Saturday, October 27, 2007

What's wrong?

(Please use the comment area liberally - everyone except B Orange - who is laughing his ass off at us right now)

Does Graham Harrell lack:

A. Leadership skills?
B. Killer instinct?
C. Good decision making skills?
D. The ability to "look off" defenders?
E. All of the above?

What's the matter with genius Leach:

A. Lacks game day management skills?
B. Fails to employ a "both sides of the ball" methodology?
C. Play calling becoming predictable?
D. Won't put receivers in motion?
E. All of the above

What's the matter with the defense:

A. Because the DC coaching change happened during the season they are still running a scheme that doesn't work?
B. The defense is just too small?
C. The DL is just so young?
D. Because the offense has been sucking, the D is on the field way too much, with too much pressure on them?
E. All of the above?

What's the answer (Pick all that apply):

A. Leach has done well so far - but has reached his ceiling - it's time for him to move on?
B. Recruiting must improve - we have too little talent?
C. Ruff is a great guy - but we need a top-flight DC?
D. Bench Harrell and put T. Potts in?
E. Leach must evolve as a coach and shake himself up?

I've also added a simplistic poll to the right - we welcome your input there as well.

I don't know the answer - I'm just a fan in a far-away place. I didn't play college football - much less coach.

I'm really and truly stumped and I'm as frustrated as anyone else.

And now, for the first time, I wonder if graduating players can save Leach's job from the axe of Gerald Myers.

I have only one thing to fall back on really - and that's that we weren't supposed to be any good this year. Some of those pre-season predictions look fairly accurate now to tell you the truth.

This one looks fairly prescient:

Chip Brown - DMN

5. Texas Tech

Record: 7-5;3-5

League losses: at Okla. St., Texas A&M, at Mizzou, at Texas, OU

Bottom line: Tech has only four starters back on offense and only five back on defense. If Mike Leach hasn't been recruiting well, it will show. A typically soft nonleague schedule should ensure Tech remains the only Big 12 team without a losing season since the conference was formed.

Or how about this one:

Jimmy Boyd - Locksmith Sports There are just too many talented offensive teams now in the Big 12 for the Texas Tech Red Raiders to get by without a better defense. Sure you'll see them near the top of the nation in passing yards and points, but you'll also see them as one of the worst run defenses and scoring defenses in the nation. The Big 12 South is too tough to get by without playing both sides of the ball.

In case you want to see what the media as a whole thought of our chances - here's the pre-season Big 12 Media Poll:

2007 Big 12 Preseason Football Poll (Media Vote)
1. Missouri (16) 136
2. Nebraska (8) 128
3. Kansas State 88
4. Kansas 63
5. Colorado 58
6. Iowa State 31
1. Texas (16) 135
2. Oklahoma (7) 126
3. Texas A&M (1) 82
4. Oklahoma State 81
5. Texas Tech 56
6. Baylor 24

Note: First place votes in parentheses

While it's certainly no fun to say - "well we were supposed to suck" - or "there's always next year" - we may as well get well prepared to say exactly those things.


Anonymous said...

Does Graham Harrell lack:

answer: F. a Y chromosome

What's the matter with genius Leach:

answer: F. he has attention deficit disorder.

What's the matter with the defense:

answer: F. suffering from PTSD from the last DC.

What's the answer (Pick all that apply):

Answers: F. Leach has done ok so far - but has reached a plateau. It may be time for him to move on.

G. Recruiting better may help. We could always use better talent.

H. Ruff is a great guy - but really hasn't had the opportunity to make wholesale changes or a full impact.

I. Play Harrell through the end of season, but have one of Tech's players knock the hell out of him before the start of the game to get him going.

J. Leach needs to further evolve as a head coach and recognize that opposing DCs have figured out that if they rattle the brain of the offense it will start sputtering.

Phil McCrevis said...

The things that are wrong are nearly too numerous to list. I think that some of what the aggies say about us winning our "Superbowl" is correct. The team plays well in that game and then falls flat on its face the following weeks. Players look uninspired, as though they've read how great they are and think that everyone should just lay down for us.

Our defense is awful. When Ruff took over, he talked a big game about getting aggressive. Where is it? Where are the blitzes? Why don't we load the box with 8 defenders on a team that has a strong running game? Make them pass to beat us. Instead, we allow teams to average 6 yards per carry. Why would they throw against this defense? Eat up yards and eat up clock.

