Odds and Ends
Things are starting to heat up, and that's good news for all of us. In fact, were under 40 days until kickoff. You've made it this far, you can make it the rest of the way. We've got a ton of stuff on a bunch of different opponents as Oklahoma St., Texas A&M and Nebraska all had their turn yesterday at the Big 12 Media Days and they are all on Texas Tech's schedule in 2009. For those of you who are bored at work, or really obsessed, you can watch a live feed of the action on the Big 12 website.
On a completely different note, I'll continue to harp on this until the NCAA does something about it, but now AAU organizers are charging coaches up to $300 for player names and numbers for a tournament. At what point does the NCAA start cracking down on things like this? How far will it have to go before the NCAA starts doing something about these AAU programs?
Texas Tech Football
I've found a bit more information on new Texas Tech commit, WR Shawn Corker. Last night I found as much information as I could, including some quality video of Corker playing for Cardinal Gibbons HS in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The Corker story in in the Miami Herald, twice. In the second link, you can see where Corker was ranked the #7 pre-spring by the Herald. Corker also talked with LAJ's Don Williams about the process of picking Texas Tech, and how's this for a money quote, emphasis mine:
"There were people down here saying I should stay at UM, which is like 30 minutes from my house,’’ he said. "But when you look at it football-wise, you have more opportunities to make plays at Tech.’’
I never thought I would live to read those words.
Scouting the Enemy
It's Big 12 week for Matt Hinton at Dr. Saturday and asks when will the North rise again, comparing Colt McCoy and Vince Young, and whether or not the Aggies will finish last in the Big 12 South.
A&M ties for last place last year and was blown out of the water by the team with whom it shared that tie; the prognostoscenti doesn't have many options. This team showed zero positives in Sherman's first year with the occasional exception of the passing game, and even that collapsed in the three-game losing streak, when Johnson threw six interceptions and eventually yielded to the equally ineffective (and now departed) Stephen McGee. There's still enough talent on hand to do more damage against other bad defenses, of which there are a lot in this conference, including Baylor. Avenging last year's disaster against the Bears may get A&M out of rock-bottom, but if that's the highlight of the year, it might not be worth making the distinction.
One of the most underrated players in the Big 12 is Detron Lewis of Texas Tech. I played against him in high school, and that's probably why he stands out.
LAJ's Don Williams writes about both TAMU's Mike Sherman and Nebraska's Bo Pelini believing that their respective programs are headed in the right direction. NYTimes college blogger Thayer Evans writes about the Aggies wishing to move on from last year's finish and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini managing expectations.
Tulsa World's Dave Sittler writes that Oklahoma St. is looking to get tough on defense, and much like Texas Tech last year, this is what's holding the Cowboys back from being elite. DT's Jon Arnold thinks that Oklahoma State is going to be the 2009 version of the 2008 Texas Tech team:
Gundy said the leadership that players such as Sexton and cornerback Perrish Cox bring will be the biggest difference for this year's defense, which returns six starters.
Still, like Tech, the Cowboys have to play in Big 12 South division, which also includes Texas and Oklahoma - teams who are likely to be in contention for a national championship.
Yahoo! Sports' Jason King writes about that OSU defense and I'm still holding some reservations about how much an improvement OSU can make on defense. I know that Texas Tech had a good enough defense in 2008, but I just don't know enough about OSU to make that same sort of leap of faith that I did last year.
For everything that I did miss, make sure and check out BON's Dime Coverage for a tremendous recap.
Texas Tech Baseball
I somewhat forgot about this as I got busy with fishing and other things, but sophomore pitcher Chad Bettis has completed his tour with Team USA and the official site has an interview with Bettis. I have no doubt that Bettis is going to be absolutely lights out for the Red Raiders in 2010:
How do you think this experience will help you heading into your junior season at Texas Tech?
I think it is a big stepping stone to where I want to go with my baseball career. I learned a lot this summer that will help me, and hopefully teammates here this year. I'm looking forward to getting back and helping out Tech as much as I can.