Seth C: We pretty much don't need to talk about those vile and disgusting bears anymore, so let's talk about Texas. I want to get right into what you'd do on offense and defense to turn the tide in Texas Tech's favor. Whatever you do, don't suggest that Texas Tech EVER defer on the kickoff. EVER.
Travis (SARR): Bears are the worst.
I don’t think I’d really change too much on offense. It seemed as if we really got into a good groove during the Baylor game (sans the turnovers). An amazing stat from that game is that Tech ran 62 plays in the first half, which is absolutely nuts. I think Baylor’s defense is one of the better D’s those guys will face all year and they fared well. Again, just hold onto the ball son. You know who I’m talking to. I also think we’ll see much more of Brewer in this game and while I don’t buy into the idea that we would’ve won all the games if he was in, it will be interesting to see how he performs.
I think UT is going to get too cute by half and try to mix in Swoopes on almost every series. They’ve seen what running QB’s have been able to do to Tech all year so I bet he’s going to see significant playing time, which I think will backfire. It will keep them from getting into any sort of rhythm, particularly if Wally stacks the box and makes McCoy and/or Swoopes try to beat them with their passing game. I’m also hoping that the Tech defense is on the field to start the game, however that works.
What’s your game plan?
Seth C: I would sooo sell out to stop the run. I think I'd just put 9 guys in the box and just dare Case McCoy to get the ball where he needs for it to go. It's not that I think that McCoy can't complete a pass, but if UT doesn't just try to run the ball like K-State did, I'll be shocked. I also think I'd bench Pete Robertson for the most part. Not because I think he needs to be benched, but because I think I'd pretty much play Branden Jackson and Dartwan Bush along the line on every possible snap. Robertson is going to be a casualty in terms of plays because I just can't imagine him being able to stop the run like Bush would be able to do.
Offensively, I'd really love to get DeAndre Washington and Kenny Williams the ball as much as possible. Run out of the two-running back set and try to make life as miserable as possible for that Texas defensive line. This means that the line is going to have to have Carpenter back because the offense, or the rushing offense is significantly better when he's at guard and not Brown. That's really something that's a bit over-looked from the Baylor game, which is the idea that Baylen Brown started at right guard, not James Polk. This offense is just that much better, at protecting the quarterback and at running the ball with Carpenter in play. If he's over his concussion, I think that's the big addition that could really make a significant difference.
I too think that Brewer gets more time this game and I think it's a perfect storm as Brewer returns to Austin to hopefully lead this team.
I was asked by a UT blogger if I thought it was unfair or if I had any issues with Texas pretty much having their way with the Thanksgiving day game. For me personally, I never had a problem with it when it was TAMU and UT playing, so I don't have a huge problem with it now. Besides, Texas Tech has a ton of students go home for the holiday and I know that was one of the reasons why Texas Tech and Baylor started to play in the DFW area. Does the fact that UT does this simply add to your list of reasons to hate the Longhorns or are you okay with it?
Travis (SARR): You know, maybe it's because I'm getting old and soft, or maybe it's because I work with so many Longhorns and they're great dudes and friends of mine, but I've kinda softened on the Longhorns over the past couple of years. We all spend Monday mornings rehashing the weekend's games and our favorite TV shows and drinking coffee. I guess it's because they're realistic and up front about the problems the program is facing and it's fun to speculate with them about who the next coach will be. One of the guy's told me I need to write a story about Nate Boyer but Grantland beat me to it and did a fantastic job.
Anyway, maybe I'm over explaining myself just so I don't get punched in the mouth by blackbeard next time I see him at a tailgate, but I really don't have a problem with them controlling their Thanksgiving Day situation. Even they may be down, they're still Texas and they still call the shots.
So let's dig into this whole Halloween situation a bit. Both of us have been dealing with some behind the scenes stuff since the stupid quasi-holiday wreaked havoc on our households. My four year old had been looking forward to Halloween all year long but the first house we went to had some adults dressed like monsters answer the door and I think all of the kids are still scarred. They fought their way through the night valiantly, and got all the candy, but he still stares at the door at night and gets really freaked out. He hasn't slept in his own bed since so just as it was getting healed, I now have the little velociraptor claws up and down by back again. How did it go for you and Fitsum?
Seth C: Aww, hell, it's been rough since Halloween. Fitsum is a bit determined to put it nicely and just going out on Halloween was rough as we were with some friends that have girls. Well, the girls wanted to be together and Fitsum wanted to be right in the stinking middle of them. They did not appreciate that. So, once we got through that, we continued. Where I stay, they shut down the main neighborhood street, it's a small enough town where they can do that it allows kids to be able to run through the street without fear of vehicles. It really is great. If you happen to live on this street, this is the worst night of the year for you because every kid is running through your yard, but on the other hand, this is one of the best things that my town does. The whole town gets together to trick or treat.
There's one house that really does it up right. They have all sorts of scary things in front yard, or at least they are scary for a 3 year old. Fitsum is immediately not a fan of the people that are dressed up to look scary. He saw some kid in a unicorn mask and he might have crapped his pants.
So we get done with that night and from that night forward, we've maybe had 3 nights since then where one of us hasn't slept in his bed. And he's also regressed too. He's asking for us to feed him, which is odd because this has all happened at the same time. He's also really talking back and acting out, so neither of us know if this is just a three year old being a three year old or a kid that's still having Halloween flashbacks and aftershocks.
This is cliche, but I don't care. What are you most "thankful" for in regards to Texas Tech?
