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Texas Tech Monday Morning Notes - We Feel Good About Our Season Edition

Double-T Nation News:

Texas Tech is Cotton Bowl bound and you'll be happy to know that we'll be hooking up with Red Solo Cup, an Ole Miss blog, once we get a little closer to the game.  DTN will also be previewing the hell out of this game and it probably starts tomorrow or Wednesday.  Once I've got a schedule down, I'll make sure and let you guys know.

Mike Leach Watch:

DMN Mis-Step #1: The only real news that came out last night was that the DMN College blog reported that Mike Leach was not on the conference call. This is where I normally link to a story, but in this case that's not going to work because the story has been taken down (make sure and look at the URL).

LAJ's Don Williams corrects the situation on his blog, Raider Rants:

Before Texas Tech fans start reading too much into Mike Leach’s absence from Sunday’s Cotton Bowl conference call to announce the teams, they should know this: I can’t remember the last time Leach took part in the day-of announcement about where his team was headed. For the last several years, Leach has traveled to New York on this day to attend the annual National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame awards dinner that comes up early this week. For all I know, he might take the same flights each year. But I can’t remember the last time he’s been in Lubbock on Sunday afternoon the day after the conference championship games.

And just to make sure, Williams went back and checked . . . it was 2002 the last time Leach was at the telephone press conference to announce a bowl game.

Cotton Bowl:

Lots of stories on Texas Tech facing Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl:

  • LAJ's Don Williams:
  • Texas Tech beat Texas this season when the Longhorns were No. 1. Mississippi beat Florida this season, and the Gators are going to play for the BCS national championship.

    After proving more than once that they can play with the best, Tech (11-1) and Mississippi (8-4) will close the season by playing each other at the Cotton Bowl. The pairing, announced Sunday, set up the fifth meeting between the two schools since 1986.

    Though Tech’s chances of playing in a BCS game - for the national title, even - vanished in the next-to-last game of the season, the Red Raiders insisted they’ll be ready when kickoff comes at 1 p.m. on Jan. 2 in Dallas.

  • ESPN Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin:
  • Two of the biggest surprise teams in college football will square off in a battle of homecomings for their top players. That will boost interest in what promises to be a sentimental matchup as the bowl plays its final game at its historic Cotton Bowl location before moving to the Dallas Cowboys' stadium next season.
  • FWST's Dwain Price:
  • Even though they didn’t make a BCS bowl after losing just once this season, the Red Raiders aren’t disappointed.

    "We know we play in a tough conference, just like [Ole Miss coach] Houston [Nutt] plays in a tough conference," Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said during Sunday’s Cotton Bowl conference call. "I think the [Big 12] South Division this year was very topsy-turvy and competitive from the top team in the South to the last team.

    "We feel good about our season and our progress, [and] we also understand that the conference is going to put our two top teams in the BCS just like the Southeastern Conference will put two teams in. We’re giddy and happy and very excited to go to the Cotton Bowl."

  • DMN's Brandon George:
  • The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will say goodbye to its namesake stadium in January with an intriguing matchup between two rising programs.

    BCS No. 7 Texas Tech will play No. 25 Mississippi (8-4) at 1 p.m. Jan. 2 in the 73rd and final Classic at the recently renovated Cotton Bowl stadium. The game will move to the Cowboys' new $1.1 billion stadium in Arlington in 2010.

    "To be able to play in the last bowl in that stadium to me is something very, very special," Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said.

  •'s Aaron Dickens:
  • No. 7 Texas Tech accepted an invitation to the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Sunday, marking its second appearance in the postseason classic in four seasons.

    The Red Raiders (11-1, 7-1) were officially invited on Sunday and will face off against Ole Miss (8-4, 5-3), who will be making their first postseason showing since the 2004 Cotton Bowl. The Rebels finished their first season under head coach Houston Nutt on a five-game win streak that included dominating wins at LSU and against in-state rival Mississippi State.

Texas Tech Football:

DMN Mis-Step #2: Getting only half of the story, again, on the DMN College Blog, Bobbi Roquemore reported that Ryan Clark, a sophomore safety from Navarro College switched his commitment from Texas Tech to SMU, citing a change in graduation date and Leach's wandering eye. Part of the story is correct. Apparently Clark was supposed to graduate in December, but that's probably not going to happen. The Texas Tech coaches also noticed that Clark's own head coach at Navarro demoted him to 2nd team. That's usually not a good sign. Finally, it's not reported that Texas Tech actually pulled their offer quite some time ago due to the grades and performance on the field issues.

All I'm asking is that you get the full story.

Odds and Ends: ESPN's Mark Schlaback ranks the bowls with Texas Tech checking in at #10 . . . the DMN looks at the Big 12-related bowls . . . The Quad, a NY Times college blog, looks at the Heisman candidates, including Graham Harrell . . .