Per the College Football news site By Pete Fiutak
"Going forward, the story shouldn’t be about whether or not Tommy Tuberville can match Leach’s success; it’s about whether or not he can make Texas Tech even better. For all the notoriety and for all the great things Leach did to put Texas Tech football on the map, he didn’t really win anything major in his ten years at the helm. Oh sure, there was the three-way split for the Big 12 South title in 2008, and as a reward the team got thumped by double digits against Ole Miss in the 2009 Cotton Bowl. Leach’s teams put up a bajillion passing yards and were a blast to watch, but Tech never finished in the top ten during his tenure, only finished in the top 20 three times, and only finished higher than third in the Big 12 South three times. There was only one ten-win campaign (despite a heavy helping of cupcakes each and every non-conference season), two wins over Texas and three over Oklahoma, and the lone impressive bowl win of note was a 45-31 beating of Cal in the 2004 Holiday Bowl."CFN TTU preview for 2010
Hype: People like to watch the Red Raider brand of offensive football and really get stoked when the team is on the 40-50 yard line and going for it on 4th and 2. That level of heart in your throat excitement is why T. Tuberville will embrace the air it out 67.9 % of the time per game, distribution is balance in a copycat sport. In short it sells itself and it re-pressurizes any and all defenses created to halt it. Tubs will tweak the offense
Persona: The team is a routinized, precision pass driven 2 x minute offense coupled to – up until Spring 10 - to a mid range defense. It’s out in nowheresville, where as my relatives like to say the Comanche’s will scalp you if you drop below 75 mph on Tx Hwy 84 north of Snyder. This sense of the high plains drifter only heightens the drama, created by a perception of scads of blood thirsty, renegade, screaming fans in the Raider crater. What you get is people not wanting to schedule home and home series because its just unlikely you going to get above 50 % doing that with Lubbock on the plate every other year. Leach never had a losing season. I don’t expect Coach Tuberville to either. What I expect is a much improved defense from the 20 yard to the 20 yard line.
Brand identification: Like it or not it’s the Big12 brand and its headlined by Nebraska, OU and UT. Those fan bases are the one which have the most deep pocketed graduates, non-graduates and convert fans who went to other schools in the Missouri Valley conference, Stephen F. Austin or U of H etc.. but don’t like their own schools "brand" and watch these three heavy weights pummel folks - routinely. It’s easy to back a winner. Between the three there are 13 x National championships, scads of league championships and bowl victories. Besides these guys are televised every Saturday. Takes effort to follow these smaller schools. NCAA Football Champions
How it can be done within the college student athlete constraints: There are only 85 scholarships to give. The rules only allow only limited hours of practice and non season practices during spring/ fall. NCAA rules extract: 18.104.22.168 Daily and Weekly Hour Limitations-Playing Season
A student-athlete’s participation in countable athletically related activities (see Bylaw 17.02.1) shall be limited to a maximum of four hours per day and 20 hours per week. These are fulltime students not semi pro athletes. The school can’t subordinate its budget to the athletic department- hell that’s not even its mission. Football is not an Olympic sport it’s an American passion. A livelihood for a tiny fraction of the all the sports degrees pumped out of the universities across the land. By the way only 394 non JUCO schools actually field teams.
