THE RESULT | I'D RATHER HANG BLINDS | Yesterday, I had to take family photos and I knew that I was going to miss the first two hours of the game, but would be back later to watch. No worries. I get back around 1 p.m. and get a text from a friend saying that there was an offensive FanPost up and that I might want to take it down. At that point I had the opportunity to peek at a score and it was a bunch for Oklahoma St. to a little for Texas Tech. I made a few comments and I went into the living room to start the game, knowing that the score at this point was 66-6, the score of Beelzebub, I dedided that I wasn't going to waste my time with this game and I was going to hang the blinds in the bathroom so I wouldn't be flashing my neighbors (although I'm sure they've enjoyed it) every time I take a shower. So that's what I did and I didn't watch the game. I'm almost too embarassed to watch the game, but I'm sure I will fast forward through it later tonight.
DUMPSTER FIRE | This is really the only way to describe this right? I'm sure there are other words. In fact, I've already had to take down one FanPost for being one of the more leud things ever written on DTN and another asking that Texas Tech hire Joe Paterno. As I warned the person that made the latter FanPost, it's a damned game versus the raping of children, but maybe not everyone can make that connection. Anyway, DTN is a dumpster fire and I'm guessing that there are some folks scurrying around the athletics department offices today as well.
Yes, AD Kirby Hocutt says that Texas Tech is sticking to the plan and that head coach Tommy Tuberville has 100% support:
"Tommy has our 100 percent support," Hocutt said, "and he knows how to win at the highest level in the game of college football. His expectations are to win at the highest level and compete for championships. He’s as frustrated as we all are, if not more. We’re going to continue to give him all the support and resources he needs to get our program to the top."
Hocutt has to say this right now.
There are still two games to be played.
I think it's going to get worse, in fact, I emailed a friend last week and we were talking about the season and I said that I was confident that Texas Tech was going to lose the final three games (I was including this game), making the Texas Tech current bowl streak part of the history books. I've always said that Tuberville will have three years no matter what. As of this morning, I think there is a scenario where it could change and Tuberville could be gone at the end of the year, but it just doesn't seem likely in my estimation. That doesn't mean that it can't happen or at this point, I don't want it to happen, but it just didn't seem likely.
And I think this frustrates some because I tend to take a long time to actually come out in favor of firing a coach because I think that in reality it's not going to happen and I don't think that me screaming and yelling or any number of FanPosts will change that. Perhaps, this is a thing where I underestimate DTN's value, but I think that those that are in charge don't read a blog to know whether or not they should retain or fire a head coach. As I think back, I think I gave Pat Knight the benefit of the doubt last year at the beginning of the year and PK ended up making his bed.
The thing that concerns me more than anything else is that if something isn't done at the end of the year, and there are still two games to play, but I'm concerned about the state of the program and I'm incredibly concerned about an apathetic fanbase. What happens after a bad loss is usually anger, but what happens after three bad losses is apathy and that's the enemy that concerns athletic directors. AD's like fans that are angry because those fans have expectations, but fans that are apathetic, those fans don't buy tickets or renew season tickets or buy memorabilia or do much of anything. That's what scares an athletic director and unfortunately for some, the tickets have already been purchased for the Baylor game so that won't be an indication, but there is no doubt that season ticket sales will be down after this year's finish. It's going to be an interesing year.
EVALUATING COACHES | Last week, I caught plenty of heat from a lot of you for not talking about the coaching, or lack thereof. I hope you all know by now that I try to be honest with you all and the way that I write is that I write what's on my brain. I try not to have much of an agenda, but I fully admit that I'm human and most likely I do have my own personal agenda, but I've always admitted that I'm as biased as the next fellow. Last week, which I thought was a new low (boy, was I wrong) I didn't mention the coaching and chose to discuss the fact that it appeared to me, after watching the LSU/Alabama game, that the players at Texas Tech, particularly on defense, seemed like a different caliber of player. I still believe that, but I don't believe that it's the only thing wrong with the program. Just because I don't write about something, doesn't mean that I'm giving anything else a pass. Now, had I written that I think that the coaching is fine and it's only the players, then absolutely, feel free to pile on, but I don't think that I wrote that.
Anyway, last week, it seemed that there were too many problems for me to detail in just one post-game write-up. But I take criticism to heart and so I started thinking that I need to evaluate the coaching on a much bigger scale and thought of five different topics: on-field coaching, roster management, hiring of coaching staff, recruiting, and alumni. I still intend on writing this review at the end of the year, but the first topic, on-field coaching is first and foremost the most important thing and it's easy for me to say that without more wins, Tuberville won't be around much longer and all of those other things won't matter. There was a discussion a while back about whether or not Tuberville would be judged on what his predecessor did, Mike Leach, and I argued that he would in that if he doesn't win as much as Leach did, then for me, there's really no reason to keep Tuberville. Leach set the bar, at least for me, and I want any new hire to improve on what any former coach did. In other words, I always want the program to be better than the previous year.
But overall, I think that Tuberville is doing well one one of those five topics, recruiting, and a lot of the alumni does like Tuberville, but that luster will wane with more L's. So all Tuberville has to hang his hat on right now is the recruiting, which is admittedly good last year.
But the recruiting is secondary to what happens on the field and maybe this is the biggest disconnect. The best recruiting class in the nation will not save any head coach's job.
No matter if I think that the players aren't good enough, there is something horrendously wrong with the coaching on the field. I usually tend to give coaches the benefit of the doubt in that I'm sure that they're not coaching players to run to the wrong gap, or block the wrong player or run the wrong route, but that's apparently happening because talent alone cannot explain 159 to 33 over the past three games. That's not just talent, that's not just coaching, there has to be a huge disconnect between the coaching staff and the players.
I was emailed this NewsOK article by a DTN reader with this tidbit at the bottom of the article:
Texas Tech fans weren't the only ones affected by OSU's big early lead.
"Those last two plays before the half," Lewis said of a couple Texas Tech snaps, "one of the D tackles told me that the center told him the play. It was going to be a draw twice."
Lewis raised an eyebrow as if in answer to how important quick starts are.
"What else can you say?"
I don't know if this Oklahoma St. player telling the truth or not, but would it surprise you if that's true. And I think that some might think less of C Justin Keown, but I also think that this probably isn't something that's just something that Keown is doing, but I'd guess that it's the cracks are definitely starting to show.
After the game, WR Eric Ward had this to say, and I think it's good advice for the players, but for the coaching staff and the athletic department:
"It’s pretty tough," Ward said, "because you start asking yourself, you start questioning yourself like, ‘What am I doing that’s not being productive?’ Obviously, it’s everybody’s fault. Losing is not like an effort thing, because everybody goes out there and plays good.
"I think people need to look themselves in the mirror and ask, ‘What am I doing that’s not helping?’ There’s something that’s missing, because we practice hard, we go out and play hard, but effort (alone) doesn’t win games. It’s not a do-good league. It’s an execute league."
So here I've written over 1,500 words on a game I haven't watched because I think that this isn't about just one game.
This program is in disarray. It is a dumpster fire and the next two games aren't going to be pretty or fun, but maybe that's the best thing that could happen, as hard as this is to write. This team isn't competitive on any level.