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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 10.12.09

  Busy This Week, Need Assistance with BlogPoll:  This is going to be an incredibly busy week for me personally.  Everything should be back to normal next week, but my job is to be as honest with you as possible, and as I look at the week ahead I'm going to be very busy.  I'm not going to be able to get to a crunching the numbers segment today and I'll probably try to combine that weekly post with a matchup post this week.

But in addition to that, I need help with the BlogPoll.  To make my life easier, I thought I'd ask you guys who are the top 12 teams in the nation?  You use whatever criteria you feel is appropriate, but give me the top 12 teams in the comments and I'll cobble together DTN ballot for the BlogPoll that's representative of you guys and gals.

  Tide Turning:  LAJ's Don Williams reports this morning that QB Steven Sheffield is taking more steps to take over at quarterback (I should also mention that's Chris Level tweeted (?) that Sheffield is now a captain).  Both Captain Mike Leach and Sheffield appreciated the play of the offensive line:

"There’s no question they played better,’’ Leach said. "They played significantly better. I thought the whole offensive line unit played well. I thought (left guard) Lonnie Edwards stepped up and had the best game that he’s had. I thought all five of them played good.’’

Sheffield said the linemen "played their hearts out’’ and "it couldn’t have been easier for me.’’ He said when he leaves the pocket, sometimes it’s to get a better view of receivers. Even if that’s not the case, he said he and his blockers can still make a play work.

"Like I tell them, ‘If one (rusher) is coming up field, don’t quit him on just because he beats you,’ ’’ Sheffield said. " ‘Turn around, and I’m going to step to the side. Block him again, and I’m going to get out of there.’ ’

  Football Notebook:  LAJ's Don Williams looks at the kicking game this morning, including the thought that I mentioned yesterday, which is that K Donnie Carona needs to be more consistent, but appreciated Carona's ability to make takles:

"There’s no doubt, yeah,’’ Russell said. "Not by design, but we needed it last night. He did a great job in that area, and he’s not afraid. That’s certainly an extra weapon, because teams don’t usually account for 11 (in kickoff coverage) on there. They account for 10. It’s good to have that guy in case something does break down.’’

. . . there is no punter-controversy as current starter Ryan Erxleben will not be unseated by previously suspended P Jonathan LaCour . . . Leach is very happy with the combined effort of the running backs, Baron Batch, Harrison Jeffers and Eric Stephens:

"I thought they did a pretty good variety of things,’’ Tech coach Mike Leach said Sunday. "First of all, we got three (running backs) involved. I thought they all caught the ball well, I thought they all rushed the ball well, and I thought they all blocked well. They complemented each others play pretty good.’’

. . . QB Taylor Potts, C Shawn Byrnes, DE Daniel Howard, S Cody Davis and CB LaRon Moore all returned to practice last night . . .

  Other KSU Post-Game Thoughts:  TR's dedfischer writes that Texas Tech is getting it right . . . RA's ayleein hands out grades . . . as does LAJ's Don Williams . . .

  Big 12 Links:  CJOnline's Austin Meek answers 3 questions about KSU vs. TT . . . KC Star's Blair Kerkoff rounds up the college football world . . .'s Rich Kaipust writes that Nebraska RB Roy Helu is just fine . . .

  2011 Commit, Estacado's Wagner:  How about that, per LAJ's Courtney Linehan, Pat Knight has secured the commitment from 2011 point guard, Kevin Wagner (5-8/145), a junior from Estacado:

Wagner has started since his freshman year at Estacado, where his father Tony Wagner is the head boys basketball coach. Kevin helped carry the Matadors all the way to last season’s state championship game, where they lost 68-66 in overtime to Madison.

He said Tech coach Pat Knight has a style he feels fairly familiar with.

"I like the way Pat coaches; it reminds me of my dad," Wagner said. "I play for my dad now, so it will be easy to adapt."

I couldn't find a profile for Wagner on Scout, but was able to find one for Rivals and ESPN.  There's no information on Wagner, but maybe some of you local folks could help us out on what type of player Wagner is and what he can do on the court.