I owed you folks a Big12 conference run down from the opponent's web sites and supporters. I added in how I view the biggest hurdles the team faces going into a resurrected and collegial new conference construct. Links take you to other folks viewpoints.
1.OSU will not repeat as champions. I like these guys but they won’t display a such an opportunistic defense and they aren’t going to garner a 30 plus turnover / takeaways margin. CFN says lookout I say not so fast.. all while their new to the job QB throws 38 - 42 TD’s…they will throw over 25 or so but it’s just not mathematically likely that they reach over 40 scores thru the air. Look the freshman QB Wes Lunt (or is it really JR Clint Chelf??) is going to do okay.. the running game will be solid. Coach Gundy’s O line is good. But they must replace 3 out of 5 Off linemen. I just think a first year QB starter is going throw 9 to 11 interceptions and hesitate at a few key junctures and the opposing defense wins those fights.
3. The fun fact. The OSU O line allowed only 12 sacks in 2011. But they lose a couple of excellent linemen to graduation.
5. OU will make it to BCS bowl. Coach Stoops is a genius and he has great talent, they will start the season ranked in the top 5. Now the rest of the story 3 more upperclassmen receivers were suspended (now booted). What is worse they were likely the primary # 2, #3 and # 4 guys good for at least 500-700 yards and 6-7 scores worth of production over the season. What’s okay is the inbound 5 star high school receivers will play early..
7. The fun fact: It’s well documented that the pre season 2012 Heisman leader QB Landry Jones did not complete a TD pass in the last three game of 2011. .any how Phil Steel the "magazine" ..well he says they will go 12 and 0. He loves them.
8. UT QB David Ash will get benched at least once in 2012. Mack Brown is a mush mouthed, recruiting demon but he hates losing just like any other type "A" personality. He wants to prove they are winners down in Austin in a big way. From Barking Carnival: "David Ash is basically what Ryan Tannehilllwill be his first few years in the NFL. All of the hypothetical potential is there, it just hasn't been fashioned yet and we aren't sure if the mental skill-set is absent or just still developing. I think he'll continue to improve in accuracy throwing our favored routes, whether he ever masters the game is another question." What does it all mean? The UT coaches will not tolerate a 2 or 3 interception effort. Meaning McCoy the younger will get a shot half way thru the campaign. And when he tanks then Ash will then replace him again.
9.UT spring game link below .. I think the 3 bad boys rushing the ball for UT are going to carry these folks. It breaks my heart young Mr. Jonathon Gray signed with these guys. Still love his Dad tho…the returning running backs and the new kid are worth 2000 yards plus on the ground in 2012 .
11. Fun Fact: Everyone loves UT’s potent defense in 2012..so much so that Phil Steele thinks they are his number 1 Surprise team of 2012 (meaning they are a non top 10 ranked team who can win a national title..) . Ok.
15. Texas Tech has an excellent chance to be 5 and 1 going into the TCU game..the expectation is/are that it’s a fact that no one in the front end of the Raiders schedule is going to halt the offensive attack. (even Phil Steele says Seth Doege shines in 2012) But against WVU and OU both of whom will come into the Hub city probably without any blemish..and it’s a night game in the Raider Crater, on TV and Tech is going to out leg one of them .. The loss of those 3 Sooner upperclassmen wide outs is going to be glaringly apparent. WVU has SR QB Geno Smith (the real Heisman front runner..IMO) and 3 returning receivers who amassed 3000 yards on 222 catches ..so do any of our Def Ends have a big game in them? They are Chris Knighton, Dartwan Bush, Kerry Hyder, K. Evans and Pete Robertson the converted Safety? Dave Campbell Tx Foot Ball Mag grades them as "D" unit.. I don’t know. But if both the OU or WVU QB’s don’t get happy feet inflicted on them by these 5 x defenders then the Tech secondary may be gassed by the end of the 3rd period. The other mid season test - Well its TCU they're tough on defense. Even with guys leaving for a drug bust. I worry our ex Def Coord Chad Glasgow is going devise some magic bullet for Tech based on his unique insights into how Coach Neal Brown prepares for a game. If the Tech O line doesn’t have a great day the Raiders QB will have a very long one.
