Seth C: This is a two-parter, we'll go with the easy one first.
1. You can attend a college football game anywhere and you will have the finest tickets, and sets and meats and cheeses. You can't choose Lubbock, what's the one place you want to see a football game?
2. Do you think that the Longhorns would give their left leg for their own version of Kliff Kingsbury? A young coach that appears to be pretty good at his job that can pick up the pieces from Mack Brown. I can't think of a guy, there's Major Applewhite, but he doesn't seem all that loved by the UT fans right now. They'll go out and buy the best coach because that's what they do, but I love where Texas Tech is right now.
Autzen Stadium. Photo credit: Steve Dykes.
Travis (SARR): Man, that’s a good question. There are so many options and some great places to visit all over the country. Notre Dame in a snow storm, The Swamp, the Big House all come to mind. But let’s go crazy and picture this. Baker Mayfield is in his 4th year as starter. We’ve got a stout offensive line, the usual offensive weapons and a top 25 defense. Hocutt scores a home and home with Oregon and we head to Autzen Stadium in early October for a Saturday night game. Oregon is coming off a National Championship and we’re coming off our first ever BCS appearance.
Game Day is there and Brent Musberger is drinking Budweiser by himself on a see saw. My seats are on the 50 yard line, 2nd row up on the visitor side, because I’m not a suite guy. I attended one game in my life in a suite: 2006 vs. Missouri when Harrell threw back to back pick 6’s. I hated every minute of it because it’s way too quiet for me. It’s a crisp autumn night and I’m out in it, enjoying my fine meats and cheeses, yelling until I’m hoarse.
I’ve always heard that Autzen has a Jones Stadium sorta feel. Not the biggest in the country, but strange things happen at night there and the fans can get really loud. I’d be all over that like Craig Sager in a purple pimp suit.
As for your Texas question, it’s really tough for me to wrap my mind around what direction they will take. The local radio guy this morning was talking about having to find the next CEO style positive reinforcing clapper at UT because that’s their culture. They’re not suited to have a visor wearing, in your face kind of guy, which makes sense to a degree. It made me think of Kingsbury on Thursday night and how he handled the Washington drop before he crossed the goal line. A lot of folks have pointed it out, but the way he handled that was a thing of beauty. Calm, matter of fact and business like as he told Washington "You’ve gotta go score again because you dropped it too soon."
Now I’m not saying UT fans are clamoring for Kingsbury, but if he’s still running our program like that ten years from now they’ll probably definitely look at us with some envy, which would be a great place to be as Red Raiders.
I’ve said it several times now but my biggest fear is that they get Garth Brooks to drive a semi filled with cash up to Waco with instructions to bring Art Briles to Austin. A lot of the Texas folks I talk to don’t seem to think that would be a good fit so I hope they’re right. I don’t want to see him running a program with all five star players.
So how about you? Where’s your bucket list stadium? And what are your thoughts on the dumpster fire in Austin?
And also, after 3 weeks of play, what are your general thoughts on how the Big 12 is stacking up? Right now I still have Baylor first, OSU 2nd, Oklahoma 3rd, and our Red Raiders 4th.
I think it’s going to be a very interesting November and a real dog fight to the end, which makes me want to be a better man.
Michie Stadium. Photo attribution via Wikipedia.
Seth C: Yes, yes, yes, Oregon sounds fantastic.
My preference is purely out of wanting to go see particular stadiums because the setting is so incredible that it makes you maybe appreciate the grandness of the state. The first one is Folsom Field as I think that place just looks like an amazing place to play football. Lavell Edwards Stadium is the same, the mountains in the background and the stadium there sitting there beneath those mountains.
