clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under: Top 50: Texas Tech #44

I'm a bit late on this, but Sunday-ish's David Fox pegged Texas Tech at #44 in the nation on their Top 50 list. The entire article is full of interesting, and relatively fair analysis on Tech, though I'm disappointed that we fell all the way to 44th. Make sure you take a brief moment to read the entire piece, as I'm just posting a few snippets I found interesting/contestable:

Overview: For the first time since 2001, Mike Leach's Air Raid offense didn't lead the nation in passing. Texas Tech slipped to third behind Hawaii and New Mexico State, which is coached my Leach's old boss, Hal Mumme. Part of the blame could rest on two games against TCU and Colorado where the Raiders were held without a touchdown...
I'd also remind that 2001 was the last time Texas Tech had an underclassman quarterback. In Kliff Kingsbury's 2nd year at the helm (2002) Tech established itself as the dominant offensive force in the nation, and wouldn't cede its hegemony for four years. I expect a return to form.
Most overrated: WR Danny Amendola. The senior Amendola has been Texas Tech's primary punt returner and secondary option in the passing game since his freshman year. One of the few senior starters, he'll be counted on for leadership - especially after the departure of Tech's top two receivers. Since averaging 12.8 yards per punt return as a freshman, his average has dropped in each of the last two seasons to 9.2 yards last year.
I don't know if this is entirely fair to Danny Amendola. First, I don't recall anyone accusing him of being Wes Welker -- who is he overrated by, exactly? Certainly not the coaching staff, which kept him as our 4th WR last year (behind an admittedly talented crew). His production decline on punt returns is disappointing, but he's also a workhorse in that capacity. His 41 punt returns led the nation.
Most underrated: RB Shannon Woods. Texas Tech has never ranked in the top 100 in rushing offense since Leach arrived in 2000, but that's because of the focus on the passing game. Woods was as effective as a Leach running back can be in 2006, Woods' first season as a starter. He rushed for 926 yards last year, the highest individual total under Leach, while adding 572 receiving yards to lead the Big 12 in all-purpose yards.
I would almost place him in the overrated category. Given his recent demotion to the 3rd team, perhaps Mike Leach knows something that David Fox doesn't. Putting his production in perspective, he might have had more yards than Taurean Henderson did, but he also had an atypically high number of carries. Henderson averaged 144 carries over the past three years, which is a bit less than Shannon Woods had. His 6.1 YPC in 2006 was very impressive, though not a drastic improvement on Taurean's 5.9 in 2005. What Henderson did extremely well that Shannon Woods did not was score -- Woods averaged a TD every 15 carries. Taurean scored once every 8.7 carries in 2005, and once every 10 carries from 2003-2005. Admitting that a lot of that has to do with play calling in the red zone, I think Taurean gets the clear nod here, in spite of Woods' YPC and overall yardage advantage. There isn't anyone on the team I have more questions regarding given his recent treatment by Coach Leach, and I'm inclined to put him in the most overrated category. If we have any faith in Coach, clearly Woods' statistics are not telling the entire story.

That feels a bit nit-picky, so let me just say that I agree largely with the rest of the article (beyond the ranking!). Except for this:

Head coach: B
Coach Leach is better than a B. This is worth fighting about.