Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tech's new promo piece...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back from the Holiday

1974 Peach Bowl
Texas Tech 6 - Vanderbilt 6

Want to impress your friends and make yourself more attractive?

Of course you do.

So I found the key -

A seriously great site dedicated to the pursuit of "Who's next in line to get the axe?"

At the blog portion of the site they give good insight to the reports that Mike Sherman may be the next Aggie HC:

Could Texas A&M actually be about to hire Mike Sherman as their new head football coach? If they are, then the people involved in this decision have a basic misunderstanding of what faces a college football coach in 2007. If A&M wanted a guy with no personality, someone not very dynamic on the recruiting trail, and a person that is totally out of sync with what being an Aggie is all about, then they could have kept on Dennis Franchione.

In Harris’ story he lists the final 3 candidates as Bob Davie, Chris Peterson, and Mike Sherman. Bob Davie? Davie was 32-25 at Notre Dame, which is a place where you have to work to not win 9 games a year. Chris Peterson? Would Chris Peterson actually consider the A&M job, or was his name just thrown into the mix to make it look like this was a thorough search. If Peterson was indeed a candidate, and would take the job, then A&M would have been hitting a home run, because he is exactly the type of guy that A&M should be hiring at this moment in time.

Then you get to the last name, Mike Sherman. Mike is a great guy, he had a nice run at Green Bay, but he has not coached in college since 1996, and that might as well be 1976 with the way the game has changed in the last 10 years.
If indeed Mike Sherman is hired at A&M, it would be fascinating to find out the reasons that he got the job, and just who inside the A&M power structure championed Sherman.

Agreed, from my perspective.

And then news from ESPN that AD Tom Osbourne would like to bring back "smash mouth football" (my words) and makes a nice little underhanded right hook at ex-coach Callahan:

Callahan junked Osborne and Solich's triple-option for the West Coast offense, and the Huskers seemed to lose their hard edge. Under Osborne and Solich, some of the most ferocious hitting occurred on the practice field. Under Callahan, practices in full pads were uncommon.

Osborne said he also wants the new coach to embrace the atmosphere, which means showing respect for the program's past, being visible and building the trust of fans and players.

"You want somebody whose word is good," Osborne said. "It's very important in recruiting that the players trust you. That what you tell them is going to happen.

"You want somebody that knows football and has a good work ethic. You want somebody that can motivate. Some people know football, but they really don't get people to play hard for them. Again, I'm not saying that's the case [with the previous staff]. But you've got to get players to play hard."

Those years as a politician have served Tom well - he's "not saying" that the previous staff was a pile of horse crap - but they sure smelled like it didn't they Tom?

No word on the Baylor job - the media in Waco have not been able to create the frenzy they were hoping for I suppose. Lord, if the hire Glen Mason and his electric iron-on teeth I'll have a lol-fest the size of the Insight Bowl.

Maybe some of you recruiting junkies can tell me if any of the recruits mentioned in this article could switch to Tech from Baylor - and if they would improve our class...

An old SWC matchup will be re-kindled at the behest of Jerry Jones and his pocketbook - I never really took the time to form an opinion about the relocation of the Aggie/Tech series to Jerryworld - it seems that the Aggies and Hawgs will bring in an extra $1 Mil or so to their already rich programs if it's on par with the agreement reached between the Kansas/Missouri Border War.

I like the idea of an extra $1 Mil for our program - and would support a non-conference game at Jerryworld - but sure would hate to see a conference rivalry moved out of Lubbock.

Thanks to EDSBS for this classic video from this weekend - this is why we need to look at a national officiating pool - for quality calls:

Tech Mens BB upset the Zags and then couldn't overcome Butler's amazing three-point shooting. I watched the Final on my DVR today - I was impressed with the talent that we have coming in these days. Coach Knight (both of them) have been able to recruit some amazing talent to Lubbock, I think we'll know more about this team in a few weeks. Right now I think we're going to be able to pull some more upsets this year.

I'll actually be in Manhattan soon - so I plan to pull a Mike Leach and drop in on "The Donald." I plan on telling him I'm a Texas Tech satirist blogger who is offended by his letter to Donna Sha-Na-Na. I'm sure I'll get right in. Maybe I'll get a call from him a few weeks later and I can invite him over for some whiskey and try to talk him into getting me a guest spot on The Apprentice.

cue announcer guy: "He's a regionally read sports blogger from Texas and has turned his back on Google Ads, he'll be gone by the second commercial break."

Back to the letter - uhhhh....Trump - you still have the check from the USFL settlement, no?

I do like that he sticks up for his friends - his habit of "I told you so" letters is tired, however.

Lastly, from Coaches Hot Seat - Mike Leach's contract. He only gets an extra 100 Gs for winning the MNC - kinda low IMO.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Raiders (and readers)

We're glad you've come by this year and visited us...

Be safe out there.

And remember - Tech knows turkey...

Clint Brown doesn't have a lucky T-Shirt - he has a lucky cowboy hat...

Late congrats to Sally Kipyego - who "dominated" the cross country national championship - for her repeat title.

Monday, November 19, 2007

basking in the glory

HT to Every Day Should Be Saturday for linking us up - and while we were there we noticed this Paul McGuire awesomeness - secondary HT to icanhascheezburger.

