Double-T Nation News:
Whenever you miss a couple of days you tend to miss a lot. Texas Tech has no chance of making it to the Big 12 Championship Game and despite having the exact same record as OU and UT. After Oklahoma's win last night, they should pull even with UT in the computers and the voters will continue to vote like they did last week. Voters tend to remember the recent and OU dispatched a very good OSU team while UT did what they should have done against the Aggies. By the time OU dispatches with Missouri there will be little doubt in my mind as to who has the best team in the Big 12. Yes, it would be absolute chaos if Texas Tech did go to the Big 12 Championship team, but had this been any other season, where another team picked up a 2nd loss, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton had this to say and I think it sums up how I feel as well:
One of these teams is getting screwed. Whatever method you use to separate them is only because of an extremely flawed system that forces inscrutable parsing of equally deserving teams that have no business being excluded in favor of the other. This extends to USC, Penn State, Texas Tech and Utah. The necessity of this argument is very stupid.
I'm just going to bring you the headlines of quite a few things as I'm still trying to get my feet under me and I think I may have caught some sort of stomach bug while traveling.
Texas Tech Football:
If anything, yesterday's win shows Texas Tech fans that there is some quality depth and if Texas Tech is going to continue to improve, sometime the 2nd and 3rd team guys have got to step it up. Yesterday, the following players missed time: Michael Crabtree, L.A. Reed, Daniel Charbonnet, Rajon Henley, and Eric Morris. There were probably others, but off the top of my head, all of these guys missed time and that means that someone had to step up and they did.
There's something to be said for that. I think if there's one thing that Mike Leach has done, it's improve the talent on the field between 1st team and 2nd team guys.
LAJ's Don Williams recaps yesterday's game and Captain Leach sounds like he's not conflicted about the play in both halves in the very least:
"I don’t have anything good to say about the first half,’’ Tech coach Mike Leach said, "and I don’t have anything bad to say about the second half, and I really didn’t see much in between. You had the first half, which was pitiful, and you had the second half, which was impressive.’’
And defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said that he changed the gameplan in the 2nd half because the Texas Tech defense was too hesitant:
Defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said he put a spy on Griffin in the first half, but could see it wasn’t working. "I thought it made us hesitate,’’ he said. "Then in the second half, we took the spy off. We just said, ‘OK, let’s go four-man rush.’ That’s when McKinner and them took over and did a good job.’’
LAJ's Don Williams has some good quotes from all of the seniors about the state of the program:
"I think the program has continued to progress," [Sam] Harrell said recently. "The team has continued to improve. Coach is starting to get better and better players each year, it seems like. I think a lot of people thought we could be pretty special. Others kind of doubted that, but I think he’s set the foundation."
LAJ's Don Williams and Adam Zuvanich compile the Red Raiders Football Notebook has Leach saying that Michael Crabtree is doing "fabulous", Captain Leach politicking and would like for you to vote for the Red Raiders because of a superior graduation rate, more on the banged up secondary, and Ruffin McNeill being excited about the seniors:
Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill isn’t shy about showing his emotions - or affection for his players.
Toward the end of the Saturday’s game, he had an extended embrace with sophomore linebacker Brian Duncan on the sideline, after Duncan had made an interception to set up the game-winning score. When asked about the moment after the game, McNeill had to pause for about 15 seconds while gathering himself.
"The seniors are special in my book, every group, and the biggest thing I wanted them to go out was with a win," said McNeill, his voice quivering. "That was important to me."
Like he usually does, McNeill told Darcel McBath and McKinner Dixon that he loved them as they left the postgame interview room. He later said, "I love all these boys."
LAJ's Adam Zuvanich writes about all of the players who stepped up because of player injuries while Don Williams writes about the impressive Robert Griffin.
FWST's Dwain Price and DMN's Brandon George each have game stories.