Double-T Nation News:
DTN's Top Four:
- Uncommon Sportsman on why Phelps beat Cavic, it was all about pressure, and Cuban Olympian judo kicks referee after winning the bronze.
- And The Valley Shook with an interesting look at rating an offensive line.
- Barking Carnival on stopping the spread offense.
- Arsenal lost to Fulham, 0-1. Fulham? Really? I don't know squat about futbol, but if I've never heard of them, then you shouldn't lose to them.
Texas Tech Football:
LAJ's Don Williams features receiver Rashad Hawk, who backs up Ed Britton and Todd Walker at the X Receiver position. Hawk, who has gotten an opportunity while Walker has been out with an injury/illness, and Lincoln Riley told Hawk what he needed to improve upon:
Early in the offseason, Lincoln Riley, Hawk’s position coach at the time, told him what he needed to do to have a chance to get some snaps this season. His football speed needed to match his track speed: In other words, play fast, without hesitation.
Hawk says that he's improving every time he is getting better:
"I wasn’t that great still in spring," Hawk said, "but I got a lot better. Everybody told me that. After spring ball, I said, I’ve gotten better. I can keep improving,’ so I knew what I had to do in the fall. I’m just going to play hard, play physical - or as physical as I can - run fast on all my routes, catch the ball and show I can make plays at this level. I feel like I’ve done a good job of that."
The athletes at receiver that will be for years to come is downright scary: Hawk, Jacoby Franks, Tramain Swindall, Detron Lewis, Lyle Leong, Cornelius Douglas, and Austin Zouzalik. This doesn't even consider recruits for 2009.
LAJ's Don Williams, in his Red Raiders Football Notebook, says that some starters have been named:
- Daniel Charbonnet will start at strong safety, with Charbonnet sliding to the nickel back and Anthony Hines moving over to Charbonnet's position.
- Brandon Sesay is backing up Jake Ratliff at defensive end and Rajon Henley at defensive tackle.
Still not decided is the cornerback position or kicker, but it appears that Donnie Carona is slighly ahead:
"I think Donnie’s a little ahead," Tech coach Mike Leach said, "but ultimately (special-teams coach) Clay (McGuire) will decide. The thing is, at the first of the year, who knows what’ll happen."
Rock M Nation's The Boy has a tremendous preview of the Big 12 South, using lots of statistics and numbers that are quite frankly above my head, but incredibly interesting. I thought that this was as fair a statement as I've read on the Red Raiders:
Again, though, this is why I don't think they're a conference or national title contender. They're still a good team, and getting Texas at home means they have a legitimate shot at #2 in the South and 10 wins overall (most wins under Leach: 9). Graham Harrell is the best, most experienced QB Mike Leach has had. Michael Crabtree is...Michael Crabtree. Guys like Eric Morris and Edward Britton will make sure that Danny Amendola won't be missed. The O-line returns all starters, plus it's humongous. Tech has more pure star power than it ever has before.
Verdict: Tech is 20-24 on the road under Mike Leach. They face Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas A&M, and Kansas State on the road. Plus, they get Texas at home (last time they gave up less than 38 points to Texas: 2000). In other words, this is not a national title contender, and it's unfair to them to place the expectations that high. That said, this is just about the most dangerous team in the country. They can win any single game on their schedule, and if they wanted to win the South so that we didn't have to face OU in the conference title game (knock on wood), I sure wouldn't object.