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Five Questions | Recapping Texas Tech's Big 12 Media Day

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This will be somewhat of a combination post.  Lots of links and five questions.  First things first, you can find the transcript (PDF) and the video at the official Big 12 website.  You can also go to the Big 12 page at Fox Sports Southwest to find some video.  The official Texas Tech site has some photo opportunities with head coach Tommy Tuberville, DT Colby Whitlock, QB Taylor Potts and QB Steven Sheffield.   I would also recommend listening to Ryan Hyatt as you're answering questions.  A little bit of recruiting and a little bit of Big 12 Media Days.

1.  Run Pass Ratio:  Tuberville continues to say (check out the transcript where he says he thinks it's going to be a 60 : 40 or 65 : 35 split on passes to runs), yet we still have people who continue to rehash Tuberville's statistics at Auburn.  The only evidence that we have about the new offense is what happened during the spring game, and even that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  And although it was tough to put together the stats, by my count, the quarterbacks threw 102 pass attempts and there were about 30 rushes.  Is anyone else concerned about the pass to run ratio or are you more concerned that the national press doesn't seem to get it (or is this a situation where I'm not getting it)?

2.  QB Controversy:  Tuberville said that part of his decision-making process was to bring both quarterbacks to see how they handled the press.  Sheffield and Potts had this to say about the competition:

Potts: "We don't hate each other."

Sheffield: "We're not best of friends, but we aren't arch enemies or anything. We understand it. We're both competing for the spot. It's business, and we've got to be professional about it. It would be a waste of time if we went around writing hateful messages to each other and slipping them in each other's locker."

I'm guessing that Potts quote was taken a little bit out of context.  Sheffield also talked with FWST's Dwain Price who said that either quarterback is going to be supportive of the program, otherwise they won't be around:

However, each player missed games last season because of injury, and they both missed the spring game while nursing injuries. Each said they will support whoever ends up as the Raiders' No. 1 quarterback.

"If the other guy doesn't jump on board, then he doesn't need to be around the program, because at the end of the day, it's the team," Sheffield said. "It's not the quarterback battle. The other guys in Lubbock right now, they need the best guy on the field. If the best guy's got to win, the other guy can't affect that."

If I had to guess, I think that they're relationship is just one of those that they're not calling each other to go out to the bar, but they get along just fine.  They aren't best friends like Rob and Big Black, but then again, who could be as close as Rob and Big Black?  As far as the decision, Tuberville said that he wants to stick with the quarterback that wins the job and they'll both be given a very long leach in the spring (articles can be found by LAJ's Don Williams, DMN's Mike Heikaand DMN's Chuck Carlton).  Do you agree with Tuberville's method?  Would you change anything in terms of player evaluation?

More after the jump.

3.  Forgotten Man:  Because Tuberville brought the quarterbacks, you might say that Whitlock was somewhat of a forgotten man.  NewsOK's Berry Tramel talked with Whitlock, who said that he he really likes the structure that Tuberville has brought to the program and also has some thoughts on the defense:

 

Tuberville has switched Tech’s base defense from 4-3 to 3-4. "It’s a lot more aggressive mindset on the defensive size of the ball," Whitlock said. "You can definitely tell that defense is important to Coach Tuberville."

How do you think Whitlock will fare in this new 3-4 defense?  Give me your prediction for tackles, tackles for loss and sacks.  For comparison purposes, here's Whitlock's statistics from last year?

4.  Bringing the Offense and Defense Together:  ESPN's Jeff Caplan and DMN's Rainer Sabin wrote stories about Tuberville is hoping to change the attitude of the defense.  From Caplan's article:

"We want our defense to take a step up. We want to let them know that they're part of the team. For us to win a championship, they have to be accountable," Tuberville said. "The one thing I noticed about our defense is they didn't have a lot of confidence. You know, there wasn't a lot of talk about them. If there was, it was about not playing very well, there was no credit on that side. For some reason, everything was focused on offense."

