Seth: You an I (and I’m sure a lot of other people) were less confident going into the Baylor game and it didn’t work out so well for Texas Tech. One of the fears of this team is that over the past two years, they tend to fall into a rut and are unable to pull themselves out of it. Do you think the Baylor and TCU games were the beginning of the rut or do you think that this team is confident enough to pull themselves up over the rest of the season?
Travis: I guess we’ll see on Saturday whether or not this team is different. I do think the schedule opens up now and will give the team the opportunity to regroup. While these next two weeks are by no means guaranteed wins, they should allow for the guys to recover and find their groove again. Iowa State is scrappy, but the DB’s won’t see the WR’s blowing past them on every play. And the DL won’t see gaping holes opening up on every play. And Washington won’t see holes collapsing on him. And most importantly, I don’t think the team as a whole won’t be looking up at a 28 point deficit early and often.
Plus, playing at home will be great for the guys. From what I hear, the crowd was raucous vs. TCU. I hope it is again. I know I’ll be there, doing my part.
You expressed some real disappointment in Reginald Davis after the game on Saturday, which seems a bit out of character for you. Without piling on, do you want to expand on that at all? I know you’ve been a big fan of his for a while. Does that have anything to do with it?
Seth: He just seems to be missing on something. These last two games, he’s caught 4 passes for 33 yards and before that, against Arkansas, he put up a 100 yard receiving game. I suppose that this is just what a good player is. He’ll have his good games, but lots of unproductive games in between and that’s the frustrating part. You see these freshmen getting open and making plays and it just hasn’t happened for Davis. I don’t know what the disconnect is, and this isn’t an attack on his character or anything like that. From all accounts, he’s a great kid and smart, heck, he’s majoring in finance and he’s had a rough up-bringing. But I do think that with all of the injuries, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see if a freshman can make that position productive. It is the one position that seems to be lacking on the offense.
You mention that you and the family are loading up the station wagon and heading to Lubbock for the weekend. Now that your kiddos are getting a bit older, is there something that you’re anxious for them to see or experience?
Travis: Yeah, I’m always a bit more excited about it than they are, but I still love getting up there and showing them around. My mom and step dad live north of town so we’ll probably take them to do some Raider Alley stuff and then let them spend the afternoon at grandma’s. The sad part is they don’t have the miniature donkey anymore, which was always a lot of fun. In 2002, after Tech beat UT, we rode that little donkey late into the night.
I hope we have some time to look around town and see some of the changes. I haven’t been in 2 years so I’m really looking forward to it.
So are you reading anything good right now? I’m into The Looming Tower. Not the most cheerful book ever but necessary I think. Finished up Natchez Burning a few months ago which was disappointing because instead of ending, it only led into another book that I’ll have to buy at some point.
Seth: This is a good question. I do try to read when I can steal a few moments, but I haven’t picked up a book in a really long time. I usually pick up a book during the summer months, when things aren’t so busy on the site, but this summer felt different. It felt like I was constantly on the run trying to work on some things and get some things done for STP and the thought of actually picking up a good book never even crossed my mind. So here are three things (it’s really four) that I’ve read recently.
- I read Wait But Why’s dissertation on the American presidents, Johnson through McKinley and also the first part of the series, Washington through Lincoln.
- I also read Men’s Journal on the state of Virunga, Africa’s oldest national park. Africa is really tough to describe, I can’t do it here, but it’s so different than anything you know. There is compassion and caring and corruption and loss and it can be overwhelming. If you ever wanted to watch the terrific documentary on Virunga, then Netflix has your back. It makes you feel terrible and great all at the same time. As an aside, as the article notes, 5 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we’re adopting from and where Virunga is located, due to starvation and disease and the struggle for that land is the deadliest since World War II. We don’t hear about it because it’s on the other side of the world.
- I also know that you’re not a fan of Deadspin, but I am a fan of certain writers and Greg Howard very much moves the needle for me and his recent piece on ESPN and the “Black Grantland” was fascinating. I know that there is a ton of innuendo and all sorts of things like that, but I’m pretty much drawn in when it comes to these sorts of topics. Big sports media and how they operate. (Ed. Note. I totally realize that there’s a ton of content in these articles that we can’t discuss here.)
You mention that you think that you think that the team could certainly play different, especially given the opponent. Other than finding a donkey any thoughts on how the game plays out? Also, I’ve also been curious about your kiddos names all starting with the letter “c” and didn’t know if there was a story behind it.
One more question. Who is the unsung hero of this team thus far?
Travis: I read that Howard/Deadspin article and there is some guilty pleasure I guess in seeing them go after people they don’t like. But I guess that’s also where my issue with that site lies. Their sole existence seems to be to attack everybody that doesn’t hold the exact same viewpoint as the editorial staff. From Bill Simmons to obscure blog pages just trying to get page clicks, they attack everyone.
As for the kids- We used to make fun of families that did that, but now here we are. It started with Claire and I picked out her name because I really liked the old-fashionedness of it. My wife picked out Cade’s name because we had him via in vitro and it means something like “protective warrior.” We kinda looked at his arrival like that. Then with Cash, we really went back and forth. We decided we had to go with a “C” name or he might feel left out, and decided in the end to roll with it. It was a bit risky, but I can’t imagine any other name for him now. He’s destined to be either a rodeo star or a truck driver.
An unsung hero (or heroes) has to be the offensive line. What have they given up, one sack all season? And up until last week the rushing game was killing it. And that’s how I see it playing out on Saturday. The offense clicks again and the defense gets just enough stops.
How about you?
Seth: Yes, I think the team gets back on track. I’m concerned about the youth at receiver, but I think Texas Tech wins this game by at least a touchdown and a field goal. I don’t think the first three games were a mirage. It’s hard to pick one on defense, so I’ll go with two on defense. Jah’Shawn Johnson, as a redshirt freshman, is going to be a guy that opposing teams hate for the next 3 years and I like having a guy like that on my team. Dakota Allen still needs some work, but he’s leading the Big 12 in tackles as a redshirt freshman. He’s got flaws but at least he’s in there making some plays.