Double-T Nation News:
Yesterday, ESPN's Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin asked if I believe there are any hard feelings by Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree staying at home for the Big 12 Media Days. I'd love to give the company line that there are no ill feelings towards Captain Leach for leaving Harrell and Mr. Crabtree at home, but I think that was the Captain's intent, not to necessarily disrespect anyone, but to show both of these guys and the rest of the team, that the success of this season is NOT predicated on two guys being successful. It can't be.
It has to be about a group of young men who understand that personal recognition is secondary to team success.
If the team is successful then everything else will fall into place. The defensive line has to be accountable, the 5th receiver has to be accountable, the backup safety has to be accountable, the center has to be accountable, the special teams coach has to be accountable. That's why Eric Morris, Daniel Charbonnet and Jamar Wall were there at the Texas Tech's Media Day . Each one of them has to be accountable. That's just the way it has to be. This is the message that Captain Leach wanted to send.
Texas Tech Football:
We feature the Chron this morning as Joe Duarte previews the the Red Raiders and takes a look at the high expectations for Texas Tech:
"I’ve never coached in a game in the Big 12 that before the game started I didn’t think we were going to win," Leach said. "So our expectations already are high. So what that means to me is we just need to ignore expectations and everybody needs to do their job."
Jamar Wall says this team is different:
"You can see the want in our eyes," Wall said. "From last year to this year is a dramatic change. You can sense that we want it bad. If we want it bad enough and work hard enough, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t (win the Big 12)."
And Eric Morris acknowledges that there are games the Red Raiders win they shouldn't and games they lose they shouldn't:
"We have been known in the past to come up with one or two big victories a year that we shouldn’t have and turn around the next week and lose a game that there’s no way we should have lost," Morris said. "We’re really working on taking it one game at a time."
Armen Williams of RedRaiderSports.com takes a look at Jamar Wall and his desire to get better. I love this type of talk:
"As a player, I would like to get better at everything," Wall said. "I would like to keep passes towards me to a minimum. I'm not a perfect person so things will happen on my side but I need to learn to bounce back from them and continue on with the next play.
"I'd also like to go from five interceptions to six. It's the little things. I'd like to have more tackles. It's all about being able to help my team out in whatever way that I can."
Wall also acknowledges the need that he needs to become a leader and that being in this position is a privilege:
"The coaches tell me everything they expect from me," said Wall. "They tell me my role is what Bennie does. I need to be a leader. Guys are looking up to me. Even if I don't think they are, they really are. Ruff and them don't look at me and that's an honor to me to know that they trust me enough to not worry about me and to look at the other guys that need the help."
ESPN's Tim Griffin lists the Big 12 non-conference best and worst non-conference games, as expected, Texas Tech did not make the best list although the Texas Tech v. Tulsa matchup might have been in the 6 to 8 range, but the Red Raiders did make the worst list, a couple of times:
2. Massachusetts at Texas Tech, Sept. 20: Mike Leach doesn't show much mercy against those from outside Division I. The Red Raiders have outscored their last four FCS opponents by 61 points and outgained them by an average of 422 yards per game.
3. Eastern Washington at Texas Tech, Aug. 30: The Eagles lost to eventual Football Championship Series champion Appalachian State in the playoffs, but facing that spread offense isn't anything like Mike Leach's.
I think that UMass Football Blog might argue otherwise because the Minutemen are expected to be one of the elite FCS teams (while Eastern Washington is going to be pretty good as well) this year. I always appreciate someone from a FCS team, like UMFB, give us his take on what he perceives to be the talent difference between UMass and Sam Houston State or Florida International or North Texas.
Texas Tech Basketball:
The Big 12 released the 2008-2009 Big 12 Men's Basketball Composite Schedule. The Red Raiders are on ABC once (against Oklahoma), ESPNU a few times, on ESPN2 a couple of times and on the Big 12 Network for quite a few times.