hard work.

Lee (Houston, TX): What do you think you can do to duplicate your
numbers next season (or do even better)?
Michael Crabtree: Have a good summer. Come back next year and
harder than I played this year.

Reading these 3 quotes made me feel really good about next season. All indications are that MC isn't going to get caught up in the hype and slack off next year. Leach pointed this out earlier this season when he said that Michael learned his lesson about what happens when you don't work hard (see Mizzou and Colorado losses) and that won't be happening again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Season in Review...

The first part of the 2007 Season Review is posted below. I started writing it a few days ago so it published it based on when I started writing. I'll work on moving it to the top but in the mean time...just click HERE to open up the post.

Crabtree First Team All-American has published their All-America Team and Micheal Crabtree leads the way for the WR corps along with Jordy Nelson of KState. One of many honors we can expect to see for Crabs in the coming weeks.

Working on the season recap...should be out later today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Art Briles to be named Baylor head coach

DMN's Brian Davis is reporting that Baylor is hiring Art Briles as their football coach. The reason I bring this up is because many people have mentioned that Briles would be interested in the Texas Tech job if it was to become available. However, I don't blame him for taking the certain job here rather than waiting around on something uncertain.

I'm speculating here...but I wouldn't put it past Briles to have contacted Leach to find out where he stands on the UCLA and Arkansas job. Remember that Briles didn't make a decision after meeting with Baylor and instead returned to Houston for a day. Like I said...just speculating.

As a random side note...I mentioned to a friend that Briles is going to Baylor and that I hope Leach doesn't leave because we would've just lost our lead candidate. His response, "We'll get Norm Chow in Lubbock if Leach leaves." Nice thought...but it would never happen...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oklahoma vs Kansas in the Fiesta Bowl

If Oklahoma wins the Big 12 Championship on Saturday, it would likely face Kansas in the Fiesta Bowl according to the Dallas Morning News.  

TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL: If Missouri beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game and goes to the BCS national championship in New Orleans, the Fiesta has indicated it will select Kansas to replace the Tigers as the game's Big 12 anchor. KU could face either Arizona State or Illinois.

If Oklahoma beats Missouri on Saturday, the Fiesta has indicated it would still select Kansas to face the Sooners in an all-Big 12 matchup. The teams did not meet in the regular season.

In other news, it appears that Texas Tech will likely head to the Gator Bowl to face Virginia, though Clemson is still a possibility depending on the outcome of the ACC Championship game. 

Mike Leach to ????

The rumors about Mike Leach leaving Texas Tech have started up again.  Two schools rumored so far...

UCLA (assuming Dorrell is fired after the USC game this Saturday)

This info is from ESPN Insider so I can't post the article.  However, UCLA was reported by College Football Live today and 103.3 FM in Dallas (ESPN affiliate) mentioned that Arkansas is very interested in Leach.  

In related news, Baylor is rumored to have offered Houston HC (and former Tech RB's coach) Art Briles a contract paying $1.8 mil/year.  However, Michael Murphy of the Houston Chronicle says the Bears have no official offer on the table...yet.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dream Bowl Matchups for 2007's Andrew Feldman lists his Top 10 dream bowl matchups for 2007...look who comes in at #3:

3. Texas Tech vs. LSU: I know this would never happen, but I'd love to see Tigers fans -- and brass -- exposed to the twisted brilliance of Mike Leach. The Red Raiders' coach isn't one of the guys mentioned often as a possible successor if LSU's Les Miles bolts for Michigan. Plus, it'd be fascinating to see how the nation's sixth-rated pass defense coped with everything Leach threw at them. His teams are 4-1 in their past five bowl games and have been held under 38 points only once. Of course, that was by the one SEC team he played (Alabama).

Also...a tip of the cap to #9 as I have a rooting interest in Wake Forest these days!

The 2007 season recap is in the works. Right now I've written the first 3 games so hopefully I can finish it by Wednesday depending on my available time. My recent aquisition of NBA2k8 for PS3 is sure to slow down my blogging progress. Check back soon!!!

2007 - Season Review (part 1)

Well we've wrapped up the 2007 regular season now so I thought I would do a game-by-game review of what went on this year. There were high's and low's..."typical Tech" moments and a few moments that we haven't seen in the Mike Leach era. So without further we go!

Texas Tech 49 @ SMU 9 – Michael Crabtree introduced himself to the Red Raider Nation and America alike on this national TV broadcast on Labor Day. With 12 catches for 106 yards and 2 TD’s (including an impressive 42 yd catch and run that would become his “signature” throughout the season), MC’s debut in his hometown of Dallas was merely a sign of great things to come. (1-0, 0-0)

Fan Feeling – Crabs impressed everybody! The defense looked very good against what was expected to be a “good” SMU offense (we’ve since learned otherwise) that some experts (see Rivals and Scout) had picked to upset Tech. New guys on O-Line looked good in their season debut.

DrinkTwo pints of Sam Adams Summer Ale @ Ginger Man in Uptown Dallas. Celebrate a nice victory...the sun coming out at the end of the Labor Day...and the end of summer. It's football season baby!!!

Texas Tech 45 vs UTEP 31 – Thank god for Crabtree, Amendola, and EMo. Those 3 caught everything thrown their way and helped Tech overcome a 28-17 halftime deficit vs the Miners. The defense on the other hand was overpowered by an underwhelming UTEP offense for most of the game before finally making a few stops in the 4th quarter to preserve the win. (2-0, 0-0)

Fan Feeling – This Michael Crabtree kid is good…like REALLY good. We’re staring a 7-5 or 6-6 season in the face right now as the defense is going to be torn apart in the Big 12. Not only was the run defense non-existent, poor tackling in the secondary allowed for the Miners to take an early lead and make big plays out of nothing. Do we even have a linebacking corps??? Maybe they can be used to support our DL…that would be a pleasant surprise.

Drink – 2 glasses…no better make it 3 of your choice hard liquor on the rocks at Adolph's. The "scenery" there is all that this team deserves at this point.

Texas Tech 59 @ Rice 24 – Crabtree has his first ridiculous statistical game. 12 catches, 244 yards, and 3 TD’s (highlighted by a 74 yd scamper in the 2nd quarter) leads to this blowout victory. The Tech defense is par for the course in playing one poor half against an overmatched opponent before settling in and remembering that they’re playing in the Big 12 for a reason. Tech moves into the Top 25(3-0, 0-0)

Fan Feeling – I’m sitting in a bar in Atlanta, GA watching this game. Everybody else there is watching Florida/Tennessee while I watch the GH 2 MC Heisman campaign slowly begin to take shape. Both guys have huge days in Houston and Tech plays it’s 3rd “home game” of the season…though only 1 game has been in Lubbock. Oh...and yay...we're the C-USA Champs!!!

Drink – 2 or 3 (I don’t remember how many) pints of Sweetwater Blueberry beer. It’s native to Atlanta and since I was in the ATL (for Georgia Tech vs Boston College) that day…it’s what I drank. I highly recommend you give it a try next time you find yourself out that way.

Texas Tech 45 @ Oklahoma State 49 - This game was depressing yet presented a ray of hope for the team. They lose a shootout in the final seconds when Crabtree can't hold on to a pass in the endzone on 4th down. The offense played great all game...but this game was the final nail in the coffin of the Lyle Setencich era. Leach made a very bold and unorthodox move by parting ways with Lyle mid-season. This leads to Ruffin McNeill being named as the interim Defensive Coordinator. (3-1, 0-1)

Fan Feeling - Oh well...another season of hope is gone. As I said to my fiance that day (we were in Vegas watching this game), "Well...there goes the National Championship." On the bright side, we have a new defensive coordinator so maybe that gives us a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season.

Drink - 1 Rampaging Gutbuster...wait...better make it 2 after seeing the drop on ESPN again. For those not familiar, this drink is 1 part absinthe, 1 part Bacardi 151, 1 part Jaegermeister, 1 8 oz can of Red Bull. Chill all ingredients until Red Bull is slushy. Pour Jäger and Absinthe over ice into a TALL glass, swirl. Add Red Bull slowly down side of glass, then ignite shot of 151 and drop it in. Drink while frothing.

