One game isn't going to change anything. It just isn't. I have no idea how this really has taken off, but there is a perception that if Michael Brewer doesn't start against Arizona St. in the Holiday Bowl that he's going to start. That's nonsense. We should not be so gullible to believe that Brewer is so simple-minded and demanding of his head coach that if he doesn't start then he's going to transfer. Brewer is a smart kid and if he is going to transfer, he'll base his decision on the past 12 games. Not a single game. That's the reality of the situation. You're going to have to hold tight until after the spring and fall practices because the question of Brewer will loom over this program for the entire off-season. They will both play, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed that at yesterday's press conference.
COACH KINGSBURY: No, can't identify that, but I would say one is a sophomore he has more experience, the other is a true freshman who has played in more games but both played the spread systems in high school, are familiar with what we do and have moved the football when we have been in. I wouldn't be surprised if both of 'em end up playing. -Head coach Kliff Kingsbury
And don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Brewer get the start. I'd love to see what he can do as I thought his handling of the offense was significantly better than what Mayfield threw out there for three quarters against Texas. But we need to stop with the idea that Brewer is so gullible that he'll stay in Lubbock based on starting one single game. Brewer will stay or leave based upon how how things have been handled the past five months.
This is not ideal. This entire situation isn't what Kingsbury really wanted in his first year. I can promise you that. I am almost positive that Kingsbury really wanted to pick one guy and roll with it. I have no doubt that Kingsbury feels like he is doing his best to make a bad situation palatable. Yes, palatable. Not grand or fantastic or ideal. I think he and we both know that this season has been palatable. Acceptable. That's it. He knows it and we know it. I believe he and us are tolerating things until next year.
Jacobson will start, so maybe who starts isn't all that important? Freshman walk-on safety Tanner Jacobson is getting the start at safety and then, after this game, he is leaving for the next two years to go on Mormon mission in Bolivia. The coaches said yesterday that Jacobson is going to start. A guy that will be gone after this game and may decide not to come back to Texas Tech. Shouldn't we have the same thought process with Jacobson? That if Texas Tech doesn't start the guy that's been backing Jacobson up that Texas Tech stands a chance at losing that player? Sometimes a start is just a start. It doesn't mean all that much at the end of the day. It may be a way to say "thank you" for making this season better than it would have been had you not been at Texas Tech.
If you're anxious now, just wait. It's going to be a long off-season, full of rumors and things of that nature. It just doesn't do me a lot of good to get too caught up the comings and goings of these players. There will be two quarterbacks battling in the spring and there may only be two when the fall practices start. Like a lot of you, I'm ready for some consistency and stability, but that's not what we always get. I wrote yesterday that no one has the long-term success of the program in his mind more than Kingsbury. No one wants to see this thing succeed more than him. Sometimes it takes time and we have to be patient. It's not always fun, but the end product can be pretty fantastic if we are patient. I mentioned the other day that East Carolina's head coach Ruffin McNeill started 6-7, 5-7, then 8-5 and now, this year, his band of Pirates won 10 games. It's not always fun to steady the ship, but we're going to have to be patient.
Arizona St. head coach Todd Graham was quite complimentary of Texas Tech in yesterday's press conference. Talks quite a bit about the offensive personnel and doesn't really say a bad or controversial thing about Texas Tech (not that I was expecting this). Graham talks about how he thinks that LT Le'Raven Clark is an eventual first round talent (and I would agree).
Graham also talks about the athleticism that Texas Tech brings at the skill positions:
You look at the speed and the athleticism they have at the skilled position is impressive and then the thing you can't see that Coach and I are similar in our philosophies, we're a fast‑tempo team. We want to go fast and they do a tremendous job. You watch the film you see other teams not lined up a lot of the time and how fast they go and you look at the amount of plays that they play. They're physical, they're talented from an offensive standpoint, and I can assure you over the years of doing this, I used to think I was going to call the plays that would win the game and I've lost more games that way.
And Graham talks about his defensive philosophy and the importance of DT Will Sutton:
So we're big into negative yardage plays, disrupting, impacting the quarterback and forcing errors and that's what you got to have happen. You got to force take‑away and those type of things. What's helped us in getting take‑aways is guys like Will up front, a tremendous player. I don't think I've had a football team that‑‑ everybody has a football team where they have a team that's really improved and the guys that are average become good and guys not so good become average and the bottom‑up deal. I see that a lot.
This team with guys like Will Sutton, our best football player on our team, and we've got some really good ones, but I've never seen guys that are your best players mature as much as what he has.
Arizona St. prepares for TE Jace Amaro (via AZ Central).
ASU head coach Todd Graham knew he wanted to be a head football coach in middle school (via LAJ).
I'm pretty excited that RG Beau Carpenter will get the start against Arizona St. and think this will help the offense more than most people realize (via LAJ).
Kingsbury said that he expect IR Jakeem Grant to have a bigger role this game and said that Grant needed to "grow up a little bit and needed to practice better " (via LAJ).
Graham confirmed that leading rusher Marion Grice will not play, which could be a huge advantage for Texas Tech, although I am sure there is a more than capable back-up (via LAJ).
The Longhorns have apparently narrowed their coaching candidates down to Charlie Strong, Jimbo Fisher, James Franklin and Art Briles (via DMN).
We have a couple of videos that were published yesterday. The first being from SeaWorld and the second is from the San Diego Zoo. Running back Kenny Williams continues his streak of being particularly adept at terrific passes. The players look happy. I think I might be in the minority in that these bowl games, unless you're playing in a BCS bowl, it's largely a reward for the season. I'm glad these guys were able to go to San Diego, especially some of the seniors that have been here through it all. Heck, even some BCS games aren't all that meaningful at the end of the day.