For those of who didn't get to see the game but enjoy the Goin' Band - here you go - get your monster dance on and sing along:

A group of "North Texas Businessmen" have formed the "I Like Mike" fund. The fund is intended to be a grassroots effort to support Coach Leach and help him pay his $10,000 fine as assessed by Dan Beebe, Big 12 Commissioner.

These fellas have been busy little worker bees as they have e-mailed this blog to ask us to mention the effort - even ESPN has picked up the story via the AP.

So Brian, here's your pub via DT! - but you may not like the programming after this commercial is over:

Donations should be sent to the “I Like Mike” Fund set up at Plains Capital Bank in Lubbock at PO Box 271, Lubbock, Texas 79408. You also may bring your donation to any Plains Capital Branch in Texas or contact Brian Mayes at 214-208-5842 or Donations are not tax deductible. All proceeds raised above $10,000 will be donated to the Texas Tech athletic department to help fund football tickets for underprivileged kids during the 2008 season.

I think the idea is totally ridiculous by the way. Mike Leach makes $1.6 Mil this year. From what I can tell he's old enough to vote, drive a car all by himself and buy liquor at Bob's.

If I want to demonstrate support for the program I give money to the scholarship fund - make that check payable to the Red Raider Club. Get the tax deduction and make a difference to the athletic program as a whole.

Don't get me wrong - I support Mike Leach - but he's a big boy who puts his britches on the same way everybody else does.

Anyone that would like to get an idea about Tech Athletics from a business standpoint should take a few minutes and watch this program that was featured on the Nightly Business Report.

The Business of College Football
- video link midway down the screen in the section "Reports."

The entire program barely broke even last year. Mike Leach will be just fine - let's be sure we're supporting the tree and not the branches.

Big HT to skuzzbukit of who brings us some fantastic stuff from ESPN and Mark Schlabach - apparently one of many delusional Aggies has given us even more material:

Sadie (Waller, TX): Why has Texas A&M had such trouble finding a halfway decent coach? With our talent, there's no reason we shouldn't be contending for the national championship every year. It's one of the top 3 jobs in college football. What's the problem?

Mark Schlabach: Sorry, it's not one of the top three jobs in the country. When you have to fight a program like Texas in your own state, that eliminates the A&M job from the top 10 in the country, in my opinion.

Will, Raleigh, NC: If aTm isn't in your top 10, what are your top 10 programs?

Mark Schlabach:

1. LSU

2. Florida

3. Michigan

4. Ohio State

5. USC

6. Texas

7. Oklahoma

8. Florida State

9. Georgia

10. Notre Dame

Here's the link for ESPN Insiders who want the full chat transcript. (??? skuzzbuckit indicated it was an Insiders only event, but I pulled up the link just fine *shrug*)

Lastly, another DT! thank you to snipe5150/BottomLine5150 for editing and uploading the Donald Trump team introductions from Saturday night's game.

Wreck 'em.

Gator Bowl Bound

Well, it looks like it at this point.

At one point during the Oklahoma game on Saturday, my buddy and I started discussing Tech's bowl possibilities. We decided that we would either end up in Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl, or in San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl.

I lamented in the fact that I did not bring my Alligator Skin Boots to throw onto the field to give the Gator Bowl people a hint (would've gone nicely with Mike Leach's new hat). Guess I didn't have to!


The Gator Bowl definitely will invite Texas Tech to its New Year’s Day game if the Red Raiders are available to them with the fifth pick from the Big 12 Conference, Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett said Monday.

The Gator Bowl choosing Tech will be contingent on two factors: Two teams from the Big 12 making the BCS and the Cotton and Holiday bowls taking a pass on the Red Raiders.

Catlett said his game will take Tech if the Raiders are available with the fifth pick from the conference.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why my mouth is dry and my burps taste like whiskey

I woke up this morning.

That's a start. Trust me.

I started in on a new bottle last night just about the time "The Donald" was announcing our offense. You know, right after the interception that GH threw, not 5 (or so) plays into the game.

I figured, well if it's going to go down like this - I'm going to be drinking.

Soon after, the drinks to numb my pain turned into celebratory pours of the bottle. That my friends, is what it's like to be a Texas Tech football fan. One moment you're looking for painkillers, the next minute you're screaming in joy. I think we're all going to need some counseling after this season.

It should come as no surprise that this Texas Tech team contributed to a record that typifies not only our season, but the national college football scene also. Now that an all-time record 11 teams who had been ranked in the top 5 have fallen to unranked teams, it's only fitting that Texas Tech would figure into another record.

Before we get too much further along in the discussion of records being broken - let's be sure not to forget Alex Trilica who locked up the all-time XP scoring record last night with 227 XPs in his career at Tech - and further extended his consecutive XP streak as well. Even more impressive was Trilica's resurgence as a long distance threat, again.

Now some thoughts on the game -

DT! Tech needs to play with a lead. Their offense needs it and their defense requires it. It's why we want the ball to start every game - and why I was shocked to see Tech oversome a deficit to start the game and get back on track - it was the first time I can recall against any of our better opponents that we were hit in the jaw - and hit back.

DT! What happened to Anthony Hines? Lost in all of the unfortunate OU injuries was Hines being helped off with what looked like a tore-up knee. :gunsup

DT! Anyone wondering why Aaron Crawford is starting over Shannon Woods? For the first time since Hendo I saw a Tech back *gasp* shedding tackles and fighting off tacklers instead of falling down at the first sign of trouble. I think this kid is going to be good for the program.