The other is Michie Stadium, in West Point, where Army plays their games. It's not literally right off of the Hudson River, but it's close, in what I think would be the Hudson River Valley. I think that would just be an awesome setting, in the fall, when the leaves have turned, and it's just about the game, and Merica and all of those other things. I think this is some sort of idealistic bit about how Army is maybe a more "pure" football program that doesn't have some sort of huge machine driving it. I think I'd get totally caught up in that type of setting and how incredible it would be. I don't know what game I'd choose to watch, but I don't know if it matters, as long as it is the right time of the year. I'd love it if Army and Navy played a true home-and-home (Navy's home stadium is not too far from Chesapeake Bay, which also sounds cool), that would be a great setting to go to and some incredibly tough tickets to get.
I don't know what to think of the situation in Austin, other than two things.
1. Don't try to buy your way out of this situation. Spending more and more money to out-spend everyone else is not the best way to make a sound decision. It's great for Red Raider fans because I think just spending more and more money will make UT fans even more crazy if results aren't immediate. Realistically, that program needs a full overhaul and if there was some coach out there that was "Kingsbury-like", that could really lead that program and was an alum and took a lot of pride in being there and being the head coach, then they'd be freaking set. Maybe it just makes me think how lucky Texas Tech fans to have the stars align the way that they did. So incredibly lucky.
2. The other thing is to have a coach that can coach. Seems pretty simple, but I've seen CEO coaches and DO NOT LIKE NOT EVEN A LITTLE. Coaches that just handle administrative things aren't getting their hands dirty aren't doing the little things to make your program better. The point that you've become an administrator and not a coach, then you should no longer be a football coach. Plus, you get to take some responsibility in what you do. If Kingsbury's offense ever fails there will be no one that he can point the finger at other than himself. When coaches can simply fire the coordinator and pass the buck, then things have gone off the rails and you need to know right then and there that it isn't working.
I think we need to start some sort of consultation business for college AD's that need to hire coaches. Something like Prestige Worldwide Coaching Consultants #ATMO, LLC?
Right now, based on resume, you have to go with Texas Tech as the best Big 12 team. Resume voting is the best and I've never really figured out another way to do it that's fair. Everything else is based on what we think we think about a team. Right now, Texas Tech is the only Big 12 team to beat a ranked opponent. After that, I think that Oklahoma St. (easily beating Mississippi St.) and OU (handling West Virginia, but on the road) are next in line with Baylor back there somewhere. Baylor hasn't played anyone yet, to speak of, and the great thing about resume voting is that this will change each and ever week because the opponent changes each week so things could flip in a given weekend based on who you play.
One of the biggest topics of the week is the uniforms. Some folks really liked them (I think they have looked really sharp) and some despise them, specifically the color. Generally speaking, how do you feel about the new uniforms and specifically the new color, grey? And also consider that the new uniforms are the direct result of Kingsbury wanting to do more because it appeals to recruits. I said earlier this week that anyone pining for things to go back like they were are probably going to be waiting a really long time and I'd go ahead and get on this party train. I keep thinking that as long as Texas Tech gets to have Kingsbury as the head coach and he wants to change the uniforms a bit, then whatever. I mean, he has a much better fashion sense than me.
Travis (SARR): Folsom Field is a beautiful stadium and field. We went up there in 2002 when CU stomped us, but it was still a fun trip. Something about those natural grass fields in the afternoon sunlight that make you want to be a better man. I also thought about those military campuses and what a great experience that would be.
I know I’m in the minority (particularly among VTMers) but I liked the grey (gray?) uniforms. I understand the argument about traditional colors, but I think this whole uniform parade that we see on a weekly basis is the way of the world now. The most important thing for me is that it really does have an impact on the kids and potential recruits. You could tell the players were excited about it and if it catches the eye of a couple of high profile recruits then I’m all for it.
If we stood with traditional uniforms and never evolved, we’d still be wearing basketball shorts that barely covered our junk. So I think this is just a natural progression in the sport. I do think its comical that almost every team now has some version of a black uniform, so perhaps going to some grey (gray?) or even all red unis will help us stand out. I really hope we see all red at least once, and I’d like to see a matte black or even matte red helmet. I still don’t like the white helmets.
So I guess my advice to anyone that gets really upset about the changing uniforms is to think for a second about those basketball shorts we used to wear that made everyone in the room extremely uncomfortable.
