Apparently the rule for this is that home team is decided by a coin flip, which is extra stupid because we've been the visitors on our own field twice in a row now. You would think that we'd have a better way to decide this, but the tournament is governed by the NCAA, so no, there isn't.
I'd personally love to see Davis Martin, as he seems to be the only pitcher rising to the occasion. Following him up with Lanning could end up being great.
I see "Typical Tech" trotted out the second any Texas Tech team favored to win loses, as if games are played based solely on numbers and Texas Tech is favored to win every single game.
There's several realities here.
- The Big XII Conference is not a pushover in any sport
- Murphy's Law is still applicable to any situation
- I do not care what anyone says, it takes a fair amount of luck regarding injuries, scheduling, and morale of the teams you play to win a championship
Texas Tech seems to get the raw deal the vast majority of the time because we mainly watch Texas Tech. There are 64 teams in the NCAA CWS Tournament. The reality of that is that 63 teams will have their hearts broken. We have better odds than say, Fairfield, but the odds are still not in our favor.
My point is this: we can't win every single thing all the time, and it takes time + luck to build something great. If "Typical Tech" means being the only school in the Big XII to make it to the NCAA postseason in the big three sports (Football, Basketball, and Baseball), then "Typical Tech" is pretty good. There are other schools who would kill to be in the conversation as much as we are.
By no means am I saying it isn't frustrating when we lose, especially when teams come back on us, or when we're favored to win and lose. I'm just saying it's far more common nationwide than we think, and is not a situation solely applicable to Texas Tech.
Without Bethel, we are afforded less mistakes.
Bethel was the best cover corner in our secondary, and arguably the best cover player in our entire secondary. Without having him back there, we have no clear "best cover man", and will have to rotate even further, throwing our secondary off.
We'll miss Bethel's speed too. When I say that Bethel was our best cover corner, I am by no means saying that he was a perfect corner. He got beat over the top at times. He got beat underneath at times. He made mistakes. The difference between Bethel and our other corners was that his world-class speed allowed him to make more "mistakes" while not being technically "beat". He could be a little slow on a route read, because his speed allowed him to still cover the wideout.
That speed separated him from most of the corners in the entire Big XII. We can see this against Kevin White of WVU in 2014, when Bethel was able to play at a reasonable depth and still relatively cover him without resorting to press coverage or insane prevent coverage level depth. We saw it against Kolby Listenbee of TCU in 2015 too. Bethel was particularly good against Texas and WVU this year. We'll miss him far more than we think.
In terms of Dakota Allen, I don't think we can technically replace his production, largely because of his skills in the flats of pass coverage and our depth behind him. We might play true freshmen at the MLB spot. I don't think it's fair to expect a true frosh to come in and play as well as Allen played for the past year, but I think we can expect them to preform admirably.
We literally lost 2 of the 4 most important pieces to our defensive puzzle, with the two others being Breiden Fehoko and Jah'Shawn Johnson.
That's not a good sign.