Texas Tech 75 vs Northwestern State 7 - This is our token 1-AA beating game. I didn't go to this one (went back to Vegas for a wedding) but didn't really miss much. It's hard to take much from a game like this...other than the $$$ taken by NW LA for coming to the Lbk to receive their annual beating while helping to assure us of a winning season and bowl game.

Fan Feeling - No feelings one way or another. The defense performed well statistically, but that is as much a seperation in talent as anything else. As long as this game doesn't end with us giving up 28 points and 400 yards...then the feeling is indifferent.

Drink - Grey Goose...lots and lots of Grey Goose...and some Belvadere and Patron Platinum. Not because this was a top shelf victory or "one for the trophy room"...but because I was in Vegas and partying at places I couldn't otherwise afford to party. Many thanks to Mark and Sunny for a great trip, fun wedding, good nights in the VIP areas at the clubs....and LOTS of free, premium alcohol!!! Best wishes to you two!!!

This is the end of Part 1 of the review. I've covered the emergence of Michael Crabtree, the human-like qualities that emerged at the end of the Okie Lite game, and the coordinator change that ultimately played a part in the direction of this season. I'll be back with the rest of the season later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tech beats pictures (part 2)

Had time to work a few more pictures this morning...remember to click for bigger images.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tech beats pictures

I'll get these posted as I go through's a few to start with (remember you can click on them for bigger images):

Crabtree named Biletnikoff finalist

Texas Tech Media Relations Dept.

Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree (Dallas, Texas/Carter) became the first freshman finalist in the 14-year history of the Biletnikoff Award, when the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation named the Red Raider sensation one of its three finalists for the 2007 award Monday.

Crabtree will join Kansas State's Jordy Nelson and Michigan's Mario Manningham in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 6, for the 2007 Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will be aired on ESPN. Crabtree is the first Red Raider ever selected a finalist for the prestigious Biletnikoff Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top receiver.

The rookie phenom has led the nation from the beginning of the season to present, amassing 1,861 yards and 21 touchdown catches on 125 receptions. All three totals top the national lists, while each is also NCAA freshman records. He has ten 100-yard games to his credit this season and, with the bowl game remaining, is one shy of the NCAA record currently held by former Pacific receiver Aaron Turner (1991).

Crabtree has seven multi-touchdown games, including five with three touchdowns and a pair of games with two. He needs 139 yards to become only the second player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 yards in a season and 200 yards to break the NCAA single-season yardage mark of 2,060, set by Nevada's Trevor Insley in 1999.

Crabtree will get an opportunity to improve on those numbers when the Red Raiders participate in the upcoming bowl season. Tech will learn its destination and opponent when bowl invitations are extended Dec. 2.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bowl Scenarios

There are 2 possible scenarios for the Red Raiders this bowl season; the Gator Bowl or the Alamo Bowl. I guess there is always the off chance that the Cotton or Holiday could break tradition and chose Tech…but it won’t happen so we won’t consider it as an option. Here is breakdown of what has to take place in the next 2 weeks and where that will land Tech.

Gator Bowl

First and foremost, if the Big 12 lands 2 teams in the BCS then Tech will end up in the Gator Bowl as the #5 team in the conference (a spot that they have locked up). They end up here because 2 teams go to the Fiesta (Big 12 champ) and another BCS bowl (at-large spot…must be Top 14 in Final BCS Rankings). Then the #3 team goes to the Cotton, #4 to the Holiday…and Tech makes a New Years Day bowl in Jacksonville. The most likely scenario is this:

- Kansas/Mizzou winner beats Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship and earns automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl.
- Texas (who doesn’t make the championship game and lost to BlowU earlier this year) will be chosen as an at-large team because (coming off a victory over A&M) they’ll be 10-2, on a 6-game winning streak, and likely ranked in the Top 10 in the BCS standings. This makes them the most likely choice as the BCS bowls typically shy away from taking at-large teams that lost their last game.

As a side note, the first ride of the Masked Rider was at the 1954 Gator Bowl. You can watch a Youtube video HERE of that famous ride!

Alamo Bowl

This one gets a bit trickier and isn’t as likely to happen…though Tech’s win on Saturday could actually “improve” their chances of falling to the Alamo Bowl instead. However, I would prefer (for selfish reasons) that Tech go here so I can go to this game in person instead of watching on TV. Plus the possibility of playing Michigan, Penn State, or Wisconsin looks a lot better to me than Clemson/Virginia in the Gator. I wish that Wake Forest could somehow be in the Gator but it won’t happen. The most likely scenario is this:

- Oklahoma/Texas wins the Big 12 Championship and earns the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl.
- BOTH Kansas and Mizzou are passed over as at-large teams. If Kansas gets to the Big 12 Championship, I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody still takes them as an at-large as long as they don’t get blown out by OU/Texas. While they have no football tradition, they have a great basketball tradition and typically travel very well.
- This puts the Big 12 Champ in the Fiesta, #2 in the Cotton, #3 in the Holiday, #4 in the Gator, and #5 in the Alamo.

There is another scenario that puts TT in the Alamo Bowl. If the Gator decides not to take a Big 12 team and instead chooses to take a Big East school (likely UConn)…then Tech would end up in the Alamo Bowl as the #5 pick (assuming 2 go to the BCS) or the Insight Bowl is only 1 team makes the BCS.

What to expect this week...

Since the season is over for Tech (until the bowl game at least)'s what you can expect in the coming days from me:

- Game-by-game recaps of the 2007 season
- Photos from the OU game. I think I took a few "keepers"...but my laptop is still down. On my way to Best Buy to buy the part "I've been told I need" to fix it...we'll see what happens.
- Breakdown of the 2 possible bowl scenarios...Gator and Alamo. I should have them up this aftenroon.

Check back with me tonight and/or tomorrow and hopefully I'll have something for you to look at. Don't know if I'll get any pics posted tonight or if it will be tomorrow...but either way I'll get them to you some way. It was a special night in Lubbock on Saturday and I hope a few of my photos can capture the excitement!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Good times in the Lbk...

Had an awesome night...tired and have to drive back to Dallas tmrw. I got my camera back so I'll get some good shots of the game and ensuing post game fun posted when I can (still don't have my laptop up and running). In the mean time...enjoy this photo. I call it...Micheal Crabtree, professional BA!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

LA Reed Suspended for Oklahoma game

WR Reed suspended for Oklahoma game

01:41 AM CST on Thursday, November 15, 2007
By BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning

Texas Tech junior wide receiver and key special teams player L.A. Reed has been suspended for the Oklahoma game Saturday because of a violation of team rules, coach Mike Leach said.

Reed's status will be reviewed after he completes his one-game suspension.

Leach didn't specify why Reed was suspended. Reed did have an altercation with fellow Tech receiver Eric Morris near the end of the first quarter of Saturday's 59-43 loss at Texas.

Saturday's Game to be a national broadcast

For Immediate Release

Nov. 15, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas - ESPN and ABC Sports has announced that Saturday evening’s game between Texas Tech and No. 3 Oklahoma will be shown live to the entire country. The two teams kickoff in the primetime spot on ABC at 7 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s game will be available in all ABC markets regardless of whether customers subcribe to cable systems and it will make it the largest single viewed game in the Mike Leach era. Texas Tech has played nationally televised games under Coach Leach on cable systems such as ESPN, FSN, TBS and the NFL Network but never a nationally televised game on ABC Sports.

As of Thursday morning, only a few hundred tickets remained for Saturday’s game and can be purchased through the Texas Tech Athletics Ticket Office at (806) 742-TECH

NOTE - TT website is showing to be sold out but Seth at Double T Nation is selling his tickets as he is unable to make it to the game. In you're interested click HERE to e-mail him

Mid-week predictions...Gameday to Lubbock???

Driving to work this morning...Mike Greenberg on ESPN's Mike & Mike said something to the effect of "College Gameday presented by Home Depot...this Saturday they will be in Lubbock, Texas as the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Oklahoma Sooners."

