Football

Weekly Conversation: Kansas Jayhawks

Seth: We took the week off for the weekly conversation with the bye week, but rather than focus on the bad things, I wanted to start with something really terrific and awesome. I wrote after the game that I think that Patrick Mahomes is the most talented quarterback to have ever played for Texas Tech and I suppose there’s a debate about whether or not he’s the best quarterback ever. Seeing him in person and the entire field of what he sees, I think I’m leaning towards thinking that he may be the best ever (let’s let the season play out first, but I’m leaning that way), he’s just hindered with being paired with a defense that has given up yards and touchdowns at an alarming rate. Where do you put Mahomes in the pantheon of Texas Tech quarterbacks?

Travis: That’s funny because I was actually just thinking about that on Friday. We were driving to Dallas and passed an exit for Ennis, and I started thinking about Harrell and what a big deal it was when he committed to Tech. Then you think about guys like Rodney Allison, Kingsbury and Billy Joe Tolliver, or even some of the shorter term guys like BJ Symons and wonder where each falls into the hierarchy of great Tech QB’s.

We tend to have short-term memories about these things and are wowed by the most recent, shiny object if our affection, but it’s hard to argue that Mahomes doesn’t yet belong in the group above. And the scary/exciting thing is that he’s only 3 games into his junior season. He has so much potential yet to tap while he’s doing absolutely jaw dropping things on the field already.

But I don’t think I can rate him above Harrell, yet. Graham had 3 full years of impressive stats, and his junior and senior years elevated Tech from also-ran to legit contenders. Pat can get there, probably with ease, but he’s not there yet. Once he has a full body of work to compare against, it will most likely be different. So, I guess my stance is that he’s not the best yet, but has the potential to easily be. How’s that for a #hottake?

So how was the game day experience last week with the boys? Do they have double-t’s in their eyes now?

Seth: The game day experience was really great. My wife has driven out to Lubbock just a couple of times, once on our way to Taos this summer and one other time when her brother graduated from Texas Tech. So we drove up on Friday after work, left our place around 2:30 pm and I posted the shots of the sunset, which were just spectacular. The one thing that I think my wife still has to get used to is the utter and complete silence that can be part of that trip. I don’t have any music on my phone and so for long stretches of that trip when I’m by myself, it’s just complete silence. She had a difficult time with that. And that’s not to say that we didn’t talk, but the vastness that is West Texas can sometimes bring about those incredibly quiet moments and that may be why I love that trip so much.

So we didn’t get into our motel until 9:00 pm and the boys were pretty wired after sitting in a car for 6 hours. They didn’t fall asleep until 10 or so and they and my wife didn’t get up until 8:00 am. Of course, I was up early not knowing what to do with myself, but we made our way to find some breakfast and then let the kids run around at a local park, Maxey Park, for a good hour and a half, where our good friend, Michael LaBarre met me and the family and we talked about all sorts of things. It was good to see Michael and it’s crazy to think that he started writing for VTM when he was a senior in high school and now he’s about to graduate from college.

So we went to get the boys and my wife a new t-shirt, she had to get one of those clear bags for the game, and then we had lunch at the Caprock Cafe. After that, we went back to the room and the boys fell asleep and they didn’t get up until 4:00 pm and I should have realized that with them sleeping so late, I was never going to get to the tailgate. But I also didn’t want the boys to have a bad experience at the game so I thought that by letting them sleep, they’d be fine with being up late and that ended up being true.

I think the boys absolutely loved the game experience and Texas Tech does such a great job with this. The kids loved it, the night was absolutely perfect. There were some storms that went just south of the stadium and as a result, you had the most pleasant evening you could imagine. They loved seeing the Masked Rider go out on the field and that was probably their highlight of the evening.

Since we’re probably both short on time, any thoughts for the Thursday night game and prediction?

Travis: I’m really anxious to see if the defense was able to use the bye week to make some tweaks and show some improvement. I still think Gibbs has a great defensive mind so I’m just hoping to see even glimmers of progress on the defensive side of the ball. I also will be watching to see if Kingsbury makes any adjustments on his side of the ball to try and help Gibbs out. I’ve heard rumblings about Kingsbury being to stubborn for his own good and I don’t necessarily agree with that, particularly when compared to someone like Mike Leach. I think Kliff is willing to compromise to get better. We’ll see I guess.

Score prediction?

Seth: And this may be a topic that we’ll have to discuss at a later point, but I always thought that Leach was the most stubborn of them all (ALL THE COACHES!) and so I’m interested in hearing what you think about. As an aside, after the Louisiana Tech game, Kingsbury talked about how maybe running the ball would help the defense with them not being on the field as much and well, we saw what happened, which is that the defense was still the same as it ever was.

In any event, I think I like Texas Tech, but not by the 28.5 that Texas Tech is favored. I think Texas Tech wins by 25 or so and I’ll go with 45-21, Texas Tech.

And the SARR prediction of the week is . . . ?

Travis: Tech wins 98-97.

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