16. TCU link G Patterson stats..
18. Horned Frog QB Casey Pachall is a pretty underrated as a passer and he has 3 excellent Running backs keeping him out of trouble. In 2011 they racked up over 2300 yards rushing. However the last thing they want is 5 and 1 Tech outfit rolling into Fort Worth.
19. Techs counter attack: Running the ball is going to determine 40% of the 2012 game plan for Tech. The stable of running backs demands touches of say 25 to 30 per / in the 80 plays per game so if the Raiders don’t rack up a 100 plus rushing yards per game then we aren’t going to win very many in 2012. We aren’t going to have a hope in hell if some combination Eric Stephens and or Deandre Washington can’t go in August 2012.. Its just a fact this version of the Air Raid doesn’t rack up 40 plus points a game (while the defense seems incapable of limiting others to less than 28..more like allowing 48 plus…) so without a clock killing rushing attack for stretches of the 3rd and 4th periods then look out! Tech Defense will be smoked going into the last 10 minutes. Talking fact here not wishes. All that being said we get some help on the O line with a former Aggie 5th year senior transfer, LaAdrian Waddle is a first team Big12 pre season pick and we have 5 pretty good RBs..perhaps this is the year to pass to set up the run.
20. The rest of the Pack.
What they do away from Lubbock is nearly as important as what Coach Kaufman and Coach Neal Brown do to get ready...
21. WVU can’t stop anyone and they will get scorched by Baylor’s pass first game plan (tho they may out track meet them), UT scorches the Mountaineers with their run game and OSU scores on every possible side of the ball. I am hoping Tech scorches on them as well because hey it’s Lubbock @ night and that’s long plane ride Baby from Morgantown WV.. just saying…
22. Defensive tackles ( the Nose tackle too in the 4-3 alignment) determines the success rate in the Big 12..the fact is it’s the hardest position to play in that you the player get hit on every play and two guys are assigned to block you on every play. So if you get some good to excellent Defensive tackle play then you are going dominate someone else’s game plan and take away some opponents favorite play. Tech can put 6 interior defensive down linemen on the field - Jeremy Macklin (a converted DE), Brendon Jackson (tho Seth C. says he is a likely Sam Line Backer before we are done), Dennell Wesley, Delvon Simmons, L . Adams ( a JC transfer) and D. Phillips, of these only Macklin and Wesley have any significant tackles a total of 49 between the two. They get some freshmen help from M. Starts, A. Smith, C. Robinson. But these young guys have almost no chance of contributing in 2012. So they red shirt and work the scout team. Either passing or running a dominating defensive tackle will disrupt your game plan. We need some of that. Get a few TFL’s, a couple of hurries and sacks and all of sudden there is a third guy looking to pick you up. The Bonus chaos is that our runty sophomore LB’s are free to run blitz some of these big bad running backs we are up against. Perhaps they force the occasional chip shot Field Goal. That really helps your defensive efficiency. I just don’t care about how many FGs the Raiders allow in 2012.. it's calculated math I think trading 7 points for 3 is a winning combo for this team in 2012. Trust me.
22.a. But on the surface what Tech is / are showing up with week in and week out is a group of undersized linebackers with only fair speed T. Bullit excepted .. a thin secondary with banged up converts @ Cornerback.. especially Cornelius Douglas; a lot of second tier Safeties except Cody Davis.. Def ends moved to Def Tackle and a former Safety Pete Robertson (* recruited as an athlete) moved to a rushing def end..okay he’s fast but he is not big and he is not tall ..So what happens when a TE and a Off. Tackle double team him and crush him?? .. Two guesses the strong side LB gets chipped and the Free safety has to make the tackle 7 yards downfield..a lot. This means you end up surrendering 200 plus yards on the ground per game. The season rests on defensive line play..it can’t be masked by scheme.. see last year.. somebody in a Tech uniform has to win a dozen fights on the line of scrimmage per game .. Assuming around 80 plus snaps per offense per game on the Avg in the Big 12. Techs potential 8 – 4 regular season depends upon getting up to say 80th worst defense in the land. More after the jump.
