Holy Smokes! What a night. I have no idea what's worse, Texas Tech's situation or Tennessee's situation. Short term, it's probably Tennessee because signing days is just three weeks away, but long term, I think the university is going to end up paying some amount of money to Mike Leach for the current fiasco. As always, I highly recommend the SB Nation story stream, which has constant updates, including video of the riots, video of a reporter claiming that Ed Orgeron was contacting early enrollees and telling them not to go to class tomorrow so they could get into USC, and the Kiffin "press conference". Just amazing.
As an aside, I read Conan O'Brien's press release yesterday and couldn't help but think that he was being 100% honest about his feelings and situation. If O'Brien needs a job, I think Texas Tech could use a guy like O'Brien to help with their current PR situation:
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.
Coordinator Update: I'm going to have a lot more on both coordinators after the weekend as I have a bit more time to compile some research. Yesterday, Troy's offensive coordinator Neal Brown was named as Texas Tech's offensive coordinator and per Al.com's Gentry Estes, all signs point to Alabama associate head coach and linebackers coach James Willis being hired sometime today. The hiring of Brown was hotly debated yesterday here on DTN (It's still amazing to me how much this community has grown in the past two weeks. 120 comments on a FanShot is not typical for DTN, but I freaking love the discussion.) and that certainly makes sense as Brown is an unknown commodity to Texas Tech fans. LAJ's Don Williams talked with Troy head coach Larry Blakeney thinks that Tuberville made a very good hire:
"Neal is probably one of the best young football coaches in America,’’ Blakeney said. "He’s done a great job, not only game planning, but coaching the quarterbacks and setting up practice and calling the games.’’
And FWST's Dwain Price also makes the connection between offensive line coach Matt Moore and Brown in that Moore was the offensive line coach when Brown was at Troy as a receivers coach. Price has more from Blakeney on the expectation that Texas Tech fans shouldn't expect a change with Brown in charge:
"The players are what it’s all about, in terms of the players that fit the scheme and the system that Neal will want to implement," Blakeney said. "It will be very similar, if not close to the same as the one they had before.
"I’m not sure what the nuances and differences might be, but they can bet he’s going to get the ball in the best players’ hands and find a way to move the football and score points. If players are there that can make plays — and I’m sure they are, and they’ll get more — it should be a good situation for everybody."
Will Tuberville Air It Out: Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton asks if Tuberville can continue to let the Texas Tech offense air it out, noting that at Auburn, "airing-it-out" meant 25 passes per game, but Hinton ultimately sees that Tuberville is letting his coordinators decide on the position coaches and understands the importance of a high-flying passing game:
At Tech, Tuberville is starting with a blank slate and has promised to let both of his new coordinators play a lead role in choosing their own staff. And Tuberville does seem to recognize the warp-speed passing game as the meal ticket for a geographically isolated and historically obscure program whose emergence over the last decade depended at least as much on Leach's total disregard for conventional attitudes toward "balance" (or conventional attitudes toward anything else) as it did on the slowly increasing win total.
Tuberville may be a lot of things, but I don't think he's a dummy. He knows that he's got all of the parts to run and keep a tremendous offense, and the hope is that by hiring Brown, Texas Tech will continue in that direction.
Offensive Troy Video: For those of you who would like to see for yourselves the Troy offense, I found the following video of Troy vs. LSU last year. It's more of a coaches film rather than a television broadcast and I think it gives you a better idea what to look for as far as Brown's offense is concerned:
Welcome Back: The Daily Toreador is back from Christmas hiatus and that means that they're back writing about all things sports. They have a bunch of stories this morning, too many to link to, and I'd just like to give the guys and gals a shout-out this morning and a hearty welcome back.
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Lubbock, TX
DTN Preview: 10:00 a.m. Open Game Day Thread: 7:00 p.m.
Checking Out RMN: Rock M Nation's Bill C. has a tremendous statistical preview for tonight's game and let's hope this happens:
We know how Mizzou losses tend to play out, especially in conference play. The teams feel each other out for a while, then with about 10-12 minutes left in the first half, the home team catches fire and goes on a run, the crowd gets into it, and as the half begins to come to a close, Mizzou finds themselves down 16. Early-season losses don't necessarily follow the script -- Mizzou was close to Vandy and Richmond for most of the game, while they were the ones blowing leads against ORU this year and Xavier last year -- but once conference play begins and Mizzou's style falls into place, this is the way they typically lose.
Gearing Up for Tenacious D: LAJ's Courtney Linehan writes that the Red Raiders are gearing up for the 40 minutes of heck defense played by Missouri's Mike Anderson. PG John Roberson knows that he has to be in control:
"Just don’t let them speed you up, take your time," Roberson said. "If you do get in trouble, just call a time out. It’s just thinking. You know it’s coming; it’s going to be tough, but we’ve just got to follow our game plan."
Linehan wrote yesterday that the Oklahoma St. loss was more mental than not being able to compete athletically with the Cowboys, and C Robert Lewandowski says that it's a matter of having the will to win:
"We’re definitely not scared," he said. "It’s a matter of do we want to be here right now, did we come prepared, did we come with the mentality that we will win at any cost?
"For the first eight minutes at OSU it looked like we were there, but something happened. We can’t always put a finger on it, but it’s got to change."
Be Like Mike: KC Star's Mike DeArmond writes that the Pat Knight hopes to emulate Missouri's team in terms of having athletes that can play pressure defense and PK said that the team admitted that they did not give enough effort on Saturday:
"They really thought they got soft and kind of quit cutting and moving," Knight said. "They didn’t really take the challenge as well as they have in the past.
"They’re not passing blame on anybody. They also said they got a little selfish, trying to do things one on one. You just can’t do that, especially when you get down.
"I know we’re a much better team and that’s stuff we can fix."