Should we even do predictions this week? I want to see Mayfield get his groove back, get some more reps. I hope we get out to a big early lead but I hope that Mayfield gets to play at least 3 quarters. After this week we’ll be a 1/3 of the way through the season and heading into Big 12 play. The more experience he has (and all the young guys, the better). I want to see Grant break some more ankles and I want to see that defense continue to swarm. I posted a vine during the game last week that seriously looked like we had about 92 guys on the field. Gimme some more please.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I'm not a football coach but I think I counted 92 grey jerseys there. <a href="https://t.co/LLQ6DUhJLU">https://t.co/LLQ6DUhJLU</a></p>— SARR (@SARR_SBN) <a href="https://twitter.com/SARR_SBN/statuses/378320195691245568">September 13, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
I also predict that UT will beat KSU and Tech players will not drop the ball at the goal line.
Seth C: In terms of things I'd like to see, yes, I really want to see Mayfield have some success. I'd love for the running game to have success, and not just the screen game, but actual linemen mauling actual defenders and creating holes and stuff like that. I think that sort of thing can build some confidence and ability later on in the season. I also think it's really important that the team just keep their head down and keep working. Maybe it is because of the past three years, where things would be going swimmingly and then things just fall apart. I don't know if I really buy much into the idea that the players were believing in their early season success too much, but this team just needs to keep working.
One more thing on the uniforms, which is something that I find interesting, but no one is talking about. In the YouTube pregame show, they had some of the guys from Under Armour talk about the uniforms and they essentially said that Kingsbury is the guy leading the charge on this.
He's THE guy. He gets excited about the uniforms, he signs off on the grey, he's the one in charge of the white helmets. All of that. So the elephant in the room is that if you don't like the uniform changes, you HAVE to blame Kingsbury. It's not like you can blame anyone else. You can't blame the athletic department or anyone else, Kingsbury is admittedly owning this. I'm somewhat anxiously awaiting for someone that really really doesn't like the uniforms to say that Kingsbury is really screwing the fans by not keeping things traditional. It's like he has some sort of force-field super-human power where fans can't criticize him. I think this is just fantastic to watch folks have to sorta ignore that it's Kingsbury making these changes, or at the very least approving them. Again, I'm totally happy with the uniforms. I think that they look sharp.
We'll end this with some football talk. I normally do a weekly match-up post, but I'm going to start including in the iconography post. To save time and to allow some of the other folks more time on the front page. Anyway, I have the "coaching" category and I am usually for a loss each week on how to grade Kingsbury in comparison to other coaches. I find it challenging to think about. You can answer this for this week and for the year, but if you're grading Kingsbury vs. Franchione, who do you have, and what's your comfort level with Kingsbury through the year matching up against other Big 12 coaches? What coach is going to be the easiest and what coach is going to be the toughest from a coaching perspective?
Travis (SARR): I’m right there with you on the difficulty in grading Kingsbury and comparing him verses other coaches primarily because his body of work is so small compared to the others. However, I will say this. Five years ago Kingsbury was starting out as a quality control coordinator at Houston making $20,000 a year and now he’s making seven figures as the head coach for a top 25 program. Let that sink in for a minute. That rapid ascent has to speak to his ability to coach football and lead men. He served under Holgerson and Sumlin at Houston and then again for Sumlin last year in the SEC, and was incredibly successful. So how do you compare him with a Paul Rhoads or Charlie Weis who both have much larger resumes but not nearly the same amount of success over the past 5 years?
The same goes for Franchione. He experienced success at TCU 15 years ago but has done little since, even at big time programs Alabama & A&M. So I’ll use my most recent 5 years formula to compare and will give Kingsbury the edge.
And again, using the 5YF, I say he’ll have the most difficulty with the Wizard of Manhattan, The Grown Man in Stillwater and Briles. He’ll match up best with, and outcoach Mack Brown and Charlie Weis.
How’s that for a hot sports take? I’m going to the patent office to get rights to my 5 year formula before Skip Bayless steals it.