DT! Not to throw water on the fire, but there was some stuff that we did that frustrated me. At :34 seconds to go in the 3rd quarter Parker intercepts Halzle. The score is 34-13 at the time - a three touchdown/possession game. We have the ball at OU's 7 yard line. We are a passing team, I get it...but RUN THE FREAKING BALL! If they stuff us, so what? March Alex out there - take the free 3 points and make it a 4 possession game - and run some more ticks off the clock! Leach needs to take a class in game management. The next time we get the ball we can throw the ball all over the sandlot - but when you consider all the factors - 3 straight running plays is the better call.

DT! E.J. Holub was awesome on TV - he's the granddaddy of Texas Tech Football. It's good to see him healthy and looking well.

DT! I thought Danny Amendola's mom was hot - and I thought she witnessed the moment that her son would be tragically paralyzed. Luckily, her son is a tough kid with extremely good flexibility in is cervical spine. Thanks to ttuchieffresh for the pic.

DT! Can somebody get Sam Bradford some Accutane or some Proactiv? Help a brotha out, please.

DT! Harrell my man - let's work on figuring out why so many of your balls are getting knocked out of the air.

DT! The whole offense played well in the first half, but has yet to demonstrate that they can make adjustments and dominate for an entire 4 quarters. I think the youth of the team is the direct cause of that - but think that the offensive line not giving up any sacks was huge.

DT! Looks like it will either be the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl in Jacksonville or the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. It's still a little to early to tell, but we want to beat the best team available - wherever that might be. You can keep up with ESPN's bowl projections here. The Gator Bowl is a New Years Day bowl game - so I always prefer that - playing on New Years Day on CBS (or on any other major network) is still more exposure and prestige.

DT! The rankings are out as I write this - and the coaches like us a little better than the writers. No shocker there. USA Today #24, AP (unranked, #26 in total votes). Auburn is the only other 4 loss team in the rankings.

Thanks to Spotted for the images.

DT! Forgot to mention - Coach Leach thinks we're all characters in Eraserhead or something:

"One thing I’ve always liked about this place is you’ve got the great college atmosphere, but it’s got a little bit of that NFL flavor with some characters mixed in,'' Leach said. "It’s like a college atmosphere mixed with a David Lynch movie, so it’s really pretty cool.''

DT! Also - about 50,000 lucky shirts and dresses were born last night...please be sure to wear them when Texas comes to town next year, please.

Thanks to Don Williams for those tidbits...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Houston's (un)Clear Thinker

Again, another case of an anti-Texas Tech voice "calling out" Coach Leach on the issue of the officiating. Gasbag Tom Kirkendall can't see the forest for the trees.

Tom should read newspapers - this was in the DMN on Monday (big thanks to one of our readers, Charles, for pointing this out to us Monday):

Without naming him, Leach took issue with referee Randy Christal, an Austin resident, working the game.

"This is the second year in a row that an Austin resident has negatively affected the integrity of the officiating," Leach said Saturday. "I think it's disturbing that Austin residents are involved in this."

In 2005, when Texas Tech defeated Oklahoma, 23-21, in Lubbock on a disputed touchdown by Taurean Henderson, the line judge in the game was Kelly Deterding of Lubbock.

When asked about that 2005 situation and if officials should be barred from working games in their hometown, Leach said, "My comments on Saturday pretty thoroughly answered that question."

On Monday, Leach said he'd like to the see the replay official be independent of the crew working on the field.

"Ideally, they wouldn't even know one another," said Leach, who on Saturday even suggested having "out-of-conference officials" work Texas-Texas Tech games.

This jewel from Tom made me sick:

Stoops' maturity is one of the many reasons that he is a better and more successful coach than Leach.

But let's be sure not to mention he's also able to recruit to one of the most successful football programs in the history of college football. Don't let a thought like that interfere with your "Clear Thinking."

Stoops is one helluva coach - no doubt about it. His "maturity level" has nothing to do with this.

Don't let the facts get in the way Tom. :wink

Thursday, November 15, 2007

We need more first downs - less controversy

The most controversial call of the game

Thanks to "RC" for e-mailing me this pic - and before you ask - yes, it's "that" RC - he also happens to be a big fan of Tech now that his team isn't doing so well.

In unrelated North Division news - the battle of the T-Shirt has begun:

Also in my inbox last night we received some nice comments from fellow blogosphere veterans Midwest Coast Bias. Brandon found us through Bear Meat and asked if we could link him up - so I, of course, said "we really don't like people from Nebraska - we throw expensive batteries at you people because you're bigger than we are."

Riiiight. Because that's how we Red Raiders roll. We're like....mean pirates.

So you'll find his link to the right in our Big 12 blog roll because he agreed to pay me a large sum of money. A sum so large I'll be at Starbucks this morning instead of the Speedy Stop! Because that's how I roll.

Some "new" La Ventanas showed up the other day - this pic below happens to be from the 1957 edition. The Bad Boy Baller from Borger rolled into town the year before and started showing everyone how a flat top is supposed to look - I think even the Marines took lessons.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moving on - it's OU week

1. We lost the game - the Red Raiders of 2007 couldn't score more points than UT.
2. No one on this site is blaming officiating.
3. We do hope that the Big 12 makes an effort to clear up potential conflicts of interest.
4. Coach Leach was fined and "warned."