Travis (SARR): Texas Tech gave me an identity. I know it sounds corny, but I'm a Red Raider for the rest of my life. My son always asks me "You like Texas Tech daddy, right?" And I always agree.
I wasn't a "traditional" student in many senses of the word. I was completely on my own so I worked quite a bit and actually worked full-time and took night classes my last two semesters. I never really got into the fraternity scene or a lot of the social stuff mainly because I had bills to pay. I was the first person in my family in a couple of generations to graduate from college so it was a pretty good moment for me and my diploma is still proudly displayed in my office.
Over the years that sense of identity has grown stronger. I'm damn near 40 but I still have Raider Red on my truck and I still wear a Tech shirt every Friday during the football season. Interestingly enough, being a part of VTM has made me feel like I contribute to Tech in a small way. Of course we don't represent the University in any sort of official capacity, but writing here has made me feel like I'm part of something larger. I guess in a way it's sorta given me that bond with Tech that I never had as a student because back then I just wanted to grind it out and get my degree and didn't enjoy any of the other things that make being a Tech student so great. In the 15 years since I graduated I've made so many friends and connections, in large part because of where I went to college.
So I guess I'm thankful to Texas Tech for giving me another way to identify myself. I'm a husband, father, banker, immature blogger and Red Raider.
Oh and also a friend of Keith. Oh and also an inventor.
What are you thankful for regarding Tech?
Seth C: I am thankful for all of you. Seriously. When my wife and were trying to figure out how to go about this adoption stuff and we knew that we were going to adopt a second child, but not sure how we were going to do it, I told her I'd post something and see what happened. I never imagined the response. So I am thankful for all of you and because of this dumb little Texas Tech site where we get to talk about things related to Texas Tech, it's helped my family adopt a child. That's hard to explain to someone that doesn't have a clue what I do and the conversation goes like this, "So you have a 'website' or as you call it a 'blog' and you asked for help and people gave over $17,000?" Uh, huh.
I am also very thankful for the new and old writers because I think they've made the website significantly better. It is getting to the point I can't handle everything and I needed the help. So doing all of this helped me, but it made this whole thing better.
Internally, in the SB Nation super-secret site, there is a discussion about link-dump posts. Those posts, I feel like, are a hallmark for VTM and it just wouldn't be VTM without all of that sort of stuff. The thought is that we should do individual posts about those links and honestly, I just can't imagine trying to do that. Part of college athletics is that there can be 6 or 7 sports going on at the same time, and without a link-dump, it's hard to cover all of them. Maybe I shouldn't cover them at all, but I think I get a few inquiries about why I'm NOT covering them. I'd also add that I think an initial story with links in it provides a place for folks to gather and discuss things. So, I guess my question, as a guy that started out just checking things out, do you think the link-dump has out-lived its usefulness or do you think there's still quite a bit of utility with it?
Travis (SARR): The link dump (Daily Diatribe, TTML, etc) is how I initially discovered and started reading DTN. I think it was near the end of the ‘07 season, when the team was preparing to play Virginia that I started checking in daily, primarily because of the links. Because of time constraints that we all face I was (and continue to be) really drawn to sites where a ton of stories I’m interested in are linked. It’s one stop shopping for information junkies. And not to get into politics, but it’s the reason why I still read Real Clear Politics every morning and ABC’s The Note. I don’t have to search around for articles because they are all laid out for me with a couple of clicks.
Of course you can still miss out on a few things if you’re relying on one site to draw your attention to stories, but it’s still a viable format.
I also remember when you signed up for Twitter and I just couldn’t wrap my head around how that would make sense. You wouldn’t be able to write stories in 140 characters, so how would that work? Of course I never thought that Twitter could be used as a tool to drive readers to the site. And now Twitter has really transformed the speed in which information flows. Stories that you link to every morning have now been posted on the site the previous day in the comments section by VTM members. So, I think the only solution is for you to quit your job and scour the internet constantly so we can stay cutting edge.
Kidding aside, I think there is value in continuing a link dump at VTM. The site has over 4000 members, and I would bet about another couple of thousand that are just like I was until 2010. Just regular readers, looking for a place to read about all things Texas Tech. Guys (or ladies) that check in early in the morning over a cup of coffee to see if there’s any news out there.
I also like your new philosophy though in that we want to create stories and not just regurgitate them. That’s why I’ve gotten pretty protective about who we give free publicity and page views too. If there are sites and individuals that are anti-VTM that’s fine, but I don’t want to help them make any money. Don Williams has been good to us, David Ubben maybe doesn’t hate us, and the DT has good folks. The larger national papers are usually pretty good and there is a ton of good stuff all over SB Nation daily. I like seeing those links.
So I haven’t seen any updated bowl projections, but give me your best bet on where you think Tech will land as bowl season kicks off, particularly after the shake-up in Stillwater Saturday night. I ask because I know how much you love to predict things.
Seth C: I do have a difficult time predicting things. I know that we're supposed to write about the bowl situation and stuff like that for the college blogs, but I've just never done that. I think I'd be totally happy if Texas Tech could go to the Holiday Bowl to get to go somewhere different and the team would be able to avoid San Antonio and/or Houston (OOOOHHHH WHAT A SICK BURN!). I'm just kidding about that last part, I love both of those cities. No really, they are destinations.
Honestly, it would probably do this team some good to stay in the state of Texas and be able to have high school kids go to practices and things of that nature. That's going to be such an important recruiting class for Kingsbury, it would maybe do him some good to be in Houston or Central Texas.