Hello, I am good friend of Crossfire's and he introduced me to this site. I had written this article back in 2011, but he is kind enough to let me type it and put it in. Hope you find it worth reading.
I will never forget the 2008 football season for one reason, it was the Texas/Texas Tech game finish. As someone who was a long suffering Notre Dame fan, I was growing increasingly fascinated with Mike Leach and what he was accomplishing with his offense and the Quarterbacks he was putting on the field, and his team as a whole. Graham Harrell was dominating teams left and right. I fully expected him to be drafted, and then draft day comes, and his name is not called. I could not believe it. Here is a guy that had started 3 seasons, had more passing yards than anyone but one guy to ever play college football. How do you not draft this guy? So fast forward to the end of the 2010 season, and Taylor Potts, the last true Leach quarterback is playing, but he is playing for a very respected and revered college coach in Tommy Tuberville and a rising young offensive guru in Neal Brown. It seemed that Potts had great numbers but not nearly as gaudy as his predecessors. Again, not drafted, until it hit me, the establishment hates not only Mike Leach (which most resonable people already knew), but they hated Texas Tech as well. So playing for Mike Leach was the kiss of death for an aspiring college football QB, but playing for Leach and Tech was the nails in the coffin.
In the 10 years he was Coach, Leach produced Kliff Kingsbury, BJ Symons, Sonny Cumbie, Cody Hodges, Graham Harrell, Taylor Potts, and Steven Sheffield. Harrell was the gem of the group, being the most highly touted out of High School in Texas (which is a big deal, unlike here in Indiana). All had led their teams to big wins and/or bowl wins and had themselves as legitimate Big 12 south contenders. Some things prevented them from doing those things, whether it be awful defenses ( 2003 and 2010) Untimely losses (seemingly every year). Tech QB's had everything that an NFL recruit, in theory would want, all were winners, leaders, playmakers, gutsy, and performed their jobs at high levels.
Kingsbury and Symons were drafted after their collegeiate careers, Heck Kingsbury even won a ring as Tom Brady's backup. But after them, Cumbie and Hodges were not even drafted even after record setting seasons, it was like they did not even play the way the scouts were evaluating them. Nothing mattered, they were Tech fifth year seniors under Mike Leach, not even worth looking at.
Then Graham Harrell came along. He did everything that he predcessors could not quite do. Won the Big 12 south (albiet a tie). Beat both Texas AND Oklahoma. Never lost to Texas A&M. Records set, broken and smashed. But then again, why wasnt he drafted. The establishment hates Mike Leach. I am talking about the football elites and talking heads. They still do, even though he is no longer slinging it around the South Plains anymore. However leading up to Tech's matchup with Oklahoma, the elites needed Harrell to slip up and do it badly, which meant no BCS bowl for Tech and Leach, no Heisman for Harrell and back to the kiddies table while the big boys like UT, OU, OSU and USC took their rightful place at the Adults table.
They got what they wished for when Tech lost badly on a cold Norman, Ok night. Harrell did not even get invited to the Ceremoy for Heisman candidates. Tech was told to go pick cotton, and take a back seat to Texas, despite beating them soundly in the first half of their head to head game in Lubbock, and then winning the game in 6 plays as soon as they got the ball back. No, no, no. Head to head only counted when you were a big money school. Tech got snubbed as bad as they could have possibly been snubbed, and just about everybody knew it.