Thanks for hearing my case as I laid out in the last post - I don't know if it's right or not. We may never know. I hope that this episode - which has already caused more negative image problems for the football program can be put behind us.

Let's talk about the Sooners.

Kickoff looks to be 7:15pm CST. The game will be aired on ABC nationally - and will be in HD - fo sho.

At present OU is favored by 8 to 8.5.

For your reading pleasure:

Land Thieves
Crimson and Cream Machine
Sooner Stats
Sooners Blog
The Sooner Schooner

Message Boards:

Sooner Fans
Sooners Illustrated

OU Athletics Site:

Sooner Sports


Question for Sooners - is Sherri Coale getting better looking? The pics of her at the recent press conference make her look about 5 years younger (Sooner Sports link).

And a request - pics of Stacey Dales looking wonderlicious would also be helpful.

I gotta bug out - and may list some stats later - although every time I do we get killed - so I probably won't.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's all becoming more clear

Colorado's Famous Fifth Down

No new news on the Mike Leach "tirade" today. Don Williams of the A-J reports this afternoon that Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe was traveling today and will be more than likely announcing a "response" (my words) tomorrow.

Given a day of thinking about this situation a bit more - and reading all of my favorite writers in traditional media and on the web - I think I may have cracked this case and would like for you to put aside any preconceived notions and put away your school colored glasses for a bit.

Let's gather the facts and define our terms and then let's try and connect some dots...

First, let's look at what was said and take note of what wasn't:

First - the video from Fox Lubbock HERE. This is the entire presser from start to finish.

Here's audio of the "rant" and I don't exactly know what some of those pictures are doing in the video - just listen and try to ignore the picture of Zidane because I still can't figure out what the hell that has to do with any of this - you'll see - roll tape...

The rest of the rant not featured above is detailed in the A-J's post game article also by Don Williams:

"I've been in some games that were poorly officiated, and I've never commented on it in eight years,'' Leach said. "But something needs to be said, and I'm going to say it. Something's got to change. The thing about it is, last year in this instance I bit my tongue, and I regret it. This whole do everything status quo, and oh my gosh the conference might fine me ... Sometimes it's just the right thing to do, and sometimes things aren't going to change unless somebody stands up and says something.''

Leach said an Austin resident on the crew "affected the integrity of the football game, and that's unfortunate.''

He declined to say of whom he was speaking.

"Let me try to keep this as impersonal as possible,'' Leach said. "But am I condemning the crew? Hell yeah, I'm condemning the crew.''

"The timing of when things happen is critical,'' Leach said. "We're getting ready to march down there and really make a run early in the second half and we were prevented from that happening for us, and it was prevented by officiating.''

Leach spoke calmly and referred to notes he'd made to himself when discussing the plays.

"Unless this can change, the Big 12 Conference needs to take a serious look at having out-of-conference officials officiating the Texas Tech-Texas game and perhaps other games where there is proven to be a bias by officiating. Does the bowl picture enter it? I don't know. Does the money involved with it enter into it? I don't know. But all anybody has to do really is look at the film, and it's apparent.''

Asked if he expects to be coaching in Tech's home finale next week against No. 4 Oklahoma, Leach said: "Yes, I expect to be coaching. If it's atrociously bad as this one, we'll be talking again. But I'm not standing for this.''

Already today, Betsy Blaney of the AP reports that Leach is standing behind what he says - but Coach Leach has already noticed that some of it is not being taken in its "full context" (Leach's words).

We'll get back to Betsy because her story makes a jump in logic that I made on Sunday morning in my post here, in the Don Williams article quoted extensively above and Gabriel's Horn has made it as well. It's only natural. Except that we miss the bigger issue and need to see the "full context."

Listen, Leach was flat wrong during the section of the video where he calls out those specific plays that took "two touchdowns off the board." I think he's seen the video by now and has probably seen that those plays were called correctly - but the other calls (Crabtree catch/no catch and the Harrell late hit) he'll never see any other way.

What wasn't said? Other than he didn't single out any official by name or position on the field...

The replay booth - so now let me introduce you to the "unnamed source" that is "Pablo." Pablo is a guy or gal that posts on Seth's blog, Double T Nation. This "Pablo" by all accounts appears to be pretty close to the program and has historically posted relevant information about the program on DTN that has always been substantiated later either in the MSM or on the field. Like it or not, the anonymity of these blogs can be criticized but every once in awhile there is information out there that can be shared like this that's important and sheds new light.

Other side of the story - it can't be substantiated. I've read plenty of "anonymous sources" on the interweb - and all you can do is judge them by their record. If that's the test - "Pablo" has an outstanding record.

Here's where you can find his full comment (it will be near the bottom of the page under the bold heading "Momentum buster").

Here's the bits that I think are particularly revealing and which put a whole new spin on the "rant." I also think these comments make not only the reason for the rant more understandable but connect the dots in a meaningful way.

(Also note that I have corrected some spelling and added emphasis when I copied his comment to DiscoTech!)

Leach is right that officials who have obvious connections to a school should not be allowed to officiate that game. Two officials on the squad, the review official and a line Judge were ex Texas grads. Another was from Texas A&M and one was from Oklahoma. The rest were from back east.