The big answer is that the problem is with Mike Leach. He's in his EIGHTH YEAR as head coach and he's finally come to the realization that we need a DEFENSE?!?! Don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming the defense for this loss. The blame lies squarely on Graham Harrell throwing 4 ints, but the defense is also partly responsible for not being able to stop Colorado in the 1st half and let them completely control the tempo of the game.

Long and short, I'm sick of "next year". However, if next year this team isn't in a serious Big XII South title run, it may be time to make a change at the top. I'm really starting to think that Leach isn't going to get it done...

Anonymous said...

Graham Harrell is the problem.

The offense still works, the defense actually shows signs of improvement...... the problem is the team leader is non-existent. What we have in the place where he is suppose to be is, a cry baby who was raised to think that he is the second coming of Peyton Manning, and has no idea how to be critical of himself due to the fact that he was raised as a coaches son, and the other coaches were scared to tell him he was wrong. So he learned that every time he fucks up, it is the other persons fault.

Zebbie L. said...

I don't have time to go into a lenghty list right now...but here are a few thoughts:

Graham Harrell - I've been as big of a GH supporter as anybody...but I too am getting frustrated with his antics. Last week, I felt a lot of it was due to poor communication with the OL and them continually letting him get put on his ass. Today, that wasn't the case...he was simply forcing passes into places where they didn't belong and it bit him in the ass. Of course I love having a QB with experience and a great arm...but I'm all for giving Potts more time on the field (and his HS "battery mate" in Lyle Leong).

Mike Leach - To call for Leach's head is ignorant. His scheme gives Tech the best chance of winning. Look at California...before Tedford they were a footbal afterthought. Now, they get their fare share of talented recruits...and it helps that they're #2 in recruiting the West Coast behind USC. Leach has brought that same hope to Tech. Unfortunate for Tech is that they're fighting with Okie Lite for 4th place in recruiting in Texas (mainly DFW) and it will take A LOT of time before we see any paradigm shifts in who recruits want. We're seeing slow improvments on BOTH offense and defense (Harrell, Crabtree, Whitlock, etc) and now the next step is ON THE FIELD success before Tech can move up in the recruiting pecking order.

Defense - Here's the problem with the defense. They're a finesse defense. We can blame the scheme, we can blame the coaching, we can blame the talent. It doesn't matter. The REASON (NOT the problem) that they are that way is because of the offensive scheme they practice against. If Ruffin wanted, he could create a smashmouth defense but to do so in practice would result in tons of beat up receivers and that wouldn't help the team out as the season progresses. When you practice against the Leach offense, you are limited with what you can practice offensively.

That's all I've got for now...yeah I wasn't that short. I'll post expanded thoughts on the blog (Flags Over Raiderland) later...probably Monday.

Bevo said...

The last time Texas Tech won 10 games was in 1976. 1976!

TTU can beat OU or Texas in the season. It is doubtful they can turn two in one season. That leaves TTU scrapping for third place in the South Division. A great season is beating OU or Texas, finishing second in the South Division, and going to the Cotton Bowl.

Tech shared conference titles in 1976 and 1994.

Be happy with what you have.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that previous comment wasn't me. Bond, you Raiders look pretty fired up here. A lot of the above comments are pretty insightful.

But re: what's wrong ...

As I was saying ...

Tech will beat Baylor 66-12 next week and all will be good.

Anonymous said...


I forgot to sign ... B. Orange. See you on 11/3. Now that your season is heading toward .500 I am sure the Raiders will be ready. Seriously, I am. I am sure they will bring it in Austin (the offense, at least) on 11/3.

Don't be fooled into a Fran-like trance, though. Beating Texas or OU doesn't mean that what every one is saying above is not true.

B. Orange

Anonymous said...

Having 2 students at TEch....go to school with these guys.....etc. etc.

Leach has absolutely NO discipline on his team!

HeadThief said...

If I may post an outsider's view. I think Leach is fine. He's not likely to get you a national championship, but he's an interesting dude, is eccentric, but doesn't embarrass the university, and he wins his fair share of games. And, as mentioned, players graduate and for the most part stay out of jail. You can fire him, but what are you going to get that's a definite upgrade? Charlie Weis is working miracles in South Bend, and that whole Howard Schnellenberger experiment didn't work out out so well at my alma mater.

ScarletLetterer said...

what PhilMcCrevis said, pretty much!

And Bevo, why don't you be happy with what you've got? I don't care that you won an NC just two years ago! Be happy with that! Be happy that you're average again!

And Harrell wasn't to blame for the Mizzou defeat, but he sure was for CU -- he and Crabtree (quitting on routes) both were!
And Leach. That's a very stubborn trio there who refuses to see what they do wrong!!