And from Sabin's article:

"It's not going to be about special teams or defense or offense," Tuberville said. "It's going to be about team. Everybody is going to play their part, play their role, and get the job done. If we do that, then we've got a much better chance of winning a championship than we do if we separate the team."

Do you think that this is a real issue with the defense, i.e. that the defense did lack some sense of confidence?  How much affect can coaches that obviously knows defense in Tuberville and DC Wills have on a team?

5.  Apologizing:  With all of the stuff that's happened over the course the winter and spring, I don't recall that I remember Tuberville saying that he apologized to the team upon his arrival, per DMN's Mike Heika:

"First thing I did when I went in to them, when I first talked to them, I apologized to them for what they went through because players are there to get an education and have fun playing college football, and they went through a season that was hectic and Coach leaves and the bowl game was a mess in terms of it wasn't about them, it was about who's going to be the coach. So we had to get our players back. So it's really been good.

It could have been very difficult had the players just said, you know, we're not doing this. We don't want to play for a new coach. Or we don't want to change defenses. Or we don't want new assistant coaches here.

So I've been very proud of the players and their maturity and how they've handled it. They're usually a lot more mature than a lot of people making the decisions of what goes on. They know really what needs to happen.

So I've been fortunate that we've got good leaders on the team. We've got guys that have stepped up. Again, I put their feet to the fire.''

Pretty interesting and I think my respect level for Tuberville went up a bit.  He didn't have to apologize, none of it was his fault, but obviously he and the new staff was going to be the only people they could voice their opinions.  Is an apology like this a good first step in building some trust within the players or is this more a reflection of the type of players on this team?

Bonus Coverage:  ESPN's Jeff Caplan had some interesting quotes from Sheffield, including the fact that there was apparently a $500 reward if a player or anyone found an agent at the football facility and that the players thought that it was illegal to talk to agents, and Sheffield said that OC Brown is very detail oriented: 

"Every single step, if our drop is not straight back then it's wrong, it's marked down wrong, it's on our sheets," Sheffield said. "I think it's good to see. We get to see more of our stats that we do everyday in practice and what we really need to focus on. You know, NFL scouts look at that stuff, they look at the first step being straight back, not false-stepping, stuff like that. That's just stuff we were never coached up on, which wasn't a bad thing because we were successful. But, just a different coaching style."

. . . Per ESPN's Jeff Caplan BCS head-honcho Bill Hancock said that by not having a playoff, it protects the regular season:

*Problem with a playoff: "It's so important to remember that we have the most compelling and meaningful regular season of any sports and it's the cornerstone of what happens on college campuses during the fall, and it's just too important to risk. The playoff would end the bowl games as we know them. I always get into discussions with reporters and others about this who say the bowl games would survive, look at the NIT. And my response is, 'Yes, look at the NIT.'

"If we had a playoff, a four-team playoff, team five would be very upset about not being in the field. Team nine, team 17, team 33. And just in summary, this is the best format. Every game counts."

Bullshit.

. . . LAJ's Don Williams said that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe thinks the Big 12-2 is totally awesome and that the expected changes in revenue sharing have not been implemented and that nobody got more money:

He also made it clear no changes in revenue sharing have been implemented.

"There’s been a lot of misinformation," Beebe said. "Whatever institutions at any level in our conference were able to achieve before, they still have the same ability. Nobody got more money."

Beebe said the conference members "understand" the inequality of revenue and have "agreed to go forward with it the way it is."

"It’s not discriminatory," Beebe said. "It’s based upon your appearances, your market value. You need to do better in the program and you get a chance to achieve like everybody else."

I'll be waiting patiently to see if UT, OU and TAMU get their promised $20 million or if Beebe is being a tad bit dishonest here, although he does say "market value" which could be so many things.  Seems that distributions should be more equal than not, but no one is really asking for my opinion.