What the main complaint Leach has is that when you have officials working a game they may help their school. Oklahoma is helped by a Texas win, as well as Texas is helped by a Texas win.

So you have 3 of the five officiating that could be in a place to skew their judgment if they wanted to.

So Leach is right that the officials should not be allowed to call games which their school might benefit. In other words, NO officials who have graduated from a Big 12 school should be allowed to call a Big 12 game. That is the issue.

Complaining about bad officials is not the same as complaining about a bad outcome. They are two different issues. Sometimes a bad official costs a game by their call which make these issues the same. But in this case, a Tech loss and bad officiating is not the same thing nor is the reasons behind the issue.

What Leach is up set about is that there were places in the game that should have been properly reviewed. They were not. It took Leach to call twice for a review to actually get the review.

Leach would have reviewed the McCoy fumble downed and TD call but could not. It could not be reviewed because Tech was out of reviews and the official in the both did not call for one.

What people do not understand is that in the official review booth there is a Texas coach and a Tech Coach along with the official and two official Technical people who work the equipment.
Leach called the coach in the booth to ask what the hell was going on in the booth and to ask the question.

When the review official in the booth is screaming for Texas and high fiving the Texas Coach for every Texas event it just well made Leach mad which would have made any head coach mad who learned of this.

So in this case the issue is not about sour grapes about the loss. Its about fixing a problem that should never have happened in the first place.

How about that?

That sure explains a LOT.

It explains why the conversation at midfield with Mack Brown was a long one - why 90% of the conversation happened directly in the ear of the other - and why Leach appeared to be doing most of the talking.

I imagine it went like this: "Mack, your team beat us down today and you and your team deserve the win. What I'm about to do in my post game presser has no reflection on you or your team. I've got to do what I think is best for us - and I'm going to rip Big 12 officiating as big a hole as I can."

It explains why Coach Leach wants us to be sure be see the "big picture" and focus on the "full context."

It explains why he would be willing to pay a fine or even be suspended. It also demonstrates the trust that he feels the administration has in him. While he may not have had the express permission of Gerald Myers to drop this bomb, Leach is not a dumb guy, he knew when presented with his side of the story he had to be sure he could sell the goods to Gerald Myers and not lose face.

I think Coach Leach wanted to be sure he got a conversation with Don Bebee - and I'm guessing he did, or will.

Leach is an attorney, people. His downfall is that he may be too smart. I'm guessing he waited until he had all the evidence he felt like he needed before he pushed his chips into the pot on this one. (Again, the Line Judge in the OU game 2 years ago was from Lubbock - I wish he would acknowledge that, but based on his argument he's got to be willing to live with that. I don't see your coach stepping up and calling a spade a spade here ...)
Notice that every article written thus far draws a straight line from Leach's disgust with the officiating to specific calls made on the field. I did it on Sunday - even the AP reporter Betsy Blaney goes straight from "called the officiating a complete travesty" to "Leach was upset when officials disallowed two touchdowns..."

Those two statements happen to be correct when read independently of another but the writers and readers miss the bigger point entirely when you do that.

Leach is more concerned about officiating in the "global" sense - this game just happened to be the one that typified it more than others for him. The great majority of his talk didn't even focus on this game - it was on how to fix officiating as a whole.

So lets take Coach's comments for what they're worth - an angry guy that was fired up that his team lost. He's seen by now that a couple of the calls he mentioned in his presser were the right ones. Just be sure you don't miss the point that he's trying to make - and "Pablo" could not have said it better:

"Complaining about bad officials is not the same as complaining about a bad outcome. They are two different issues."

Now it's Don Bebee that has some explaining to do.

A Couple More...

Rather than calling these "LOLLeaches", I think the term "LOLTech" is more apropos.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Interweb Sensation


Why? Why? Why?

Why Coach Leach do you have to call out the officiating crew after this game of all games? This rant would have been much more appropriate after last year.

I agree with Leach on two assertions - only.

(1) That the replay booth officials be in no way linked with the on-the-field crew. That removes any image of "collusion." (2) That officials - either on the field or in the booth - must not hail from either team's "hometown." While full family tree background checks are probably going to far, it's probably not too much to ask to make sure that a Lubbock man isn't standing on the goal line making a controversial touchdown call in favor of his "hometown" team.

Ahhh yes, the Oklahoma game - another notch in the belt of why Leach looks freaking ridiculous today. You can't have it both ways bubba.

As for this game's officiating - meh. I've never been impressed with the overall quality of Big 12 officiating. I've never watched a whole lot of another conference's football to make a valuable comparison either.

I thought that Ship's TD was a "not enough clear video evidence to overturn" kind of a situation. Message board loosers (sic) on both sides of the sideline will probably trot our the rulebook in their mind and justify this call and also tear it to shreds. I love it that you guys think you could have made a better call from your living room though.

I thought Colt flopped like Ginobli on the personal foul call a few seconds before that call - and I think that was the first call that got Coach Leach going toward the edge.

As far as the sequence of plays that "took two TDs off the board" I will say that some are getting Leach's point of view on this all wrong. The overturned Britton TD was a good call - no way that was a TD. The hold was another no doubter - Vasquez was clearly tackling and not blocking (and Seth - I have to disagree that calls like this are generally overlooked). Leach was - however - pointing to the late hit on Harrell on the play - the call should have been offsetting penalties and "do over."