Prospects going forward: Fair to midlin’ despite the obvious debts the school owes to various folks for services rendered, new facilities and salaries for current staff. The current finances appear to be on the rise. Check the season ticket sales boost on the official site. TTU branded items are sold in ever increasing volumes and the pool of boosters and donors appears to be taking a good liking to Tommy Tuberville. He is a smooth talking, public speakers, fund raisers dream in comparison to some other public speakers I ‘d rate him a solid 8.5 on scale of 10.RRC events for Head Coach
The playing field: Not so much grass or turf but the league. Yeah we don’t get fair shake with TV revenues or PUF funding but our contingent of political hacks is attached to the hip of the UT and ATM grads running Austin. The Big 12 is exciting, financially stable populated by a strident yet strangely similar universities with good to excellent reputation covering the gamut of education in America. What’s more the conference sits geographically astride an excellent and well educated population central to the success of the whole nation. A long winded way of saying that we have plenty of prospective students, parents who can pay and the professors being hired are as good as any in the nation. Where the Big12 schools rank
Venue, timing, talent: This is where Tubs gets paid to produce. Success breeds success. When Coach Tuberville captures the Big 12 south next year on the backs of Leach recruited seniors the Red Raiders will see a quantum leap in the quality of recruits. I confidently predict an all 4 x star class for 2012. 2013 at the latest. It is highly likely the Raiders will be undefeated at home in 2010. It’s highly likely they will be 9 -0 going into the Oklahoma game. It’s even money depending on injuries and vagaries of the football demi gods that the Raiders down the Sooners. The talent level on this 2010 team is vastly underrated. There will no discernable drop off in production by the offense and more than that it’s going to be a downright scary defense. I predict they will exceed last years sack production and double the number take aways. Where the Raiders stand in Big12 recruiting
Practice makes perfect – the Mumme / Leach/ Neal Brown method: Ball Distribution to all legal offensive positions equates to a probing of your opponents defense. The sheer number of passes thrown to the 5 x legal receivers allows the offensive coordinator to find the physical mismatch and exploit it. The type of practice Coaches Neal Brown, Cumby, Mainord will run will undoubtedly be the same as what Leach imposed. All the QB s throwing to all the receivers until a level of repetion’s is achieved which ensures that when the 2nd string is in there is no drop off from the first string in game time situations. Slimmer more aerobically conditioned offensive linemen able to run 100 plays in a game ensure the defense will play with tired legs in the 4th period. Where the running backs will cement the game or blow it open. Like vs KU and almost like U of H in 09. Run the ball to beat U of H
Why we like being the "fly in the ointment ": Simple formula here bigger older programs don’t like being challenged by their perceived little brothers. It’s an arms race with regards to facilities, coaching staff and recruits. The young gun has arrived and the staus qo ante is being challenged. Its only matter of time before the sun and moon and stars line up and Ut and OU fall off the winners path. Many have said it its cyclic. The coaching staff is the right fit to exploit the confluence of the heavens. Ut will not win 10 games this season and OU will be hard pressed to win 9 with a Bowl. The Aggies might win 8 and get to a bowl. This descibes the UT, ATM and OU anxiety
Whether or not we have arrived with regards to Coaching talent – a resume enhancing stop for your career: I for one don’t expect Tuberville to hang around if he wins big early. 4 x years tops. Then he bolts to USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame or some such destination. He is the Lou Holz of this decade. The assistant coaches are pretty hungry Willis and Neal either one could be the next TTU Head coach – if they win the Big 12 quickly. Cumby goes to a full offensive coordinator position. Probably in Pac10 or SEC. Just based on how much Tubs assistants are paid well it’s pretty much middle of the road for our folks. They don’t get the big pay out like Muschamp. Without a championship to pry open the big donors pockets they can’t expect much more than a $10k to $25k boost per season.
Marketability and competition in our league: As long as we stay wedded to UT and ATM the Raider star will be in the ascension. Like Mr. Hance intimated we need to stay out in front of the economics of any realignment. The TTU brand must be in a FBS conference. It must achieve Tier 1. It needs the regional affiliation because it’s now in the top triad of schools in Texas. Recruits know quite well who gets the air time in this state. And though I admit it’s an uphill slog its quite likely TTU will draw even academicaly with aTm in the next decade. Going to a Pac 10 East league is okay as long as it includes our traditional rivals. We dont want to be in a stunted Big12. People like watching Longhorns, Sooners and Aggies struggle against the Masked man from the high plains.Tier 1
How to stun the bullies: Win the Big12. We need a repeat of the Marsh Sharpe phenomenon. Take everyone down, hoist up that egg shaped crystal trophy and tell everyone to kiss our big West Texas backsides. Winning cures all ills. Marsha we miss you
This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors.