Texas Tech and the Big 12 Media Days: The firestorm starts at 9:00 a.m. this morning with Missouri, then Oklahoma St., then Kansas St. and ending with Texas Tech. You can watch the entire thing (I haven't had the time to watch while at work, but someone let me know if this is the case) at the link below:
Consider this your open thread to comment throughout the morning.
Before I get to the links, I did want to update everyone on whether or not Orangeblood's Chip Brown was able to secure a press pass in order to attend the Big 12 Media Days. Shockingly, Brown is at the Big 12 Media Days. Keep in mind, he told SI's Andy Staples this:
"I think I made the people at Texas totally uncomfortable through this whole thing, to be honest. They are incredibly controlling about information, almost paranoid. So the thought that someone at UT would use me to further their agenda is almost laughable."
UT, despite being totally uncomfortable, decided that Brown still deserved/earned a press pass even after he was leaking information throughout the conference realignment discussions. One of two things happened here: either UT had no problem with the information that Brown was leaking or UT was not paranoid about information that was leaked and is not controlling. I'm sure that Brown is a decent enough fellow and not a bad human, I'd just ask him not to be dishonest about the situation.
Lots of links this morning and I've even had to do a "jump" due to the link overload.
Pretty Good Preview: Pre-Snap Read's Paul Myerberg has Texas Tech at #38 and previews your Red Raiders. This is actually pretty good and if an outsider were to read this, I think they'd have a pretty good handle on Texas Tech. I did think this part about Leach vs. Tuberville was pretty interesting:
Yes, I like Mike Leach — and think someday, another program will be lucky to have him. Regardless, it’s difficult not to sit down, think about Tommy Tuberville running the show and get excited. Very excited, in fact. Here’s what this program lost: a terrific offensive mind. Here’s what the program has gained: a coach whose track record speaks for itself; one with a strong defensive background; a coach who has surrounded himself with a very impressive debut staff. Most importantly, Tuberville has shown an ability to win as an underdog. There’s no bigger underdog in the state of Alabama than the Auburn Tigers, of course, but Tuberville has also won at Ole Miss, which was mired in an extended down period prior to his arrival.
Recapping Big 12 Media Day 1: CT's Dave Matter recaps day 1 and the thing that I take away from quite a few of these reports is that everyone seems like really like Iowa St.'s Paul Rhodes. The Big 12 has a blog that you can follow and so does ESPN.
Excellent Recruiting Blog: I have no idea how long this blog will remain free, but former recruiting guru for ESPN, Gerry Hamilton, appears that he may be working for the new recruiting service 24/7 (evidenced by his twitter address) and is putting all of his thoughts on his own blog, including some thoughts on Texas Tech's and Oklahoma St.'s 2011 recruiting classes. Pretty good recap, go read the whole thing.
So much good, strong stuff after the break.
Boring or Not Boring: There appears to be some differing opinions on whether the Big 12 Media Days will be boring without former captain, Mike Leach. LAJ's Don Williams asks this question and TAMU's DE Von Miller thinks it will be less exciting without Leach:
"It’s going to be less exciting without having Mike Leach in the conference,’’ Texas A&M pass-rush king Von Miller said. "Just the type of person he was. It was always exciting to hear what Mike Leach talked about and the things he would do. When you’ve got a character like that coaching, it’s always interesting to read about a coach like that.’’
ISU's Paul Rhoads has some good things to say about Tuberville:
"I love the fact Tommy Tuberville lets his coaches coach,’’ Rhoads said, and he added later it’s not something to be taken for granted.
"To me, there’s three types (of head coaches),’’ Rhoads said. "There’s a guy that tells you everything you’re going to do. There’s a guy that meddles, and there’s a guy that lets you do your thing. I believe I function best when a guy lets me do my thing, and I appreciated Tommy for that.’’
Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan writes that Tuberville likes to stir it up as well and Tubs clarifies, again, what happened with the throwing-away of the spread in 2008:
"We had to live and die with [QB] Chris Todd, who was a guy who knew a little about the spread," Tuberville said of Auburn's '08 season. "Three or four games into the season, he got hurt. We had to go back to running the ball because we didn't have a quarterback who could run the spread. We were just looking for any way to move the football.
"Fast forward to here. ... Texas Tech has been recruiting to the spread and has players who have run the spread. It's easier to make the transition knowing you have four or five quarterbacks who can run it and the offensive linemen and receivers have run it. I thought it was a great offense [at Auburn]. We just didn't have the people to run it."
Everyone Has Questions and Rankings and Lists: Nebraska State Paper's Samuel McKewon has 13 questions:
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Will you try to fix what ain’t broken? Over the last five years, the "Air Raid" offense has averaged 495 yards and 39 points per game. Yeah, so a pompous eccentric designed the thing. It works, doesn’t it? You could see Tuberville - who has a little pomp of his own - tinkering with Mike Leach’s schemes and recruits needlessly.
. . . FSSW's Eddie Middlebrooks ranks the Big 12 offensive lines and ranks Texas Tech 11th out of 12 (this was a pretty piss poor rational and ranking):
11) Texas Tech: Only two starters return from last season and the other three positions will be filled with sophomores. Center Chris Olson will look to provide leadership to a line that allowed 29 sacks in 2009.
. . . CBS Sports Dennis Dodd has five things about the Big 12:
1. Coach of the year. For now, it has to be Tommy Tuberville. Texas Tech's new coach was reprimanded for saying what we were all thinking: The Big 12 is not long for this world. On the field, Tubs has to clean up the mess left by Leach. There is plenty of talent -- including Craig James' son who is still on the roster. Tuberville plans to play more defense, tweak the offense and grab the first decent job in the SEC. OK, I added that last one myself. The prediction here is that Tuberville will upset Texas at home, finish second in the South and play in the Cotton Bowl. Reprimand that!
. . . DMN's Mike Graham has three unsung Red Raiders that might make an impact. Let's just say that I think I disagree with Mike's definition of "unsung" . . . ESPN's David Ubben says that Texas Tech has the most to lose if the Red Raiders lose to SMU and I would tend to agree. If this thing gets off on the wrong foot, it's not going to be good for a guy trying to run a reasonable blog . . . Clone Chronicle's Mark Keiffer has part III of his Big 12 preview . . .