The play that I think sent him over the edge was the no-call pass interference on the pick at about the 1:50 mark of the fourth.

Okay - all of that said - here is what the rational Red Raider fan should be thinking:

1. The early game penalties are not game changing penalties - if you can't overcome a bad call made against you in the next 3 hours of play - don't act like that's a game-changing event. You have all afternoon to change the outcome of the game.

2. By the time the Britton/Vasquez combination of calls came - the game was already decided. All of you Sunshine Pumpers can join the booth announcers and refer back to the Insight Bowl if you like - but our defense this year can't stop the run - and we aren't playing with last year's team - so get a brain and understand that even if those calls go Tech's way and we score - as soon as Texas gets the ball they're gonna punk us like we're Justin Timberlake getting repo'ed.

3. The ball Harrell threw that was picked off - should have never been thrown in the first place. Period. End of conversation.

So let's get off the "bad officiating" head trip and move on the "the things we can change" part of the prayer.....mmmmkay.

Harrell - outstanding performance. His attitude is troublesome - he's clearly walking the razor's edge with "fierce competitor" on one side and "childish spoiled brat" on the other. Any of you think that Graham is the problem need to hit that crack pipe one more time for good measure.

Crabtree - without his end-of-game just flat out amazing grab and sprint for the end zone - he had an ordinary day. I think the talk of him leaving early has been put to bed for a while - he has a lot of work ahead of him to prove to the world that he can put up sick numbers consistently. He can by the way.

The running game - we were behind by two scores from the get-go and our D was getting worked, did you think we were gonna trot Barry Sanders out there all the sudden?

Speaking of the defense - I appreciate very much that Tech fans have come to be unhappy with only qualifying for a bowl and not consistently getting to that "next level." The defense is the reason that isn't happening this year - that's a fact.

BUT - the defense is SO young! I think that Tech fans need to take a break and review the two-deep for a moment and really try to grasp how young they are.

BUT - There has to be a new scheme introduced and a general kicking out the door of nearly everyone associated with that side of the ball. In my opinion. I think we have real talent on that side of the ball that will reveal itself over the next couple of years - but sending a bunch of kids out there to fight UT is asking a bit much.

The Special Teams - well what do you know Alex hit a couple of FGs with some consistency - that was nice. And then we trot out there and dance around a "spinning" pooch kick like we're on Dancing with the Stars forgetting that the guys in orange are free to be knocked on their ass. Who is the special teams coach? Get back to me with that will ya. Because that extra possession sure would have been swell...

...and might have helped the lead pirate sound less like a whiny wench.

Final Note - The Men's B-Ball team won their game yesterday - Coach Knight's 891st.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Much ado about Kansas

I rarely speak to the national CFB scene - but I am tonight as you can tell.

Hooray Fighting Manginos. Seriously.

The era of parity is now fully upon us and I have a few thoughts about that.

I think I can safely say that the vast majority of college football fans want a playoff. I certainly do.

The sacred cow - the bowl (see above) system that is in place today is in place largely because of a collusion of University Presidents. There are likely more involved, but I don't want this to go over a Sooner's head. It's a money issue as most "issues" are. The Universities and their conferences (plus Notre Dame) know that they will get paid handsomely under the current system and therefore are resistant to change because there are no assured rewards of even more revenue. How are we doing so far? Enter the Regional Broadcast Networks (and in the case of ND, NBC). It turns out there was a way to add revenue - and the Universities were wise to latch onto additional television revenue.

I think what happened next has backfired on that same institutional leadership. A change happened that they didn't calculate. They couldn't have seen it - or maybe they should have. Either way - the momentum in the argument for a playoff system has changed.

The truth of the matter is, that in that singular act of regionalizing and increasing the number of televised games, they opened the floodgates of parity and let loose the dogs of war on a playoff system. The ultimate "Doh!" moment for the bowl system.

This year Kansas happens to be the poster child for this massive sea change in college football. The critics of the current bowl system are all pointing their fingers to Lawrence. The little basketball school that could.

The star football players want to be on TV - and now they don't have to go to Notre Dame to be on TV. Texas Tech will have been on a regional ABC broadcast 5 times this year. Easily a record for the school. Michael Crabtree has displayed his talents in front of the media and elevated his name in a way that would not have been possible even 5 years ago.

The Nebraska fallout and the Notre Dame fallout are both causes and effects. Midwestern kids are free to go to Missouri, Kansas and Illinois these days. Recruiters and coaches at these schools are quick to ensure a recruit understands that they can get just as much exposure as a Jayhawk as they can if they were to play for an "old time" power like Texas A&M or Oklahoma.

The rising tide of money is lifting all boats.

A sports radio program I was listening to this afternoon - the caller says "If Kansas ends up in the National Championship Game I'll never watch college football again!" Wow. Not only is the tide rising - the waves are starting to make the college football world a little seasick as well. We just can't have a little basketball school in the BCS title game...

Is a one-loss LSU team better than an undefeated Kansas team? What if Kansas wins out - gets into the BCS NC game against a no-loss Ohio State team? A real possibility. LSU, Oregon, even West Virginia all shut out of the game despite their clearly more difficult schedules?