However...the Monday morning e-mail I received about gameday said that it's in Ann Arbor for Michigan vs Ohio State. Their website this morning still shows the same thing. I'm trying to get confirmation on their location. They send out a follow-up email on Thursday mornings so we'll see if that shows any change. I'll get to the bottom of this...

Here's a prediction from College Football News on this week's game. These guys are never afraid to pick an upset...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tech to the Gator Bowl???

(from Ivan Maisel's weekly column found here)

Gator Bowl Rumblings

If you thought one-win Notre Dame would have no effect on the bowl selections this year, think again. The lure of a recovering Fighting Irish team in 2008 or 2009 might convince the Gator Bowl to take 7-5 Texas Tech this season. Here's how the Gator Bowl's trick box works:

The Gator Bowl is in the second year of a four-year contract with the Big East and the Big 12. The Gator will take a team from the Big East in two seasons and a team from the Big 12 in two seasons (an ACC team will be on the other side of the bowl). Keep in mind that when Notre Dame does not make the BCS, it participates in the Big East's bowls.

Last year, Big East runner-up West Virginia played in Jacksonville. That leaves two seasons for the Big 12, one for the Big East. For that alone, it stands to reason that the Gator would lean toward the Big 12 this season.

In one of the two seasons the Gator picks a Big 12 team, it may choose ahead of the Cotton and Holiday bowls, the league's top two non-BCS bowls. With four highly ranked teams in the Big 12 -- No. 3 Kansas, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Missouri and No. 13 Texas -- this would seem to be the obvious year to take advantage of that clause.

But here is where it gets tricky: If the Big 12 sends two teams to the BCS, the Gator may not move ahead of the Cotton and Holiday bowls to make its choice. Since two Big 12 teams appear headed to the BCS, that means the Gator would get the fifth pick in the league. That would appear to be a Texas Tech team that is 7-4 and playing Oklahoma this week.

The Gator could return to the Big East, where the second pick could be Cincinnati or UConn, both of which are 8-2 and must play Syracuse and No. 6 West Virginia in the next two weeks. But if the Gator takes, say, a 9-3 Cincinnati, the bowl is committing itself to the Big 12 for the next two seasons and precluding itself from access to Notre Dame and the Big East.

If you think Notre Dame is in too deep a hole to get back to eight or nine wins in the next two years, then you take the Bearcats this season. If you want to keep your options open, you take the Red Raiders. Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett said he would consult with CBS, which televises the game, and make his decision.

I'm still here...

and just as I tried to tell you that my laptop is fried and work is blocking me from post "wouldn't post" you're getting a condensed version now. Back later with some info on Tech's bowl possibilities...New Years Day anyone???

Friday, November 9, 2007

Big 12 Roundtable....from over in the corner

Have some extra time this I decided to answer the questions from this week's Big 12 Roundtable:

1. With only two or three games left, how are you feeling about your season? Disappointed, elated, surprised, a little violated?

Others may disagree, but I'm fairly content with this season. Before the year started, I expected 7-5, hoped for 8-4 (win against Okie Lite or CU), and would have been elated with anything better than that. I remember being excited about the 2008 season before this one even started. The prospect of returning 10 offensive starters (losing Amendola) and the entire OL had me counting down the days until Sept 08. Looking at where we are now...with 7-5 being the worst case scenario, I have to say that I'm content with this season.

2. I have to ask, how do you feel about the (possible) buyout of Fran at Texas A&M?

I'm downright depressed. Yes the Ags had started to slip into mediocrity under the last few years of RC...but Frantastic took it to an entirely new level. Also, that's when the Aggot beatings really jumped up a notch so that was always a plus. Maybe we'll all get lucky and they'll "steal away" Greg Davis from Austin!

3. We’ve picked coaches, players, stadiums and everything else from other teams. Now, we get down to something even more near and dear: mascots. If you could pick another Big 12 mascot other than your own - who would it be and why?

My first thought was Bevo...but that's simply because it's the best mascot in Texas without his very own mustache. However, I would have to go with Ralphie for real animal or Herbie Husker for costume...because there's nothing cooler than playing with a mascot team on NCAA 08 and having nothing but 7 ft tall QB's and WR's!

4. Unexpected Greatness, Unexpected Suckage. Who surprised you this year? Who did you get really excited about, only to be let down? (The first Roundtable asked who was the face of the franchise - do you still feel that way?)

Greatness - Sam Bradford (damn...BlowU found another QB), Kansas offense (about time you guys covered a spread), Mark Mangino in HD (mmm...beefy), Michael Crabtree (absolutely love watching the progress he's making at WR. He's going to be really special by the time he heads to the NFL...even if it is after 2008.), Mizzou defense (glad to see you're finally supporting your O, cant wait to see it on a consistent basis at TT), DC Lyle Setencich leaving Tech (nobody ever thought that Leach would let his close friend and mentor leave during the middle of the season)

Suckage - Callahan vs Franchione (who had their farewell tour begin first???), Jorvorskie Lane (stop making bold predictions, stop thinking you're a feature back, get in shape), Mike Goodson (not really your fault...McGee won't pitch and Fran only calls plays that have you getting the ball horizontally), Graham Harrell (you put up sick stats vs the cupcakes but become easily flustered in the must win games...accept the fact that when you throw it 50 times/game...YOU WILL THROW INT's...learn to bounce back), Okie Lite (what happened to the hype), and Texas' defense w/o Chizik

5. I told you there would be booze. Characterize your team by the beverage of your choice.

Texas Tech is most definitely Johnny Walker Blue Label. We're right there at the bottom rung of the premium ladder but when put up against the best Macallan, Chivas, or Glenfiddich...we always seem to fall flat on our faces. Plus (in true Tech fashion) the Blue Label is just expensive enough to look classy and pretentious...but just affordable enough that you can find yourself forgetting how you arrived at such a drunken stooper only a few pours later.

Lightning Round

- Big 12 Loves - Jamaal Charles, Michael Crabtree, Mike Gundy (etched in youtube history), Chase Daniel, Frantastic (PLEASE come back for another year), Stephen McGee (keep after it buddy), Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell (but only if you grow a pair), Taylor Potts (a Tech fan's best friend) Mike Goodson, Purify from CU, Mark Mangino, Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Kansas, Boone Pickens

- Big 12 Disses - Jorvorskie Lane, Graham Harrell (if you don't grow a pair), BlowU (I'll save it for next week...thanks for covering), Guy Morriss (it was nice knowing ya), Frantastic (I'll hate you for leaving), anybody that hires Frantastic, Greg Davis (because it's easy), any idiot who writes TCEH instead of TECH. Learn to spell...(insert sarcasm/rolled eyes here)

Pick'em (straight up)
Colorado @ ISU - Colorado
Texas A&M @ Mizzou - Mizzou
KState @ Nebraska - KState
TTU @ Texas - Tech (homer pick)
Baylor @ BlowU - BlowU
Kansas @ Okie Lite - Kansas

Pick ‘em (vs spread)
Colorado @ ISU (+4) - ISU is improving...don't care...Colorado 28 ISU 20
Texas A&M (+19) @ Mizzou - Mizzou will be up by 21+ at the half. Mizzou 48 A&M 14
KState @ Nebraska (+7.5) - I shouldn't do this...give me the Huskers. KState 28 Nebraska 24
TTU (+ 7.5) @ Texas - Tech keeps it close long enough but can't stop the run...I'm gonna play homer here. Wait until just before kickoff to take them as the number will keep going up. Texas Tech 41 Texas 38
Baylor (+38) @ BlowU - This one is too easy. Bears losing Big 12 games by 31 and BlowU is better than average. BlowU 55 Baylor 10
Kansas @ Okie Lite (+6) - Kansas' will have to win a shootout...they'll still do it with a late FG but won't cover. Kansas 45 Okie Lite 42.

