The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: Baseball Loses (Again); Possible Big 12 Championship Game; Men’s Golf Finishes 2nd

Baseball is swept by Grand Canyon. The Big 12 is considering a Big 12 Championship game and we discuss the pros and cons of that decision, plus football links, including more on Mike Mitchell and Bradley Marquez.


Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr.

This is Not Okay. Texas Tech was swept by Grand Canyon yesterday, 10-5 (recap and box score). Grand Canyon isn’t a good team, I think I saw somewhere they are a team with an RPI in the 100’s and this is incredibly damaging for Texas Tech getting into the NCAA Tournament. I didn’t get to follow this game, but 3 errors for Texas Tech and the pitching just wasn’t there. Head coach Tim Tadlock just let anyone pitch, for example, I don’t recall Jackson Lancaster or Sean Thompson pitching this year, or not in a while. Parker Mushinski started and gave up 4 runs in 5 hits in 3 innings and Johnathan Tripp took the loss, going 4 innings, giving up 2 additional runs and that’s all she wrote. It’s almost as if Tadlock said, “whatever.” The offense didn’t have a lot going, managing only 10 hits, 2 by Stephen Smith and 2 by Bryant Burleson.

Men’s Golf Finishes 2nd in Big 12 Championship. For the second year in a row, Texas Tech finished 2nd in the Big 12 Championship, finishing 13 strokes ahead of TCU, who finished 3rd, and 24 strokes behind Texas, who finished first. Texas Tech should qualify for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on May 4th and will be making their 14th connsecutive NCAA Regional and will be hosted at the Rawls for the first time ever, which is May 15-17.

Thomey Named Big 12 Player of the Week. Congrats to softballer Devon Thomey who was named the Big 12 Player of the Week:

Thomey hit a team-leading .500 (4-for-8) against the Longhorns with a pair of home runs and five RBI as Tech won its third-consecutive Big 12 series. It is just the second time since 1998 where the Red Raiders have won three-straight conference series.

Big 12 Continues to be Short-Sighted. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby (and not just him, a ton of coaches feel the same way, including Kliff Kingsbury) said yesterday that he thinks that the 13th game is what set Ohio State ahead of Baylor or TCU:

“All things equal, 13 data points were better than 12 data points,” Bowlsby said committee chairman Jeff Long told the league commissioners on Wednesday. “What we heard is if we don’t go to a championship game we’re at a disadvantage.”

FOX Sports’ David Ubben has a pretty good take on the situation, which is that after one year of the College Football Playoff, they’ve determined that the round-robin nature of the Big 12 isn’t enough, but adding another game will make all of the difference:

What gets overlooked is this: Ohio State did not jump ahead of TCU and Baylor because it played a 13th game. It jumped ahead of TCU and Baylor because it won its 13th game by 59 points over a Heisman contender and the nation’s No. 11 team.

This is what seemed to have the lasting effect, while Baylor struggled with a Texas Tech team and having the head-to-head advantage over TCU, the committee really didn’t have a good option other than Ohio State, who kicked tail. As Ubben noted, no Big 12 team has gone undefeated in the new round-robin schedule and by adding a championship game, this path becomes even more difficult.

I suppose that the coaches, who I think are driving this truck and very much makeing it clear to Bowlsby about what they want, they’re all willing to take the chance. It’s like going for it on 4th down, it’s not an easy decision, but it is a risk that you’re willing to take to win the danged game.

What We Learned this Spring. ESPN’s Jake Trotter wrote about the 10 or so things he learned this spring and included Texas Tech linebacker Mike Mitchell:

6. Mike Mitchell should strengthen Texas Tech’s run defense: Stopping the run was Texas Tech’s biggest weakness last season, a predominant reason why the Red Raiders went 4-8 and missed out on a bowl. The run defense, however, has a chance to be improved, thanks in large part to Mitchell, who turned turned heads this spring with his tackling prowess. “Athletically, he’s as physically gifted as anybody you’ll see,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said of the Ohio State transfer. With Micah Awe also delivering a banner spring, Tech could have a solid one-two punch at linebacker, which alone figures to make the Red Raiders much tougher to run against than last season.

Ubben Power Ranks the Big 12. FOX Sports’ David Ubben has his post-spring power rankings and he’s got your Red Raiders sitting at #6, right behind West Virginia and Texas is #7:

6. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders jump over Texas by way of defensive improvements this spring that include upgrades at coordinator and on-field talent in linebacker Mike Mitchell and defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko. Both quarterbacks, Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes, are capable of giving Texas Tech one of the league’s most effective offenses and Tech’s group of running backs continue to be underrated, even after DeAndre Washington’s 1,000-yard season. Justin Stockton has built on his 396-yard freshman season, too. If David Gibbs can get the Red Raiders to grab a few more takeaways and limit penalties, Tech will surprise in 2015 after going 4-8 last season.

Q&A with Jonathan Giles. Via Red Raider Sports’ Drew Kohnle we have the Q&A with receiver Jonathan Giles, who says he is going to play the Y-receiver and he hopes to play immediately. Here’s Giles talking about the one thing about him that might surprise some people:

“Something that might surprise people that I do football-wise is going up and catching the ball. A lot of people don’t think I can do that because of my size and height but when you watch film you can see that I have the athleticism to go up and get the ball and do something after the catch.”

Lots more there, so go check it out.

Women NFL Agents. This is somewhat interesting as this is an article about Kelli Masters an agent for NFL football players and one of her first clients was Cody Hodges.

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