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Texas Tech Friday Morning Notes - Steven Harris Returns (?) Edition

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Double-T Nation News:

I'm out until Saturday evening.  You guys travel safe if you're traveling, especially everyone going back to school.

Texas Tech Football:

I meant to try and piece this together yesterday, but it appears that safety Steven Harris is going to return to the team in 2009, per RRS.com's Armen Williams($), please see the free portion of the headline. You may remember that Harris and running back Kobey Lewis were suspended indefinitely, or at least 2008 and Kobey Lewis has moved on to Angelo State, however, Harris apparently has gotten back in Captain Leach's good graces.

What this means going forward is that now, the Red Raiders, if Harris can return to form, will not be in as bad of shape as I thought they might be because of the loss of Daniel Charbonnet. And the best part, is that I think he'll only be a junior next year, which means that as long as he can keep his house in order, he'll be an incredibly important part of this team going forward.

To put it plainly, this could be huge.

And for those of you who have forgotten about Steven Harris, he was recruited by a number of top level programs (Wisconsin, Arizona, Nebraska, Oregon) and signed with Texas Tech, was a receiver coming out of high school and spent 2006 redshirting and learning the safety position. In 2007 Harris had 9 tackles, almost all coming on special teams, as he was a special teams ace.

Steven, welcome back to the family and Git Your Guns Up!

LAJ's Don Williams writes that the Cotton Bowl is giving Texas Tech strong consideration. Here's Cotton Bowl president Rick Baker and Williams:

"Obviously, we have great feelings for Tech," Baker said. "They’ve certainly been terrific to our game. When they were here after the 2005 season, their fans were some of the best fans we’ve ever had. They packed the house, and they had a great game with Alabama."

Tech will conclude the regular season 11-1 if it wins its home finale Saturday against Baylor. A first-time trip to a Bowl Championship Series game has been the Red Raiders’ goal all season, but the strength of the Big 12 and a 65-21 loss last week at Oklahoma diminished the team’s chances.

Bowl invitations go out on Dec. 7.

Mississippi looks like the frontrunner for the Cotton Bowl berth from the Southeastern Conference side. The Rebels (7-4), though unranked in the BCS, are the only team this season to beat No. 4 Florida (31-30 on Sept. 27), and they bashed LSU 31-13 last Saturday in Baton Rouge.The Rebels haven’t lost a game by more than a touchdown, and had a close loss at No. 1 Alabama (24-20 on Oct. 18).

RRS.com's Joe Yeager has a number of things to be thankful for during this holiday and this may be, at least to me, the most important:

THANKS TO MATT MOORE’S ARRIVAL: It was a crazy if serendipitous set of circumstances that planted offensive line coach Matt Moore in Lubbock, Texas. Mike Stoops , head coach at the University of Arizona, enticed Tech coaches Sonny Dykes and Bill Bedenbaugh to join him in Tucson.

Bedenbaugh’s departure left a vacancy at offensive line coach, which was quickly filled by former Louisiana Tech head coach Jack Bicknell. Bicknell, although highly popular with the fanbase because of his high spirits and charismatic personality, had plans to redesign the Air Raid’s blocking schemes. A classic case of "fixing" something that sure was not broke. Fortunately, however, Boston College, Bicknell’s alma mater, came calling and the Red Raiders were again left without an offensive line coach. Leach tapped Troy assistant Matt Moore and the progression of Tech’s offensive line has since been little short of phenomenal. To the point where it may be the nation’s best.

DMN's Chuck Carlton is picking Texas Tech to only win by 9.

Texas Tech Basketball:

LAJ's Jeff Walker previews the Texas Tech vs. Pittsburgh matchup, scheduled to top-off at 6:30 tonight. Junior Knight realizes that the Panthers, the #4 team in the country, are talented:

"We’re going to have to learn to block out and that’s something we’ll work on all day for the next couple days," Knight said following Tuesday’s 73-64 win over Southeastern Louisiana. "If you watch their games, it’s really not (about) what they run. They just go in the paint and put it back in. We’re going to have to push it up ourselves and we’re going to have to shoot well, get some shots on the break and hit some threes.

"I’m looking forward to it. We’re playing the No. 4-ranked team in the country up in New Jersey in a major tournament. It will be good for these kids to see what we’re going to have to face later on in the year. There’s no way we’ll shy away. We’ll mix it up and go from there."

And guard Alan Voskuil sounds confident:

"Of course the game against Pittsburgh isn’t going to be a blowout," said Voskuil, who is tied with John Roberson for the team lead at 16 points per game. "We’ve got to go out there and play and show what we’ve got to do to win games. We’ve got to play all 40 minutes instead of just 20."