Ahh the good old days, when the national champion stood out like Mangino's bellybutton. Notre Dame was on TV every Saturday and the best athletes flocked there to make a name for themselves and bask in the glory of Touchdown Jesus. Ohio State or Texas trotted out their all-world running backs and ran them down your throat until you finally broke right in two.

But what happens when you can't clearly distinguish who might be the fourth best team, much less the top two?

The same caller who would swear off college football at the sight of Coach Mangino on the sidelines of the Superdome in January (Dear God, Coach Mangino in New Orleans. Somebody alert Emeril to start cooking now) made an even more ridiculous comment...the reason we can't tell the difference between the top ranked teams is that they all happen to be horrible.

I don't think that's the case at all. I think it's because the teams have parity - that they all happen to be equally as good as the next. While you Mr. Oldtimer might long for the days of smash mouth Nebraska football, the God's honest truth is...your school administration and mine brought us here. And the money bag isn't lighter - it's much, much bigger. There's no going back now.

There's a Men's Basketball game Saturday

No.....I said Highlanders. Plural. Connor MacLeod has nothing to do with this.

Much better - though I'm still not understanding what the bear has to do with a movie about immortal warriors, but whatever.

Let there be light? Awfully biblical for a California public school. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


1:00 PM tip at the USA.

Game preview from Tech Athletics Site

Wes Welker can't be stopped

Probably my favorite message from the top of the Double T scoreboard - maybe only a close second to "This is too easy" when we were stomping A&M a few years back...

I was watching an ESPN Classic presentation of the Texas @ TTU game from 2002 last night. It was fun to watch. We had a threatening defense and some seriously undersized but talented skill position players.

It helps when one of those skill postilions players is Wes Welker.

Chris Simms and Roy Williams combined for many TDs and yards for the Horns - while Cedric Benson was pretty much a non-factor.

Texas (3) 38, Texas Tech 42

Texas (3)14771038
Texas Tech02171442

Team Statistics
TexasTexas Tech
First downs2432
Passing yards345508
Sacked-yards lost4-302-7
Return yards038
Time of possession29:2630:34

Texas Player Statistics
Cedric Benson 21-75, Selvin Young 3-34, Tony Jeffery 1-9, Beau Trahan 1-4, Chris Simms 5-MINUS 30
Chris Simms 24-37-345- 1

Texas Longhorns
Related Links:

Texas Tech Player Statistics
Taurean Henderson 13-56, Wes Welker 4-40, Foy Munlin 2-6, Carlos Francis 1-3, Kliff Kingsbury 5-MINUS 7
Kliff Kingsbury 38-60-473- 0
Wes Welker 14-169, Nehemiah Glover 4-105, Mickey Peters 7-77, Trey Haverty 4-58, Taurean Henderson 5-52, Carlos Francis 4-40, Preston Hartfield 1-7
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Related Links:

Scoring Summary
TEXAS TD - C Benson 2 YD RUN (D Mangum KICK) 1:02 1st Qtr
TEXAS TD - R Williams 17 YD PASS FROM C Simms (D Mangum KICK) 12:39 1st Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - W Welker 23 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 0:28 2nd Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - M Peters 15 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 4:09 2nd Qtr
TEXAS TD - R Williams 19 YD PASS FROM C Simms (C Griffin KICK) 7:21 2nd Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - N Glover 62 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 14:33 2nd Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - W Welker 5 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 5:34 3rd Qtr
TEXAS TD - R Williams 10 YD PASS FROM C Simms (D Mangum KICK) 8:27 3rd Qtr
TEXAS FG - D Mangum 35 YD 1:29 4th Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - N Glover 16 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 4:47 4th Qtr
TEXAS TD - B Johnson 84 YD PASS FROM C Simms (D Mangum KICK) 5:34 4th Qtr
TEXAS TECH TD - T Henderson 25 YD PASS FROM K Kingsbury (R Treece KICK) 9:19 4th Qtr

© 2005 STATS, Inc

NOTE - the lack of receiving statistics is not the fault of DT! - if you click the link provided below you will see that the stats are also missing from CNN's page - weird - sorry.

Thanks to CNN/SI. Recap. Box Score.

To those that fail to notice - this year's game happens to be in Austin. Our luck hasn't been as good in Austin, although we generally play them tough even on the road.

Expect a shootout.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Is there a football game this weekend?

There is in fact...

Saturday 2:30 CST (Dear Congress, please rid us of "Standard Time" and let us please have more Daylight, please)

On ABC - not in HD, though.***zebbie of Flags Over Raiderland has found evidence it will be in HD - I stand corrected***

On XM 241 and Sirius 122.

The line opened with Texas a 6.5 point favorite on the road.

Here's all the UT sites I know of that are good for some UT blogging and whatnot:

Burnt Orange Nation
Gabriel's Horn (Home of 3 blogging babes - I have a tribute for you 3 later)
Barking Carnival
Horn Fans (If you like glacial page loads)
Longhorn Nation
Bevo Sports
40 Acre Sports
Longhorn Road Trip
Longhorns Illustrated (A Photo Blog)
TV Tan Line (Because Scotty is a buddy and loves his Longhorns)

Austin American Statesman All-Longhorn Page
Austin American Statesman Bevo Beat

So here's the breakdown (all data from

Total Offense 15 1
Total Defense 43 37

Rushing Defense who cares 71
Passing Defense 87 9

Rushing Offense 23 117
Passing Offense 31 1

Penalties 59 115

Turnover Margin -2 -5
(rank) 72 88

3rd Down Conver 46.85% 50%
(rank) 18 9

First Downs 233 283
(rank) 20 1

Opp's Punt Ret Av 13.21 5.77
(rank) 104 20

Passes Defended 59 48
(rank) 9 36

TOP 29:58 28:14
(rank) 58 103

It should also be noted that the last time I did something like this was just before the Mizzou game...yea me.

