Iowa State - The Test
Oklahoma - Reality Check, Re-calibrate
West Virginia - A Defining Moment, The Turning PointTCU - Confirmation of Direction, Heart & Legitimacy
Kansas State - Now this will be EPIC!
Those first 4 are in the bank, (though Oklahoma's wasn't a deposit - its a bounced check and we'll get that back next year! )
A win at KSU would amount to and go a long way toward a significant resolution of three longer term narratives about the Red Raider nation. 1) A redemption of the end of season failures in 2008. The narrative - "We have trouble as a program handling success on the big stage". Of course winning in Manhattan Kansas should need to be followed up by completing the gambit through the rest of the season. But it all starts right here right now and this is the biggest enchilada by far. No one else in the schedule will be top five when we play them. 2) The narrative - "Tubberville was not the right candidate to coach the Red Raiders. We went backwards hiring him and he'll never take us back". Most of that talk will go away. It's very hard to envision Tubberville walking the plank if he wins at KSU even losing the rest. On the contrary it will not only solidify his place in the program, (and by winning out) could edify him to, (can I say) God like status of the likes we haven't seen since the last one. :) 3) The narrative - "Texas Tech football is not part of the serious ongoing 'national discussion'. They are and will always remain a second tier program relegated to once a decade conference contenders in the shadows picking up the Texas and OU scraps". While one season does not make a perineal power a win here elevates the discussion with the gains made in the Leach era, the BCS and national title talk of the 2008 blackout of Texas, and the SEC DNA and celebrity, (how bout that one?) of Tubberville. This combined not so distant history and a victory at KSU could put us right there in the smack of those discussions.
I'm reminded of what is possible. The present outrageous ascension of Utah State, from relative obscurity the remarkable rise of the Air Raid and Texas Tech football under Mike Leach, (loved him, wish him all the best and more at WSU) and both the phoenix like and eerily methodical mechanical revival of KSU bingeing on the belly and back of the Big 12 devouring teams like the mascot they are. All this under the tutelage of a coach written off to retirement just a few years ago.
No today none of these are part of that long arc national discussion - the reward of a perennial program. But the one wearing that Red & Black, should it walk off the field this Saturday at the end to a hushed and silenced home crowd then it's that team and yes our school our team where those kind of discussions will blossom. It's not just another big game this year. The events have exquisitely lined themselves up once again one more time to further define our Red Raider destiny. Leave no doubts about it. This one is EPIC!
Oh and one more thing....if your nice, I let you have what I'm having.... A damn good time !