Rank ‘em
1. Oklahoma
2. Kansas
3. Missouri
4. Texas
5. Texas Tech
6. Colroado
7. Kansas State
8. Oklahoma State
11. Iowa State
12. Baylor

Undeserving of a rank - Nebraska, Texas A&M

I'm removing the flags from the banner...

I've decided to remove the flags from the banner for now. As we all know, this season essentially comes down to these two games. With both, you're 9-3 and will end up in the Holiday, Gator, or maybe even Cotton Bowl. Win 1, you're likely in the Holiday or Gator (assuming the Gator takes a Big 12 team this year). Win neither game, and you're hoping the Alamo wants a 7-5 team to take on Penn State or Purdue. This quote from Graham Harrell earlier this week sums up the situation:

"We've had a whole year, the whole season just about, to get ready,'' quarterback Graham Harrell said. "It'll be two fun games - get to go down to Austin and then OU, ranked where they are right now, is going to come here the next week, so we're looking forward to the challenge.''

That's it folks. No beating around the bush. Forget about the annual Aggot beating, the blowouts over Conference USA and the ridiculous numbers GH and Crabs put up, and the heartbreaking/depressing/demoralizing losses to Mizzou and Colorado. Win these two games...and the season is a success and momentum is squarely in the corner of Texas Tech heading into 2008. Lose both, and it's the same old story we're used to. The fair weather fans will gripe even louder that Leach is the problem (boy do they not know anything), that Graham is a no-talent whiner (true...but he's also the most prolific QB is Texas schoolboy history), and that the defense is weak (what do you expect when they have to practice against Leach's offense? You can't let them loose in practice or you won't have any receivers on Saturdays). Also, the rumors about Leach leaving for a bigger program will grow even louder...though I suspect that happens regardless of the outcome of the next two games. It's game time kids...get ready! Back with more football stuff later...

Ideas for tomorrow...

Since I'm no longer going to Austin...I need to find ways to pass the time while watching the game. I'm working on a list of rules for our drinking game tomorrow. So far these are the leaders in the clubhouse:

1. Every time Texas has a run of 10 or more yards…you drink.
2. Every time Tech drops a catchable ball…you drink.
3. Every time they show Leach with a “what the hell is going on?” look on his face…you drink.
4. Every time they show Mack Brown giving his inspirational clap to a bunch of criminals…you drink.
5. Every time Colt McCoy scrambles for 10 yards…throw something at the wall…and then you drink twice (see Rule 1).
6. Every time Graham Harrell begins to pout, whine, complain, throw his helmet, drink.
7. Every time Graham Harrell throws an drink.
8. Every time Crabtree has a great run after the turn on "Crank That Crabtree"...and you drink.
9. Every time Jamaal Charles is talked about for his speed, track speed, being the fastest guy on the field, drink.
10. Every time the announcers call Tech's O-line "The Great Wall of Lubbock" pray to God that ABC doesn't renew their contract for next season...and you drink twice (those guys need more alochol to reach the same level of intoxication).

Any others I should add to the list???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No HD for the Texas game

The game was listed as being in HD earlier this week....but today ABC but out their coverage map and (according to there will be no HD in Austin. The Big 12 sure got the hose on HD games with ABC this season!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tickets are gone...

found somebody to buy them and I think he's pretty neutral. Undergrad at Tech, MBA at Texas, lives in Austin, kids are in school at Tech. That seems like a reasonable enough fan IMO. Now I have to figure out what to do on a Saturday...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tickets to Texas game for sale

I have 2 tickets that I need to sell for Saturday's game in Austin. I bought them through the TT Athletic Office so they are in a Texas Tech section. The seats are Section 126 Row 20. I also have a parking pass for the Manor Garage. The Manor Garage is right next to the stadium and is the closest possible parking area that one can purchase. Currently this pass is at a ticket office in downtown Austin a few minutes from the stadium. You can pick it up there on Saturday morning or I can have it mailed to you. I believe they said it is $12 for 2nd day or about $16 for overnight.

Please make me an offer if you are interested. I paid $226 for everything originally but am willing to accept less as long as I know that the tickets will be used. Your offer will include both tickets and the parking pass. Thanks for the help!

To go to Austin...or not to go...

We bought tickets to this game back in the summer...but I'm not sure if we're going to go anymore. I put the tickets on eBay in hopes of getting around what we paid back for them. Maybe a buddy and I will head down there and scalp on Saturday. Anybody want a pair of tix in one of the TT sections?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fran gets canned...

Fran is going to be bought out by the Ags...he’ll finish the season at coach. This quote from their athletic director cracks me up:

"The Aggies are embarrassed right now," athletic director Bill Byrne said in October. "This has been a very unfortunate incident we do not want to experience again."

Good luck getting Tommy Tuberville to leave Auburn. IMO, the A&M job would be a step down for him at this time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Who's the best conference again???

I mean I know that the Big 12 isn't very good...but then I look at the latest BCS standings:

1. Ohio State - Big 10
2. LSU - SEC
3. Oregon - Pac 10
4. Kansas - Big 12
5. Oklahoma - Big 12
6. Missouri - Big 12

If we go down a bit further we find Texas somehow hanging in there at #14. So the Big 12...the conference that isn't very good...has 3 of the top 6 and 4 of the top 14 teams in the country??? Here is a confernce breakdown of the Top 15:

Big 12 - 4 (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas)
SEC - 3 (LSU, Georgia, Florida)
ACC - 2 (Boston College, Virginia Tech)
Pac 10 - 2 (Oregon, Arizona St)
Big East - 2 (West Virginia, Connecticut)
Big 10 - 2 (Ohio State, Michigan)

Yes...Oklahoma has already beaten Mizzou and Texas...and Kansas and Mizzou play in a few weeks with the winner likely meeting BlowU in the Big 12 Championship game...but for the first week of November...we'll take the recognition.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Big 12 is getting screwed

Geez...send a freakin HD camera to a game. I didn't expect both games to get it...but you would think ONE of the games in the state of oklahoma today would've been in HD. Wait nevermind...we're talking about oklahoma. When it comes to tecnological progress, they're slightly behind Lubbock!

Not much needs to be said really about the Tech game today. The offense was efficient and the defense did what was needed to thrash the Bears. Crawford was impressive out of the backfield...especially as a receiver.

I got my AT&T U-Verse service turned on today. So far it's pretty good. They even have Fox SW in HD which was a nice surprise since it's not on their channel list as HD yet. The only downside is that I only get 1 HD stream...which means if I'm recording something in HD that I can't watch anything else in HD until the recording finishes. Oh saves me about $50 vs having Dish Network and then getting internet elsewhere so I'll take it...for now!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This is just ridiculous!!!

Now Websense is blocking Blogspot from us at work...though I'll have internet back at home on Saturday so I'll be back to blogging soon. Right now...I'm posting from the local Whataburger as that's the only free wi-fi spot in Midlothian. Sad times indeed...I'll be back on Saturday!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Maybe ABC can send their HD cameras to Austin...

Oct. 29, 2007
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech Football will make its eighth television appearance of the season when it faces Texas on Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC, the Big 12 Conference and network announced Monday. Lubbock residents can view the game on Channel 28 or SuddenLink Cable Channel 8. Those outside of the Lubbock viewing area should check their local listings.
Texas Tech (6-3, 2-3) enters this weekend's matchup at Baylor looking to rebound from two tough conference losses to Missouri and Colorado. Texas (7-2, 3-2) narrowly fought off Nebraska at home last weekend and face Oklahoma State in Stillwater this weekend, before hosting the Red Raiders.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mizzou Game Diary

As promised...I did write a running diary during the Missouri game. Unfortunately, I won't have internet at home until November 3rd when my new AT&T U-Verse is I'm just now having the opportunity to post it. So in 3400 words or are my thoughts on the game:

2:30 – Just finished watching the ABC preview show…ready for the game to start. It’s not going to be in HD…so I’m not happy…but we’ll get through this

2:32 – What the hell???? ABC is showing us the Ohio State/Mich State game!!! I called DISH and they said they can’t do anything about it!!! This is NOT good...

2:37 – Ok…breathe easy…the game is on now. Tech to kickoff…we’re wearing the lovely white tops/red pants combo (note to self...send e-mail to TTU Ath Dept that these should NEVER be worn for a TV game again!) . Glad to see Trlica put the opening kick through the endzone. Time to step up defense and not let Chase Daniel beat you with his legs early in the game.

2:39 – It only took two plays to see just how big of an impact Martin Rucker can have in this game. Man those fences sure are close to the sidelines. Is this a 1A high school stadium???

2:41 – Wes Welker introducing the TT starting lineups. As he just said, “If they (Mizzou) punt twice, we will win.” Just as I finish writing that, Chase Daniel overthrows a receiver and the Tigers are forced to punt. Fake punt...fumble…Mizzou recovers??? I see a Tech guy coming up with the ball. Oh well…replay shows ground caused fumble!

2:43 – Nice play by Colby Whitlock getting a sack and forcing Daniel to fumble. Daniel saw the sack coming but sure didn’t try to protect the ball. Too bad he got it back. Another big play by the defense to bat down a pass at the line. 3 and 4 man attacks are getting pressure on Daniel early. This is a good sign. Punt goes into the endzone…Tech starts on their 20 yd line.

2:45 – Is Wes Welker drugged??? Maybe he’s just not used to talking into the cameras because it sure seems like he’s never seen the script that he’s reading.

2:49 – Back from injury timeout. Graham sneaks ahead for a first down on 3rd and inches. I love seeing our offense have success with that type of play after the debacle that occurred last season against Texas. I don’t want to hear about “the great wall of Lubbock” all day from these announcers.

2:50 – Holy !@#*!@...if that’s not Déjà vu I don’t know what is. Graham’s passed is knocked WAYYYYYY up in the air by a defender (this time a defensive back) and Mizzou catches it and runs it back for a touchdown. Graham didn’t quit on the play and cut the defenders legs at the goal line as he was going in for the TD. Now it’s time to see the offense rebound and go right down the field. Let’s go Raiders!!!

2:57 – Don’t like seeing Shawn Byrnes limping off like that. That could be a bad injury. Nice catch by Crabtree to convert on 3rd down. Didn’t I read something from Scouts Inc saying that MC struggles with passes thrown above his head???

2:58 – My heart stopped for a second when that pass was batted into the air…fortunately it fell incomplete. 4th and 2 now at Mizzou 39…will Leach go for it??? Yes but Amendola can’t hold onto it. 7:01 left in the 1st quarter.

3:00 – In other news…Brown is in a nail biter against Cornell and they lead 31-28 late in the 4th quarter. Does it seem like Chase Daniel lines up REALLY deep behind center? He’s starting 8-9 yards behind the LOS.

3:09 – That was a new wrinkle seeing Martin Rucker lined up as the QB in an empty backfield. Sure hope that the Mizzou player isn’t hurt as that could be a a serious loss to them. 2nd buzzer malfunction on the replay pager.

3:10 - Lovely…3rd and goal at the 1 yd line. Tech misses the deep sack on Daniel but still stops him for a 3 yard loss. 21 yard FG is good. 10-0 Mizzou with 2 left in the 1st quarter. Defensive line continuing to get good pressure up front. We’re going to need that for 4 quarters today.

3:15 – Great kick return from EB. Also liked seeing Graham check down to a Woods run when Mizzou audibled their coverage. GH showing good poise in the pocket with the Tigers dropping 7 and 8 guys on a consistent basis.

--------Missouri 10 Texas Tech 0, End of 1st----------

3:20 – According to the announcers…Shawn Byrnes is out for the game. Not too big of a surprise considering how bad he was walking off. Well…we got through 1 quarter without a penalty before Vasquez moved early.

3:21 – Announcers worried about MC not getting the ball enough. It’s obvious that they don’t understand the TT system. Give it time…it will create opportunities for him during the course of the game. The backup center can’t hear GH calling for the snap and it’s a delay of game. The Zoo is rockin today…

3:23 – Update…Byrnes was carted off the field…but now he just walked back out on his own power and may be back in. Seriously…somebody tell them we don’t wanna hear about the great wall of Lubbock. Trlica’s 49 yard FG is way right….

3:27 – Mizzour WR Jeremy Maclin is back out on the field. We’ll have to see how effective he is though since the word is that he can’t raise his arm very well. YEAH!!! 3rd sack for the D-Line today!!!!!! 3 and out for the Tigers…punt goes into the endzone for a touchback.

3:32 – MC’s 2nd catch of the game gives him the NCAA record for receiving yards in a season by a freshman, surpassing the 1265 yards from USC’s Mike Williams in 2002. He follows it up with a 3rd catch right after that. Now the announcers seem to have newfound love for Crabs. Maybe there is a market for the “I Love Crabs” shirt that I designed before the SMU game.

3:34 – Danny Amendola with a HUGE catch in traffic to convert a 3rd and long and move the ball into Tiger territory. MC follows with a 6 yard catch across the middle. He takes a HUGE hit and fights for another 2 yards after that. He came up with some serious intensity. That is just another example of how much he loves to play the game!

3:38 – Graham goes down on 4th and 4 from the Mizzou 38. They did bring a 5th man and finally got some pressure on Harrell. 3rd time now that a drive has stalled inside the Mizzou 40.

3:46 – I know that Ruffin is telling these guys to make a play on defense. Keep playing hard and doing what you know best. Sure enough…they flush Daniel out of the pocket and Jamar Wall gets the INT in the endzone!!! WAY TO GO DEFENSE!!!

3:49 – Don’t forget about Ed Britton!!! Graham sees an opportunity with man coverage on the outside and no safety help…and he finds Britton for a 68 yd TD strike on a deep ball. Great job staying in bounds. I think I may have disturbed the old couple that lives downstairs with my yelling and jumping around. Hopefully I don’t have Dallas PD at my door in the near future!

3:52 – I’m glad this game isn’t coming in 5.1 Dolby Digital…because I don’t want to hear that damn electronic Tiger growl EVERY time that Mizzou has a big gain. The muffled sound I’m hearing now is more than enough. 3 plays…and Mizzou has taken the ball down to the TT 2 yd line. 1st and goal…2 short runs and the Tigers have a TD. 17-7 now with 5 minutes left in the 2nd…

3:56 – Thanks for the inspirational commercial from TT. I wonder if that’s why we don’t have the game in HD…because the school commercial isn’t in HD. Hmm…have to check on that.

3:56 part 2 – Shawn Byrnes has returned at center for the Raiders. Good news indeed as this will change the OL matchups and not require a double team in the middle. More Great Wall of Lubbock talk…has anybody else heard that nickname for the OL yet??? Maybe I just missed the boat there…

3:59 – Every time we have a 3rd down…I think their announcer is saying “3rdddddd Dowwwwwwwwn Fuuuuurrry.” Kinda reminds me of “3rd Down Thunder” at SMU earlier this year. Nice catch by E-Mo at the marker to get a first down and move the ball into Tiger territory again.

4:02 – Whoa…crazy play. Graham throws an INT on a confused play…but an OL guy (Vasquez??) knocks the ball out of Brown’s hands and Danny Amendola catches it. Tech ball back at the Mizzou 45 with a minute left in the 1st half.

4:05 – There sure seems to be a lot of confusion between GH and the inside receivers on their routes today. That’s the 3rd or 4th pass where there was nobody near the ball. Looks like some confusion on option routes between what the receivers and GH are seeing in Mizzou’s coverage.

4:07 – Alex Trlica hits a 45-yd FG with 22 seconds left before halftime. As bad as his first kick looked…glad to see him recover

-----------Missouri 17 Texas Tech 10, Halftime------------

4:25 – Whew…coming back down to reality. Tito’s sure helped out with that a little bit. Thoughts on the first half:
- (As Leach said on his way to the locker room) We didn’t execute offensively. Missouri didn’t do anything spectacular, we just failed to execute.
- The loss of Shawn Byrnes definitely hurt the offense. It required us to look at different blocking schemes and also caused problems with the snap.
- We saw some signs of life from the offense on the last drive (other than the misread by GH on 3rd down) and I expect that to translate into results in the 2nd half.
- I’m glad that Mizzou took a knee at the end of the half because it gave our defense a break. Poor Tigers…they don’t yet know to not let Ruffin have too much time to coach up these guys. I imagine that his speech went something like this, “We hit them in the mouth…and they went down…but they aren’t out. They came right back at us before halftime and kept throwing haymakers. We took the blows…survived…and now it’s time for us to own the field for 30 minutes!!! Let’s go back out there and OWN THE FIELD!!!”
- Graham looks calm warming up on the sidelines. This is important to me since he looked frustrated throughout most of the first half.
- Big stat of the first half…Mizzou was only 1 of 5 on 3rd down conversions.

Here comes the 3rd quarter…Tech gets the ball first…WRECK ‘EM TECH!!!

4:34 – Whoa…Tech goes old school. Graham under center, toss play to the short side of the field and Woods gains 5 or so yards for a first down. That’s a “wrinkle” from the Air Raid offense.

4:35 – Is Ed Britton going to be the unsung hero of this game? While going largely unnoticed in the first few games, he had a great game against A&M and now has a TD and a few clutch catches to move the chains on 3rd down.

4:39 – 3 times we turn it over on 4th down between the Mizzou 35 and 40. What is the problem for the offense in that area??? I think I like the idea of throwing deep past the area instead. Let’s try that again. Somebody tell this announcer to take his panties off and/or read up on the team’s that he’s going to be announcing a game for. I’m glad James Hasty is putting him in his place about why Tech will go for it on 4th down in those situations.

4:43 – The d-line have that explosion off the ball that we saw in the first half. That needs to change…and change now!!!

4:44 – Just showed the rushing stats. Tech has 19 yards on the ground…or less than 2 yds per carry. I know it’s still early in the 3rd, but why not abandon the run at this point and make them stop the pass.

4:46 – I’m not sure…but I think we got hosed on that fumble call. The refs did a piss poor job getting to the bottom of the pile and instead were trying to separate players that were diving onto the pile late. That’s the end of my officiating rant…and anybody that knows me knows I’m not one to rant about officials. That said…first and goal Mizzou. Make a play (again) defense!!!

4:51 – The defense is playing their heart out. Keep it up guys!!! Time for the Air Raid to move it and put another one in the endzone!!! Geez I wish my internet wasn’t down. I need something to distract me for a few seconds during TV breaks.

4:53 – Clearly a late hit on Missouri on the kick…correct call by the officials. Mizzou player down briefly.

4:55 – It took until the middle of the 3rrd quarter…but Tech finally used the “run offense” by throwing a swing pass out to Shannon Woods for a 7 yd gain.

4:56 – Ed Britton drops a sure first down on 3rd and 2 at the Mizzou 35…frustration ensues. KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE!!!

4:57 – It took 4 attempts…but we FINALLY convert a 4th down inside the Mizzou 40. Nice play E-Mo!

4:59 – Did we send any fans to this game??? I’m guessing they’re on the TV side because I’ve yet to see a section of red.

4:59 part 2 – Tech going for it on 4th and 4 at the Mizzou 24…pass deflected away…intended for Crabs. It still hit him in the hands…but that was only because it was deflected back behind him. The defense needs to stop the Tigers NOW!!!

5:06 – And now the Tech defense has panicked and forgotten how to tackle. Williams has the RB dead behind the LOS but tries to tackle him high…and instead the back gets 12 yards because nobody is there to help him. 3rd and 5 at the 1 for tigers at the end of 3.

-------------Missouri 24 Texas Tech 10, End of 3rd----------

5:11 – We got owned Mike…we got owned…

5:12 – Mizzou is already milking down the clock and it’s the start of the 4th…two plays took a full minute off the clock for them to punch it in for another touchdown. 31-10 now…and considering our offense's inability to throw and catch with any regularity…this one is over!

5:14 – In other news…Notre Dame has now given up on the blue and gold. They are wearing kelly green jerseys with mustard yellow pants. Sorry Charlie…it doesn’t matter…your team still sucks this year.

5:17- I flipped over to the Kansas/Colorado game briefly…it looks like their main game camera is coming from either Pike’s Peak or the Goodyear blimp. You can see 20 yards back and 30 yards past the LOS. Weird…just weird…

5:20 – With 13 minutes left in the game…I think this one is effectively over. Mizzou has been dropping into a deep zone all day to prevent the big play and now that’s all they have to do to walk away with a very convincing win.

5:21 – Going for it on 4th and 4 from our own 32…Amendola with a phenomenal catch right on the sideline at the 45 yardline.

5:23 – Oh well…it doesn’t matter…see my comment from 5:11 for further explanation of what is happening to our OL. There are 3 guys looking forward for someone to block while Harrell is being taken to the ground. And another sack…it’s now something like 4th and 40 for the offense…this is a downright pathetic showing by the offensive line in the 2nd half.

5:25 – Lovely…even when our special teams forces a fumble…we still can’t land on top of the ball and recover it. We’re able to salvage a personal foul on the tigers but that doesn’t matter one damn bit at this point.

5:28 – Our defense has quit…and we’re back to tackling forward again. Why we’re not commiting even a 5th guy to the run…I have no idea. TD tigers…yay…

5:30 – I’m going to go out on a limb and say that our offense is going to put up a meaningless TD or 2 now to make it look respectable when in reality their performance was nothing short of depressing. All it will do is give MC better receiving stats for the record books.

5:33 – Worst thing I’ve ever seen. I flip over to the end of the OSU game…only to see a girl (along with a guy) dressed like Animal and Warrior of WWF fame. The broad shoulders and braided her just did me in. I hope she was drunk or lost a bet…a BIG bet…

5:35 – Here’s a glaring stat…Texas Tech is now 1-10 in their last 11 games against ranked teams including today’s ass whooping by Missouri.

5:36 – Even though they aren’t throwing to him lately…glad to see MC still doing his part in blocking for Woods on these last two short catches. Wow…you know it’s bad when E-Mo is dropping wide open balls across the middle.

5:37 – And just as I say that…MC makes a half ass attempt at catching a pass on 3rd down and it gets picked off after Crabs tipped it into the air.

5:40 – Wow…that’s a crappy call on Tech. I’m with James Hasty on this one…the defender makes a legit hit (really a push of the shoulders) on Daniel that forces him to pitch the ball and he gets flagged for an illegal hit. Sad times indeed…

5:48 – Crabtree with a drop on a wide open pass over the middle. I had this thought after the Okie Lite game…but does MC not have the best hands in the game? His abilities are starting to remind me of Terrell Owens. Once you get the ball in his hands…he’s as deadly as anybody in the country because of his strength and athleticism.

5:49 – Glad to see Abilene High product Lyle Leong make two great catches on back-to-back plays to move the offense down the field.

5:50 – Wow….ANOTHER pick thrown by Harrell…his 4th of the day. These passes aren’t even pretty that he’s throwing.

As this game finishes up…I’m gonna make a few parting comments:

- The defense again outplayed the offense. That doesn’t need to be said…but I’m going to state the obvious there. They played really well for 3 quarters…and then frustration sets in when they realize that no matter how hard they try that the offense can’t get out of their own way.
- A pathetic Missouri defense owned Tech today. They gave 3 different looks today. The standard look was 4 down linemen with 2 LB’s playing spy/zone across the middle while every receiver was manned up in the secondary. In “pressure situations” (aka whenever Tech had 3rd or 4th and short in Mizzou territory) they lined up in Cover 0 and brought 6 or 7 guys every time. The 3rd look was the occasional blitz from outside while the DL would stunt inside to close the Tech OL spreads.
- Offensively, the receivers had a severe case of the drops. Missouri tempted Tech to throw the intermediate routes across the middle and we weren’t able to hang on to the ball…whether there was a hit delivered after the catch or not.
- Graham Harrell was frustrated with poor communication in the first half…and in the second half he spent most of the time playing with only 2 or 3 OL guys blocking for him. When he wasn’t getting violated in the backfield…he was unable to connect with his receivers. When he found an open man, there were many a dropped ball to be had. Offensively, this felt a lot like the TCU game…but with slightly better production. We moved the ball into striking distance but then there was absolutely no execution once the ball went into Mizzou territory.
3,300 + words…and there’s still not an answer for the performance we saw today. Maybe it was something that Mizzou did…but I tend to agree with Leach’s halftime comments when he said we failed to execute…plain and simple.

