Anytime there's a big event, like Big 12 Media Days, it's always tough for me to figure out where to start. The are so many stories and I'm bound to miss something. There are a ton of topics to cover, I'm going to cover a handful of topics, but feel free to add in the comments.
Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville's transcript (PDF) from his opening remarks have caught a lot of attention. There were only a handful of questions, one of those questions was about not playing TCU. Most of you have already had a field day with this and I know that TCU fans think that Texas Tech is simply avoiding TCU, Tuberville didn't do much to quiet this discussion. The one thing that is seemingly lost of a lot of this was that TCU wasn't willing to agree to a home and home series. It was a one game series with TCU with no return game in Lubbock. It's fine to schedule non-conference opponents, but there has to be a return game.
In any event, here's Tuberville's quote:
That's really probably not the type of team we want to play right now. Not that we didn't want to play them. It was obvious that we had somebody had to go in that slot where they were at, you know, pretty much fit what we needed to do. If they had been in another slot maybe in one of the other non-conference positions, we would have still been playing that game. But somebody had to go. And, again, hopefully we can play -- I think that's a natural game for us. I think we need to play that game. I think it needs to be a home and home game, and I think that it would help both Gary and us to play each year.
I don't think that Tuberville says that he's afraid to play anyone, but Tuberville emphasizes the idea that the series needs to be a home and home game. It wasn't and I'm still okay with Texas Tech backing out when TCU wasn't going to show any reciprocity to return to Lubbock.
[Note by Seth C, 07/27/11 6:29 AM CDT ] I wanted to add one additional item. The fact that Texas Tech and TCU are not playing isn't really news. It was news way back in January and I went back and found where then Texas Tech AD Gerald Myers confirmed that the problem was that Texas Tech and TCU couldn't match up their schedules to play in connectutive years:
“We tried to work out to play ’11 and ’12,” Myers said. “We couldn’t work out the dates on the consecutive years, so we made a proposal to play in ’15 and ’16. We did not want to play one now and one in ’16.”
Asked why, Myers said, “We just didn’t want to have five years in between games. A lot of things can change. We wanted them in consecutive years.”
Tuberville also briefly talked about the defense and QB Seth Doege, but honestly, he's said these things since the spring. He's emphasized the speed on defense and Doege being a coach's son. Again, it's nothing new, at least to those that have stuck around all summer. Tuberville talked about how the defense needs to be fast and said that nothing else really matters.
And it kind of reminds me of defenses I've been part of when we've had good success. That's how you win championships. It's not with anything else other than the speed on defense. To give your offense an opportunity not to have to score 100 points to win a game. And that's the mode that we want to get into. And then having depth on defense. We're very short last year. We had to play a receiver in a game at receiver, and then we also had to play in the corner back during the game.
Again, Tuberville has said this before, and Tuberville is also quick to point out that the defense is young, and relatively inexperienced. That is still a true statement, even with all of the freshmen and redshirt freshmen playing last year, it's still a relatively young defense.
And despite some thought that Tuberville isn't honest, I think that yesterday he said that he didn't think that last year was any great accomplishment:
"Your first year, as you go through it, you’ve got so many situations that you try to correct or make better, and we held our head above water," Tuberville said Tuesday. "We won eight games. Won a bowl game. It wasn’t a great year, but it was a year I think we can look back on and say, ‘That was the start of something good.’"
I do think that's accurate. And I think that this is how a lot of you feel. It was a start of something good, but we're all hoping that there's more to come.
Doege Is the Leader Thus Far
I am an unapologetic fan of Seth Doege. I think he's going to be good, but yesterday you got to see that he's humble, he emphasizes the idea that hard work will eventually pay off and the emphasis needs to be on his teammates.
More after the jump.
Tuberville says that Doege is the leader heading into the fall workouts:
You know, it's still going to be a battle in two-a-days. I thought Jacob Karam made as much progress last year as anybody did on our football team in the spring. He's our backup quarterback. Seth is a coach's son. He's been around. He's been through a lot of adversities, persevered through two knee injures. He's the first one at the office every day, workout, lift weights. He gets receivers to practice. He wants to be the guy. He's passionate about football.
But Seth is -- he probably could have been our quarterback last year. Potts and Sheffield were injured in the first spring practice in my first spring year. Seth got all the snaps along with Jacob Karam, and Seth really knew the offense going into last fall better than Potts and Sheffield because he had more practice time in what we were doing. So it's not going to be a quarterback by committee. Seth is our number one guy, and going into two-a-days he'll be in that situation, not to say it won't change as we go through two-a-days or even through the season.
"I don't feel pressure so much as excitement," Doege said. "I take this as a challenge, and I know there are great expectations for playing quarterback at Texas Tech. I have high expectations for myself."
Okafor and Davis Are Quiet
This isn't a bad thing and I do think that it's good to see guys like Mickey Okafor and Cody Davis being forced into a spotlight that they're not used to seeing. Still, there's not much print out there on either gentlemen. It's interesting to see Tuberville not make a big deal of the switch to a 4-2-5, but I do think it's a big deal. I do think he's trying to minimize the thought that it's radically different to what was run last year and on some level, Tuberville is right, but on the other hand I think that Davis is right:
"It's all similar in a way," Davis said. "But it's a whole new scheme and a whole new mindset. You are going to notice more speed out there. That's where we have experience at is [with the] safeties. We are going to have a lot on the field so we will have more speed and will fly around to the ball."
And I really couldn't find any direct quotes from Okafor, but did find this video:
Leach Not Credentialed
Yesterday, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodds reported yesterday that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was denied access at the Big 12 Media Days for his radio show:
Leach says he was told about the situation by XM producer Matt Fishman. When shown a text from Leach saying the former Tech coach was supposed to do the show from here, Fishman would not comment further.
Leach added, "He [Fishman] told me he heard from the conference ... They didn't want it to be awkward for Tech."
Burda said, "We didn't say he [Leach] couldn't come."
"I was told not to go," Leach said when reached by phone. "That's indisputable. I got a call yesterday and told not to go."
In a text, Leach said, " ... yesterday I was told the conference would not give me a credential because tech was going to be there."
When informed of Burda's comment, Leach texted, "That is not what I was told. You can ask Matt Fishman ... I was supposed to do the radio show on site there until I was told otherwise yesterday."
I know yesterday the FanShot was posted that it was the Texas Tech administration that requested that Leach not be credentialed. It wouldn't surprise me if it was true, it would be awkward, but Dodds' quotes don't indicate that it was Texas Tech and there's dispute as to whether or not Leach was actually denied or not. Nevertheless, I think I like TallMike's comment from that FanShot:
Odds and Ends
LAJ's Don Williams did ask Okafor and Doege who they thought was the most impressive freshman and they both agreed it was Jakeen Grant:
"He’s definitely the quickest guy on our team," Doege said. "Between him and maybe the McRoy brothers (Ben and Javares), he might be the fastest. He needs to learn the plays. He needs to get a little stronger, a little bigger, but I think he’s going to play right away."
We'll get back to the normal link post tomorrow.