Red Raider Gridiron | Deep Breaths Everyone

Deep Breaths:  Everyone still okay?   Anyone hyperventilated or passed out?  Okay, we're all here and it's time to pick up the pieces.  Would you like a book of Leach quotes?  Alan Burton emailed me last week and asked if I had checked out his book Pirates, Soldiers & Fat Little Girlfriends: More Classic Texas Sports Quotes.  I told him that I had not and Alan mailed a copy to check out and if you're missing the pirate, this would be a good place to start.  The book isn't just limited to Mike Leach quotes, but quotes from a handful of Texas sports luminaries, from Spike Dykes to Lee Trevino.  And DTN is mentioned as a source.  I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk for being in the telephone book.  I'm in print.  Things are going to start happening to me now. 

It was a good step back in time.  You can buy the book at Amazon here.

Big 12 Teleconference:  The Big 12 teleconference was yesterday (you can listen here) and LAJ's Don Williams and DT's Mike Graham listened in for me so I didn't have to.  Head coach Tommy Tuberville wants to get back out on the field:

"We need to play," Tuberville said Monday on the weekly Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference.

Tuberville said his team is in great shape physically and the open date is too early.

"But we can use it," he said. "We’ll get back to the drawing board. We self-scouted ourselves, looked at the mistakes we made in all three games and things we need to get better at, so we’ll use this week in terms of a three-day, four-day spring practice."

Snip.

"There were some plays there that we didn’t execute," Tuberville said. "We just never got in any rhythm. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board on our running game.

"There’s a lot of things that showed up. Good football teams, when you play against them, they make things look glaring a lot more than when you’re playing teams that don’t have quite the athletes."

Just letting everyone know that this is a softball and we all know that we can hit each one of these quotes out of the park, let's be creative this morning.

Texas Tech vs. Iowa St.:  Per the official site, this game will be on FCS, which means that there will be some people trying to figure out how to watch this game:

Although not selected for one of the three available conference television windows that day, Fox College Sports has announced that the network will televise the game as part of a rights agreement with the Big 12. Fox College Sports is available in Lubbock on the Suddenlink cable system, AT&T U-Verse and various satellite providers.

http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/431279/big_12_logo_resize.jpgPredictions, Big 12 and National Links:  For a little bit of perspective.  I know I'm breaking my rule, but sometimes when we're too close the situation, we don't see how others might have viewed last week's performance.  Our favorite blogger, ESPN's David Ubben, thinks that Texas Tech is still the #4 team in the conference and Lincoln Journal Star's Curt McKeever thinks that Texas Tech is the #5 team in the conference . . . FootballOutsiders' Robert Weintraub took note of DE Scott Smith's performance:

4. Scott Smith, defensive end, Texas Tech. Can't blame Smith for the loss to Texas -- he had two deflected passes, one an interception he made and another that was returned by a teammate for a touchdown, plus two sacks and a forced fumble.

. . . SB Nation's Spencer Hall with this week's Alphabetical . . .

Some stats after the jump.

Run vs. Pass, the Eternal Question:  If there's one thing that I want out of DTN its that I think it's a good thing to be critical, but it's even better to be critical with smart reasons behind those criticisms.  Comments such as, "Tubs has said that he's going to run to set up the pass," are fine and all, but is that statement true?  Rather than making assumptions, it's important to see if that's even an accurate statement AND is this necessarily a bad statement.  Let's take the first part of the last sentence.  These were the first plays for each drive for the Texas game in 2009 and 2010.  I haven't had time to look at every first down (I asked folks to help out, but no one wanted to take me up on my offer -- sad face):

2010

Drive Pass/Run Result Yards
1 P Fumble
2 P Incomplete
3 P Complete 3.00
4 P Interception -
5 R Rush 25.00
6 R Rush 1.00
7 P Sack (12.00)
8 - -
9 P Complete 4.00
10 R Rush 5.00
11 P Sack (10.00)
12 P Complete 4.00
13 P Complete 12.00
14 P Incomplete


The results are, and this is excluding the 8th drive, which is the drive at the end of the first half for a kneel-down, is that Texas Tech had 13 possessions and passed the ball 10 of those 13 times and the net yardage was 32 yards (I think).

2009

Drive Pass/Run Result Yards
1 P Complete 12.00
2 P Complete 5.00
3 P Complete 10.00
4 P Complete 11.00
5 R Rush 2.00
6 R Rush (1.00)
7 P Complete 3.00
8 P Complete 13.00
9 P Incomplete
10 P Complete 14.00
11 P Sack (14.00)
12 P Complete
13 P Complete 10.00

 

Of the 13 drives, Leach passed the ball 11 of 13 times in the first play of each drive and the net yardage was 65 yards.  The 2009 and the 2010 ratios are eerily similar, but the production is not. This argument isn't about running the ball vs. passing the ball, but about successful plays vs. unsuccessful plays.

This is the key and this is what all of those really smart people are talking about when it comes to advanced football stats.  It's not about whether the play is a run or a pass, it's about whether or not the play is successful.  I can almost guarantee you that if Texas Tech had Oregon's current offense, ranked #1 in the country in total offense and #1 in the country in rushing.  No one would be complaining that the team isn't passing enough.  On the most base level, if plays are successful then fans are happy.  Now this doesn't account for the fact that people have an emotional connection with a passing offense and that's fine and all, but the point is to have successful plays. 

And just to remind everyone, there have been bad losses under Leach.  Leach is my all-time favoritest head coach.  Love the guy, but let's recall the following

2009:  Game mismanagement in Houston and a 52-30 ass-whipping at the hand of the Aggies, at home, go read that post-game thread for some good times and although I'm not picking on RdrPwr because I think he's a great contributor to DTN, but he wrote this after that game:  "I am at Hance's office monday morning asking for tuition money back. Worst display of coaching I have ever seen. I agree with others now, we will never make big time while Leach is coach."
2008:  Not much to complain about, other than not showing up for the Cotton Bowl.
2007:  A 26-31 loss, at home, to a Colorado team that managed 7 wins that year (and an ass-whipping at the hands of Missouri)
2006:  A 3-12 loss to TCU, another loss to Missouri, another loss to Colorado that won only 2 games in 2006.

You get where I'm going.  This isn't the first bad loss in the program's history.  At the very least, this was a loss to a Texas team that is highly ranked and from your comments from yesterday's five questions, you think that Texas is pretty good and at least one of the top 3 teams in the conference.  If you're still ticked, that's fine, I'm not asking that folks not complain, but if you're going to voice your opinion, back it up with some facts.

Show your work.

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