I must leave you now and pull it together…time for a steak, a cold beer…and then time out on the town with friends for the evening as I try to put this one aside. At least I have the Red Sox game to watch tonight…and a friend from Boston that’s here to root along with me!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Tech Uniform Count...

barring something unforseen this weekend in Columbia...the streak of 7 games with 7 different uniforms will end for the Raiders. However, expect a new streak of wins vs Missouri to start tomorrow!!!

Here's a recap of the different combos we've seen this year. Still missing are the black top/red pants and red pants/black top. Maybe we'll see those in the final two home games of the season???

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Since tomorrow will be the first time this season that I've had the opportunity to sit on my couch and watch football on a Saturday...I'm thinking of doing "remote blogging" of the TT/Mizzou game live from the apt. Depending on who the announcers are for this one...I may use the XM Radio feed to pair with the evil non-HD feed coming through from ABC. Either way...stay tuned...maybe I'll work up something that's mildly interesting.

Now back to my regularly scheduled Friday afternoon "Siesta Under the Deska"...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Graham Harrell Stat Projections

So I had this in-depth thread ready to go where I was going to wow you with some thorough insight on the production we can expect to see from Graham Harrell the rest of the season. The only problem is...the data isn't thorough enough to make a prediction with any significant level of confidence. Here are some thoughts on my work:

1. NW State game caused problems with my model since he only played 2+ quarters...and the fact that they're a 1-AA team. With their numbers in the model, I projected GH to throw for 5331 yards. The only problem was that the confidence level was at 47.4% on the model.

2. After tweaking the model (removing NW St and adjusting accordingly) I was able to raise the confidence level to 54.2% and the yardage projection changed by 12 yards to 5343 yards.

3. I made one last adjustment to the model (giving more emphasis to Big 12 games, potential weather issues, etc) and the confidence level went down to 51.4% while the yardage projection increased to 5389 yards.

All told, this is the best conclusion that I've reached:

A straightline projection of Graham's numbers based on his performance through 7 games gives us a total of 5402 yards through 12 regular season games. While the confidence levels of my models were relatively low, it is moderately safe to say that Graham will eclipse the 5000 yard mark this season. As stated previously, my projections put him somewhere around 5350 yards with a variance of approximately +/- 100 yards.

Maybe I should've spent more time with advanced calculus and statistical modeling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Panoramic from the A&M game

While you wonder when I'll get the GH projections up (or maybe you don't wonder at all...) here is a panoramic that I shot last Saturday. It's not my best work...but it will do for now (click on picture for full size image):

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big 12 Bowl Projections

I don't buy into these too early in the season...but now that the first set of BS rankings are out, I'll go ahead pass these along:

Brut Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 / 2 p.m. El Paso, Texas CBS
Projection: Texas Tech vs. USC

what's odd is that when I played with TT on NCAA 08 this season...I got them to the Fiesta Bowl where they played (and lost a close game to) USC!!!

Other Big 12 Bowl projections:

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Dec. 27 / 8 p.m. San Diego, Calif. ESPNProjection: Kansas vs. California
- Don't count on it. All things equal, I think they would select Tech, Missouri or Texas (if available) over Kansas.

Texas Bowl Dec. 28 / 8 p.m. NFL NetworkTie-Ins: Houston, Texas Projection: Colorado vs. Houston
- No disagreements with this one.

Alamo Bowl Dec. 29 / 8 p.m. San Antonio, Texas ESPNProjection: Illinois vs. Kansas State
- Again, I think they would take Tech, Texas or maybe even Missouri before KState.

Petro Sun Independence Bowl Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. Shreveport, La. ESPNProjection: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
- Something about Texas A&M being relegated to a bowl game in Shreveport gives me a good laugh this morning.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 31 / 12:30 p.m. Fort Worth, Texas ESPNProjection: TCU vs. Nebraska (No Pac 10 projected available)
- This one might be even more of a laugher. Two teams who were in the BCS mix before the season (moreso for TCU than Nebraska) ending up in a meanlingless bowl game at TCU. Nebraska's late wins over Wake Forest and Ball St look a lot more important now once you consider that the Huskers will have to win 2 out of 5 from the likes of A&M, Texas, Kansas, KState, and Colorado just to become bowl eligible.

Insight Bowl Dec. 31 / TBA Tempe, Ariz. NFL NetworkProjection: Michigan State vs. Oklahoma State
- I sure hope that this one happens. I don't want a game that I would care to watch to actually be played on New Years' Eve. Plus...I have a party planned at the W Dallas for that night!

AT&T Cotton Bowl Jan. 1 / 11:30 a.m. Dallas, Texas FOXProjection: Texas vs. Kentucky
- I think the Big 12 representative for this game will be decided by the winner in Austin on November 10th. When we bought our tix for this game last summer, I wasn't looking forward to this trip but given the improved Tech defense, the immergence of Crabtree, and the chaos that is going on in Austin...this game could have some serious bowl implications. Then again, I still think the Horns will have to win out to end up in the Cotton Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Jan. 1 / 8:30 p.m. New Orleans, La. FOXProjection: South Carolina vs. Missouri
- It's a nice thought...but it won't happen as long as Missouri's defense continues to give up 400+ yds/game. They've looked a bit better in conference, but their performance against mid-majors and 1-AA schools exposed this defense as being nothing above mediocore.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 / 8 p.m. Phoenix, Ariz. FOXProjection: Oregon vs. Oklahoma
- Though it's a return trip to Glendale for the Sooners, it's not for the MNC game that they would love to have a shot at. Then again, the Boomers can't complain about the play of Frosh QB Sam Bradford as his future looks bright. Chalk this one up another Big 12 title for Mr Stoops.

The end is near on my research...but don't get too excited about the Graham Harrell projection information just yet!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

For those in the betting community...

Tech (+3.5) @ Missouri. Factor in that the home team is getting 3 points...this game is a virtual coinflip in Vegas.

Other Big 12 lines:
Nebraska (-2) vs Texas A&M
Kansas (-4.5) @ Colorado
BlowU (-28.5) @ Iowa State
Okie Lite (-3) vs Kansas St
Texas (-24.5) @ Baylor

Colorado game moved to 11AM on ABC

Oct. 15, 2007

LUBBOCK, Texas - For the third-straight week, Texas Tech fans can tune into ABC Sports and find the Red Raiders as Tech will take on Colorado at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Jones AT&T Stadium, the Big 12 Conference and ABC Sports announced Monday morning.

The television appearance will be the sixth of the season and the third-straight on ABC Sports as Tech faced Texas A&M on the network on Oct. 13 and will face Missouri this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Columbia, Mo.

The Colorado game will be carried on a regional basis.

Mike Leach said it best...(A&M game thoughts)

(from Saturday's post game press conference)

"I think the energy has picked up," Leach said. "Our team is starting to realize that it takes all the components working together to be a good team."

I can't agree more with this thought. While the offense did a great job making adjustments based what A&M did defensively (and then just flat out imposing their will upon the Aggies) it was again the Tech defense that defined the tone of this game. Once they showed the Ags (and the Tech offense) that they weren't going to be pushed around into another shootout with a Big 12 team, the game was essentially over by the middle of the 2nd quarter. A&M gained just under half of their total yards (42% to be precise) on the first 2 drives. They had two more drives where they moved the ball well but they ended in a missed FG (2nd quarter) and a turnover on downs (4th quarter). Great job offense...but the game balls start and end with the defense.

