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Red Raider Gridiron :: A Quiet Friday

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Pretty Quiet:  It's awfully quiet out there this morning, although this is par for the course during this time of the year.  I did want to point out that the online version of the LAJ has a new look (it you haven't visited the actual website in a couple of days).  My opinion, as if it matters, is "meh".

Preseason All-Big 12:  As you already know, Phil Steele released his All-Big 12 Preseason teams and there were a handful of Red Raiders. 

First Team:  LB Brian Duncan
Second Team:  WR Alexander Torres; DT Colby Whitlock; S Cody Davis
Third Team:  RB Baron Batch; KR Eric Stephens; LB Bront Bird
Fourth Team:  WR Detron Lewis; PR Austin Zouzalik

My biggest gripe (and there were a handful of people scratching their heads) is that LG Lonnie Edwards didn't make the teams at all.  What's your biggest omission?

Schedule Analysis:  College Football News' Michael Walton analyzes Texas Tech 2010 schedule and arrives about at the same point that I have, which is that a good over/under might be 8.5 or 9 wins for this team. 

Surveying the Big 12:  ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben answered some questions for Dave Campbell's preseason magazine.  Ubben said that Batch was the most under-the-radar player in the Big 12 and thought that UT's visit to Lubbock the third week of the season might not go as planned for the Longhorns:

Garrett Gilbert will be a young quarterback in his third start, playing in the Bermuda Triangle that is Jones AT&T Stadium against an offense that will score points. Gilbert will want to do the same against an aggressive Tech defense that will be looking for him to make mistakes. That's a recipe for an early-season repeat of Tech upsetting the Longhorns.

Harrell and the Packers:  LAJ's Don Williams talked with QB Graham Harrell's father, Sam Harrell, about his new opportunity with the Green Bay Packers:

"It’s what he’s been wanting to do, get a shot at that next level,’’ Harrell’s father, Sam Harrell, said. "He thought he was good enough to get a shot, and now he has. He’s real excited about it.’’

And apparently former quarterback Kliff Kingsbury put a good word in for Harrell:

Sam Harrell said former Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury gave a strong endorsement for Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy, with whom Kingsbury crossed paths when McCarthy was offensive coordinator in New Orleans.

"Kliff had told Graham all about him and how much he liked him,’’ Harrell said. "Graham, in the time he’s been there, really likes him, too. That’s just another positive about it. It’s a real exciting time for him, to be on a team in the NFL and to be on one that he likes what’s going on with that team.’’

Thomas' Retirement:  I tend to gravitate towards blogs for big events and as a result I headed on over to SB Nation blog The Phinsider to read their take on former Red Raider Zach Thomas and his retirement and whether or not he belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame:

Depending on where you look, you will see that Zach's tackle numbers are different. The Dolphins have him down for 1,866 tackles, with 1,244 of them solo. ESPN says Zach totaled 1,720 tackles (1,090 solo). Sports Illustrated, via Stats LLC, has Thomas credited with 1,733 tackles (1,103 solo). Regardless of the actual number, Thomas does have more career tackles than any player inducted into the Hall of Fame.

That says a lot. But it's also misleading because the number of games played has changed and recording tackle statistics is an inexact science. It wasn't even an official stat until the late 1990s.

Thomas was more than tackles, though. His 17 career interceptions are more than Mike Singletary and Harry Carson. His four career interception returns for touchdowns are the fourth most in NFL history among linebackers.

With that said, here's my case for Zach's admittance into the Hall of Fame. Was Thomas the best in the business for a sustained amount of time when he played?

The answer is a resounding "yes."

Good stuff, go check out the whole post.