Odds and Ends
Sprinting Towards Tier 1 Status: Because Texas Tech raised $24.5 million, the state of Texas is matching $21.5 million in funding. This is huge, huge news. And I'll echo the thoughts of Ayleein at RaiderAde in that you have one person to thank, and that person is Kent Hance, who didn't mince words when it comes to competing and "winning" at this particular game:
"I think it sends a very strong signal that we're out on the forefront," Hance said, adding he would have been embarrassed if Tech had not come out on top.
You betcha Mr. Hance. I may be reading too much into those comments, but personally, I think Hance sees this not only as an opportunity to further Texas Tech, but also as a competition and something tells me that Hance doesn't like to lose at anything.
Texas Tech Football
Texas Tech Football Notebook: LAJ's Don Williams has some good nuggets this morning, including the notion that DE Ryan Haliburton will most likely back-up Rajon Henley at LDE due to the fact that Sandy Riley is apparently out with an injury (this may be a blessing in disguise as there will be a need for experienced defensive ends in 2010 and Haliburton is the most likely player to receive playing time) . . . still no decision on the left tackle position as Terry McDaniel and Chris Olson continue to fight for that spot, as are Donnie Carona and Ryan Erxleben . . . the staff is still not sure if they intend on redshirting WR Eric Ward (I think they need to let him get some time, especially if he's going to be the primary backup to Edward Britton and should expect some time next year) . . .
Fighting Sioux: LAJ's Adam Zuvanich writes a fairly presumptuous article about how the North Dakota Fighting Sioux know that there may not be much of a chance on Saturday (I've just never heard a team admit that). Here's UND head coach Chris Mussman:
"Obviously, we know what we’re up against with that quality of an opponent," said second-year North Dakota head coach Chris Mussman, whose team opens its season on Saturday at Texas Tech. "At this time with our program, it’s probably not the best time to be playing that game, but we’re going to try to make the most of it."
The official UND website has some news and notes and UND QB Jake Landry is anxious to get on the field;
"I'm ready to finally get out and play a football game," Landry said. "We've been in camp for over a month now, and we're ready to get out there and play somebody different."
What??? Honestly, I was a tad bit shocked whenever I read ESPN's Tim Griffin's rankings of the Big 12 defenses and was shocked to read that he thinks the Red Raiders have the 4th best defense in the Big 12. Now, Griffin readily admits that the drop-off from 1-3 to 4 is steep (I would also admit this) and this is only one man's opinion, but I still think that this is about right:
This is where the big drop-off starts from the top three teams. The Red Raiders will miss pass-rushing threats McKinner Dixon and Brandon Williams from last season, but have an experienced unit back. Rajon Henley and Brandon Sharpe are set to fill in as the pass-rushing threats and Colby Whitlock can be a terror at times -- particularly against Texas. Brian Duncan is a producer and the team’s leading tackler at middle linebacker. Jamar Wall is one of the better cover corners in the league. But the unit will depend on the improvement of two projected starters: redshirt freshman free safety Cody Davis and strong safety Franklin Mitchem.
Not entirely accurate as Daniel Howard should get the start next to Henley. But this is the Texas Tech defense in a nutshell and I really think the difference is how quickly will Cody Davis and Franklin Mitchem adjust to their roles and pick up their play. Overall, I do think there's an upgrade in athleticism in that the combination of Davis and Mitchem I think is more athletic that Darcel McBath and Daniel Charbonnet with Charbonnet being the player that I think there's a slight upgrade in the athleticism. Lots to look forward to this season.
Neglected Audio and Video: Fox34 on the Red Raiders preparing for North Dakota:
Big 12 Links: Barking Carnival continues the tour with the state of the union for their pals, the Oklahoma Sooners . . . ESPN's Tim Griffin on why Oklahoma St. needs a second receiver to develop (remember that the starting tight end just left the team) . . .
2010 Recruits: Tom Lemming released his top 25 at each position and I found a couple of Red Raider commits, including QB Scotty Young as the #11 pro-style quarterback and WR Karone Boone as the #4 wide receiver . . .