So some random stats I found - some of them are revealing and none of them give me any more comfort than I had before I went data mining. This Texas Tech team is so streaky that there's no telling who will or won't show up on Saturday.

So you won't catch me giving UT too hard a time this week. I think there's a bit of respect between the schools in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, as soon as I walked on the 40 acres I knew I was not going to school there - and despite some fine academic programs - it's just not my kinda place.

I think Mack Brown caught a little lightning in a bottle with Vince Young and think - despite their injuries this year - as deep as that program is - Mack has underperformed compared to their recruiting classes. But that's just me, we are used to doing more with less at Tech and openly wonder what it would be like to have the resources of a program like UT.

So that "tribute" to the girls of Gabriel's Horn - here you go ladies - a gay horn to blow on - but that's how they grow 'em in Austin, right???

Sunday, November 4, 2007

for the next two games we shall be known as...

Real quick like - let me tell you about yesterday's highlights...

Arsenal fought back from their death bed to draw Man U and managed again to make a tie feel like victory. I am a bit worried about our last 5 defenders, but I think that the players have this belief that they just can't be beat. That sort of character would go a long way on the Tech Football team for sure...

Another bit of similarity that you might recognize - this from the "Head Coach" of Man U, Sir Alex Ferguson:

"Our bench were getting terrible abuse from people two or three feet away. There is a lack of security here. It is absolutely disgraceful the abuse you and your staff take. All sorts of things are shouted and screamed at you and there is an absolute danger here."

Wow - sound like another gaping hatchet wound that we know? And this is professional soccer of the highest level! Has Sir Alex started on his estrogen a little early?

So reminds us:

As well as that, the irony of him complaining when his own fans loudly and gleefully sing a song about Arsene being a paedophile whenever we play at Old Trafford is not lost on many of us.

For the next portion of the day I was heavily engaged in a game of channel surfing - which I won easily, defeating my wife into submission. Watching the Fighting LDLs score an amazing number of points on Nebraska - a score not seen often by the children of the corn...

Well, not since October 9, 2004 (box score here)...

LUBBOCK, Texas (Ticker) -- Nebraska has been playing football
since 1890, but it never had absorbed a loss like this.

In the fifth game of the Bill Callahan era, the Cornhuskers were
trounced by Big 12 Conference rival Texas Tech, 70-10.

Nebraska (3-2, 1-1 Big 12 North), which surrendered its most
points in a game and in a half (49 in the second), never had
lost by more than 54 points in its previous 1,136 games.

The Cornhuskers never had allowed more than 62 points in a game,
but they gave up seven points in the first quarter, 14 in the
second, 21 in the third and 28 in the fourth in this one.

Sonny Cumbie completed 44-of-56 passes for 436 yards and five
touchdowns for the Red Raiders (4-2, 2-1 South), who had lost
the first seven meetings between the teams. It was the most
touchdown passes ever by one player against Nebraska.
Then, on to Stillwater to watch OSU absolutely throw a win out the window. We don't have much room to talk - Alex Trilica has been streaky at best. Jason Ricks had a 35 yarder to win the game and just couldn't cash in. So, we're left to hear how Texas has it "in them:"

"It's just within us," McCoy said. "I wish we could play like that in the beginning, I promise. I hate that it has to come down like that, but it just shows the toughness and shows the fight and shows the character of our team."

Really Colt? Because if Ricks puts that FG through we really don't know if you would have had it "in you" or not.

Are these guys getting money from Gatorade too?

Just a few minutes earlier I got to watch a bit of history - Navy beating Notre Dame - and in South Bend no less! Really, if Coach Weis isn't careful he could be coaching defense at Texas Tech.

I rarely feel bad for the Aggies, but am thinking that Coach Fran has torn the hearts out of some of these kids. They're playing hard, but these kids are the walking dead. It's really too bad, I almost think it would be better if he was gone from the sideline for the remainder of the season - and I bet that may happen this week.

The grand finale for me was the fight - the fight that boxing fans watched - but that the casual fan probably missed out on (*cough* Ignatius J Reiley *cough*). What a shame because it was the best fight I've seen in years. Truly.

The knock on Calzaghe was that he's a European. Really. I think he put all of those doubts to rest last night as he beat up on Kessler and bent him to his will. Part brawl, part education in the finer points of boxing, this should have been the "Match to save boxing."

While Bad Left Hook thinks it wasn't necessarily the fight of the year - he heaps praise on Calzaghe as he should - and retracts his long-held belief that Calzaghe was simply average and unproven. And since SC has come to his senses I will add BLH to my blogroll - I'm sure he's thrilled.

So then...on to Austin to do battle with the Longhorns.

Which Texas Tech team will show up? I sure hope it's the good one.

I haven't done a book recommendation so far - so this will be my first:

The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick. Buy it.