The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: Jakeem Grant Named to Hornung Award Watch List

Jakeem Grant is named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List, the Big 12 is psychologically disadvantaged because Oklahoma and Texas haven’t been good, plus, so much more.


Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr.

Basketball

Attendance. The Big 12 announced the attendance leaders and Texas Tech ranked 77th overall, which is just one spot behind Baylor, and averaged 6,623 fans a game. So, Texas Tech made the top 100, which is saying something consider the state of the program the past two years.

Big 12 Expansion

It Starts with UT and OU. ESPN’s Jake Trotter writes that the Big 12 being “psychologically disadvantaged” probably feels that way because Texas and Oklahoma haven’t been National Championship contenders since 2009.

Of course, such a hypothetical wouldn’t completely mask the challenges the league still faces, or the many mistakes it has made leading up to this point. Like leaving tier 3 television rights to the individual school, instead of pooling them together to create a Big 12 network. Like chasing away Missouri when the Tigers still seemed committed to making the Big 12 work. Like snubbing Louisville during the second round of realignment, when the Cardinals were clearly viable to the Big 12 and the best non-Power 5 free agent available. Like invoking “One True Champion” over and over, setting the league up to become a national punchline when it would ultimately crown two champs.

All of this has contributed to the Big 12 becoming psychologically disadvantaged. Yet, all of it would be more palatable if Oklahoma were still Oklahoma; and Texas, still Texas.

Football

Grant Named to Hornung Award Watch List. IR Jakeem Grant has been named to the Paul Hornung Award Preseason Watch List:

The versatile Grant enters his senior season as a dual threat at both wide receiver and in the kick return game. Last year, Grant ranked among Big 12 Conference leaders and led the Red Raiders in all-purpose yardage (124.0), receptions (67), receiving yards (938), receiving yards per game (78.2) and kick return yards (23-515). He was the only player in the Big 12 to gain at least 900 receiving yards and 500 kick return yards. A 2014 Biletnikoff Award Watch List recipient, Grant’s best performance came at Oklahoma State (Sept. 25), when he totalled a career-best 248 all-purpose yards and caught a career-high 12 passes for 100 yards.

Miscellaneous. ESPN’s Max Olson is predicting the season week-by-week and he’s starting with week 1 and ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon has week 2 . . . Football Study Hall’s Ian Boyd writes about how Baylor is trying to engineer the perfect defense (and not one single mention of how it really starts with Andrew Billings in the middle demanding double-teams pretty much each play) . . . FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman has an interesting look at a coach from Montana State and his quarterback, Dakota Prukop, who was considering walking on at Texas Tech . . .

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