Double-T Nation News:
Here are your leaders in DTN's College Football Pick'Em:
1 NorCal Andro 39 32
2 Texas Tech = BCS Title?? 41 31
2 Red Raider Raid Haters 40 31
2 djollie111 39 31
2 Opposite of Lou Holtz's Picks 35 31
Seth C is nowhere to be found, but this week, I'm making a comeback.
You'll also notice the "Buzz Up!" icon on certain posts that I write (see last week's Report Card for an example). If you ever feel that something is buzz-worthy, then please feel free to do so. I am not above shameless promotion.
DTN's Top Five:
- ESPN's Big 12 blogger Tim Griffin empties out the mailbag.
- Lute Olson may be in trouble.
- The Mavs Josh Howard doesn't celebrate the Star Spangled Banner.
- Rock M Nation takes you Beyond the Boxscore in the Big 12. This is worth your time.
- For those of you out of town and want to catch up with Texas Tech football, check out the Williams and Hyatt Show.
Texas Tech Football:
I won't even try and recap or blockquote any of this, BC's dedfischer with the best breakdown of Texas Tech v. SMU. As I was reading dedfischer's breakdown and thinking about Saturday's game in general, is there a chance that we might see a slight shift in the offense at Texas Tech. For the first time that I can remember, we have three talented running backs, who could all carry the load quite well for this team. Here's my thought process:
- The running back have proven themselves, which gives Captain Leach confidence in them.
- Last week, I thought I saw, and dedfischer confirms, more two-tight end sets than I've seen in quite some time, and there was quite a bit of success with that formation. I think part of the equation is that Leach feels very comfortable with Adam James and he may be the first guy that he's had who is versitle enough to be able to hold a block and take on a defensive end as well as catch a pass. It will be interesting to see if Texas Tech starts to recruit more guys like him.
- Captain Leach still has nightmares about how dangerous Missouri looks with a spread offense that utilizes a similar formations.
That last one is pure speculation, but it will be interesting to see if we see a continuation of the resurgent running backs and the two-tight end set.
LAJ's James Felts writes about last week's hero, safety Daniel Charbonnet. Charbonnet acknowledges that he was in the right place at the right time last week:
"I’ve had games where I’ve had lots of tackles and felt like I did more in the game than (Saturday)," he said. "I played almost the whole game on defense and really only made three plays, because I don’t think I had a tackle or anything like that. A lot of times, I wasn’t really doing anything - I was just covering my guy - but those three plays I happened to be in the right spot."
Captain Leach comments on how this trait tends to run in the family, with redshirt freshman Taylor Charbonnet making plays on special teams:
"The thing they have in common is just a timeliness as far as making plays," Tech coach Mike Leach said. "You can go through all the technical stuff you want to. A lot of people could have been there, but one of the Charbonnets was there. Daniel’s always had that knack, and so does the youngster. He does the same stuff."
With a brand new set, Adam Zuvanich and guy who's name I haven't figured out yet, previews UMass as well as a review of the Big 12 last week.
DT's Alex Ybarra also profiles Daniel Charbonnet, with much of the same quotes above, but I did like Ruffin McNeill's comments on Taylor Charbonnet:
"When he gets older and gets a little lead in his pants," McNeill said, "(he needs) a little sand in his britches to make him weigh a little bit more."
Lots of good news and notes from FWST's Dwain Price, but leads with the thought that 16 players had families who were affected by Hurricane Ike. Here's McNeill:
"I know their families were on their minds and our prayers are with their families," defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill said. "We tried to ease [their minds] as much as possible, but family’s important and we know that.
"You could tell some of the things were bothering them and they were a little bit on edge wondering about their families. But God looked out for them and I think all the kids held up pretty good."
McNeill aslo talks about how he thinks the defense is improving:
"All we talk about is just making sure we get better, and the next thing is making sure we improve our fundamentals and technique, and making sure we play hard each play," McNeill said. "We have a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for progress left that we haven’t even tapped yet.
"If each person and every coach improves each week, I think we’ll be fine."
Tech is ranked 10th in the Big 12 in total defense, allowing 375.3 yards per game. But McNeill believes that number is skewed because the Red Raiders have played three passing teams — Eastern Washington, Nevada and SMU — with hurry-up offenses.
Texas Tech Baseball:
As I mentioned last night, per the DT's Kevin Cullen, the Texas Tech baseball team is about to get started with practices. Head coach Dan Spencer talks about the opening the season:
"I think we are excited about opening at home," Spencer said. "I think the California trip against good people will put us in the right frame of mind, keep us around, keep us together. When you're on the road, you do a lot more together than when you're at home. I think we will be fully prepared by the time Nebraska comes to town."