Yes I actually made it this far without saying anything about MC. I think this picture (from DTN) takes care of that for me:

One other enjoyable quote from Saturday, from DC Ruffin McNeill:

"They probably had a little bit too much to drink," McNeill said, chuckling. "I love our [fans], but they were chanting my name, a big ol' guy? An ol' school, half-bald guy? They must have been talking about a different Ruffin."

I've been working on a deeper look into Graham's passing numbers in my (likely futile) attempt to more accurately project his end of season statistics. I should be finished with it this afternoon unless these storms knock out the power for a bit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More love for Crabtree for Heisman

Two analysts on ESPN's College Football Live listed Crabtree in their Top 5 Heisman favorites this evening. Here's to hoping for another game of "consistent" production this Saturday for MC.

Crabtree at the top of Heisman voting???

This writer at sure has him there...

My Heisman ballot this week would be … I vote based on a combination of three things: Most valuable player, most outstanding player, and the signature player of the season. I might wildly change my mind weekly, but I’ll sort it all out at the end. 1) Michael Crabtree, WR Texas Tech, 2) Chase Daniel, QB Missouri, 3) Matt Ryan, QB Boston College, 4) Mike Hart, RB Michigan, 5) Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU

one other nugget of info...he has Harrell/Crabtree as the best player(s) that need to be included in the list of top stars:

1. Texas Tech redshirt freshman WR Michael Crabtree & Texas Tech junior QB Graham Harrell

First, let’s get this out of the way. SMU, UTEP, Rice, Oklahoma State, Northwestern State, and Iowa State. We’re not exactly talking about a murderer’s row of opponents so far. It doesn’t matter. If you’re going to give the Heisman love to Colt Brennan to start the year, then it has to shift over to Harrell after the junior completed 74% of his passes for 2,726 yards (454 per game) with 28 touchdown passes and three interceptions in the first six games. Last year, Brennan threw for 5,915 yards and 58 touchdowns in 14 games. If you project Harrell’s numbers out to 13 games (the regular season plus a bowl), he’ll throw for 5,906 yards and 60 touchdowns. He won’t hit those marks with the competition ahead getting tougher, but he’s still been amazing so far. But not as strong as his battery mate.

Redshirt freshman Michael Crabtree was one of the biggest receiver recruits Mike Leach had ever brought aboard, and if you’ve ever wondered what a top-shelf talent would do in this offense, you’re finding out. He’s 6-3, 222 pounds, physical, quick, and fast. And he also scores touchdowns. Gobs of them.

The numbers are beyond ridiculous. 70 catches, 1,074 yards, 17 touchdowns. To put this into perspective, his first six games alone would’ve made put him 17th in the nation at the end of last year in receiving yards. Only Rice’s Jarett Dillard, with 21, caught more touchdown passes last year than Crabtree has so far, and no one else had more than 15. You want bizarre? Project the numbers out over 13 games, and he’ll catch 151 passes for 2,327 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Porky guarantees victory in Lubbock!!!

Lane guarantees victory vs. Texas Tech

Texas A&M hasn’t won at Texas Tech since 1993. The Lubbock jinx is very much real, and a bunch of Aggies were asked about it at today’s news conference. Running back Jorvorskie Lane wasn’t putting up with any of that, though.
“We’re going to win in 2007,” Lane said. “That’s a guarantee. I promise you.”
Lane was then asked why he feels that way.
“It’s just that our team’s chemistry is so strong right now, ain’t nothing can break us,” the J-Train added. “From what we went through with that situation with Coach Fran and we were down 17 points last week [against Oklahoma State], it’s just a real big motivating thing right now.”
That was probably the biggest thing to come out of a rather mundane news conference inside Hagner Auditorium. It was thought that A&M might announce the results of its investigation into the "VIP Connection" today. But no.
A&M officials have made it clear they want to get each and every e-mail that was sent out over the last three years. School officials probably want to cross every t and dot every i before making an announcement.

Remembering Tech/A&M games in Lubbock

1995: A&M came into the game ranked eighth nationally but was already reeling from a loss to Colorado. Zach Thomas returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 14-7 Tech victory. Click here for the game story.

1997: On a typical windy West Texas day, kicker Tony Rogers from Plano watched a 47-yard field goal attempt kiss the left upright and bounce through with 19 seconds remaining, giving the Red Raiders a 16-13 victory. Click here for the game story.

1999: The Aggies had climbed to fifth in the Associated Press poll. But Tech coach Spike Dykes made a surprise switch by moving fullback Sammy Morris to tailback. Morris had 170 yards against the nation's top-ranked run defense in a 21-19 win. Click here for the game story.

2001: Tech's Ryan Aycock made a key interception in the end zone, and Joselio Hanson forced a critical fumble late as the Raiders won, 12-0. Just as in '99, fans stormed the field and tore down the goal post. Click here for the game story.

2003: Quarterback B.J. Symons threw a Big 12-record eight touchdown passes in a 59-28 laugher. He completed 34 of 46 passes for 505 yards. The Aggies simply couldn't keep up in a game that started late and ended at almost 1 a.m. Click here for the game story.

2005: Dwayne Slay's earth-shattering hit on Jorvorskie Lane forced an A&M fumble and broke open a tight game in the third quarter. After that play, Tech scored on its next six drives and rolled to a 56-17 victory. Click here for the game story.

Ramblings on the Iowa State game...

Well I made it home from Lubbock just before 10PM on Sunday you can imagine that my mind wasn't on writing about the game just yet. Yesterday about the only thing Tech/A&M related was the Vick Em shirt incident...and I started to post it multiple times but decided (along with many others in TT blog land) that it's received enough publicity and continuing to publish it would do no good. Then last night...we were all witness to this:

So now that the dust has settled here in my world...and I can write on my thoughts from Saturday. To preface this...we only stayed for just a bit beyond halftime before going back to tailgate and watch Florida/LSU so I didn't see anything beyond the first drives of the 2nd half...though we did listen to much of the game until the starters came out. I'll just write this out in bullet points...

- When was the last time the general consensus was that the defense outplayed the offense? It was very refreshing to see in person the changes I had read were taking place the last few weeks. On a consistent basis, receivers were hit when they caught the ball. The thing that excited me the most was our defense started gang tackling and actually driving guys backwards on multiple occassions. I'm hard pressed to think of a time when we've seen that level of aggression and drive from the defense under the former regime.

- While the last few years have been a bit different...the offense has re-established the Coach Leach standard of "We expect to score every time we have the ball" and it is almost a letdown for fans when the offense has to punt. I know it's hard to believe...but it's reality that teams do punt sometimes!

- Michael Crabtree continues to impress everybody who sees him. For me this week, it was his explosiveness the first few steps after catching a ball. I don't know why, but he always seems to find a way to get yards after the catch. My motto when Crabtree catches a pass is, "It's like Christmas 10 times a game. Every time he gets the ball you better be ready for a surprise!"

- After all of the new uni combinations we've seen this year, the red/red was kind of a letdown for homecoming. I'm still holding out for a red/black combo of some kind so maybe we'll see it against A&M this Saturday!

- If you get bored in the next few days and want to read a lot of things that don't make too much sense...head on over to the TexAgs forums to see what things they have come up with this time around. My favorite comments are when they talk about Tech being some barren, flatland. I'm sorry...but since when did College Station become a booming metropolis with rolling hills???

With all the talk about MC and his charge towards the NCAA record books...many are overlooking the phenomenal numbers the Graham Harrell is putting up. Right now, his numbers are superior to what Kingsbury did in 02 and on pace with what Symons did in 03. We'll look more into this later...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back in the favor of the voters

Last week...Tech gets 0 votes in either of the major polls. Now after an average offensive (and very good defensive) performance against a bad Iowa State team...we see this in the polls:

AP Poll - 27 votes...good for #31 in the poll
Coaches Poll - 44 votes...good for #29 in the poll

As a side note...Aggot is 26 in the AP and 28 in the Coaches so after a good beating in Lubbock on Saturday afternoon...maybe Tech will break into the Top 25 for the first time this year...or maybe they'll win and go back to receiving 0 votes again. Who knows with the pollsters...