23. Iowa state and Kansas state bookend the tough three game stretch of OU, WVU and TCU. Be sure you keep your powder dry against Paul Rhodes and Bill Snyder. Neither one is going to miss in the Coaching effort category. If you throw interceptions you will get a gut punch. The Raiders have to visit both venues and I am disturbed and perturbed. It’s likely to be a cold drizzly night game in both places (sad face ) and the Raiders need to score on every possession and never let off the gas. Iowa State: the QB situation is not ideal here Steel Jantz is still in a fight with Jared Barnett the kid who flogged us in Lubbock in 2011. Coming out of the spring game neither was the clear leader.
24. Kansas State:
That guy QB Colin Klein is a tough Hombre. He is not great at anything except scoring with his legs. Coach Snyder has 14 starters returning. Remember this his team does not beat themselves. Very few turnovers, very few missed blocks, very good tacklers. This construct describes a Wildcats team. Coach Snyder does not own the "Elder" wand.. Sports fans..
25. KU link Charlie Weiss pulled a rabbit out of his hat when he got former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist to transfer in. Problem is he needs O linemen and Wideouts and they don’t have a ton. The top 2 returning receiver's have less than 80 catches between them and less than 800 yards. They did pick up a Notre Dame TE transfer. On the Kansas Jayhawks offensive line they have 75 career starts for all the front 5 linemen.
26. Baylor: Art Briles is going to roll out Nick Florence as his starting QB. We Raiders know he is very capable. He will be throwing to three returning Wideouts who caught over 150 passes for just under 2400 yards. Impressive. Defensively they are like us folks,everybody can roll over them and its unlikely any all Americans are going to surface in a LB, Down linemen or in the secondary..But you never know. But they get 4 of their five top tacklers back lead by A. Dixon (LB) and S.Holl (DB). Here is a fun fact they managed to force 18 turnovers in their last five games of 2011. Think that helped Robert Griffin a little?
All the rest of the actors on the field:
27. No one can control the Referees but at least 2 Tech games will be decided by the Zebra’s.. I am not saying anybody will buy a referee but it is game of chaos and bad things happen. In 2009 the Raiders lost an interception versus Nebraska in Lincoln because the player who ripped the ball from the Nebraska receiver was ruled not to have possessed the ball. Despite what everyone in the stadium saw. IE with the receiver laying on top of him bobbling the catch into the defenders gut who stood up in bounds holding the pigskin. Disgusting. So expect some hanky panky when the Raiders are lining up for a last second field goal or OU will get the favorable foot fall call enroute to the go ahead score or some such non call, blown call and a tom foolery call. The Raiders have to play the Bears in Jerry World again and we haven’t exactly got a lot of stellar refereeing when inside its awe inspiring confines. I have a referee friend and even he says someone is going to get screwed, blued and tattooed in the Big12 in 2012. If the season comes down to a three way tie bet on UT. By the way what I just described was just this scenario: OU has lost 3 games, OSU has lost 3 games and Ut has lost 3. Now where are these losses going to come from? Let me prognosticate like old "Leonard’s Losers" .. My bet it’s the road games which can be very unkind. Especially for the top third of the conference. I don’t think UT can win in Morgantown or Lubbock. I don’t think OSU can win in Norman and Austin. I know that OU is going to nut themselves in Bill Snyder family stadium & they won’t escape the Raider Crater either. Charlie Weis is going to get those 2 x JayHawk upsets before it’s all done in November. So Ut and OSU stumble versus Kansas so say I .. Tech spring ball
28. "Phil Steele" says Texas Tech is the 12th most improved team in the land and they will go to the Meinke Car Care Bowl in Houston on 28 Dec12 facing Illinois.
29. Late breaking News the June12 Dave Campbell magazine says Tech goes 6 and 6, losing 5 in row thru the mid point of the season and loses to Baylor to back into the Insight Bowl.
So go vote in poll. Enjoy.