Plenty of blame to go around this morning. Some Texas Tech alumni are already beating the drum to see major changes in the football program - including sacking Leach.
Most of the guys I hang with just want to see Lyle sent on his way. While I am now definitely in the "Fire Lyle" camp I haven't always been there. I felt for a few years that his defenses were a result of not having the right talent to run an aggressive defense.
Now my attitude in that regard revolves mostly around the recruiting aspect of the defense in addition to what I saw on the field yesterday.
It shouldn't be that hard of a sell to recruit to the Tech defense - the offense will keep you in most games - all you need to do to win all the games on the schedule is to stop the other team from scoring. Sounds simple - but Tech couldn't even stop the QB from running right up the middle on third and 20...and not just for a first down - for a touchdown...from midfield....untouched.
Leach's post-game comments seem familiar after these types of games, but I'm confused.
Let me get this straight in my head...last year's team was full of prima-donnas and we suffered agonizing road losses to Colorado and TCU - games that we should have handled easily. Last year's seniors were a bunch of bad guys, right? Yet that team also came from behind in the Insight Bowl to record the largest bowl comeback of all time. Mental toughness was lauded as the reason we came from behind to win - hey, it only took all season to find that toughness, but they did.
When we entered this season we had excellent team chemistry and the team was bowling together and going to karaoke parties and playing Bunco at Coach Knight's house. Right?
That's all I heard out of spring practice - how "together" this team was. Gone were all of those bad influences.
And yet here we are again, getting the same speech from Coach Leach.
That's only evidence of a recurring flaw in coaching and/or leadership. If the same attitude exists today as existed yesterday - then not much has really changed - because we know that there has been almost 70% turnover in who is on the field this year.
From the outside we could not possibly know what - or who - is "not on board." But I wonder if Coach Leach can see his own horizon looming? Texas Tech's financial support is still rooted in old school West Texas football and that money may find that the "all-offense, no defense" experiment was good fun, but now has reached its conclusion.
While Leach is certainly a great coach (and I hope that he remains successful at Tech forever by the way) his new challenge will be to make changes to his staff, lest the penultimate change to the staff come from Gerald Myers.
I'll be rooting for Coach Leach to grow into the leader this program needs on both sides of the ball. I remind myself all the time that he's only been a head coach at this level for 8 years now. I wonder however, how many more he may be allowed after watching what I saw yesterday.
Thoughts on the game itself:
DT! Roger Staubach needs to pick a better class of friends. What makes me think those two are in the real estate business together?
DT! Listen, I think it's crappy we lost the game, but I think dropping that pass may help develop Michael Crabtree - he needs to understand now rather than later that with great expectations come great responsibility (tipped ball or poorly thrown ball aside - he looked very much like a kid who thought he should have caught that ball).
DT! Seems like our DBs are interested in making the perfect tackle instead of just trying to close the space between them and the ball carrier as quickly as possible. And when not trying to make a perfect tackle they seem to think shoving and pushing the ball carrier will cause him to fall.
DT! An alumnus I was talking to last night felt like Amendola lost us the game on the drive Tech had with 2:30 or so remaining in the game...that he missed two balls and one because he was attempting a one-handed grab instead of falling to the ground and making the sure-handed (two-handed) grab. Like I said, in a loss there's plenty of blame to go around.
I'm tired of this crap.