Seth: I’m going to do a social experiment where I ask both the roundtable and weekly conversation the same question and see where the conversation takes us.
On Saturday, I wrote my Sunday morning Ten Things and it was maybe the most depressing Ten Thing I’ve written in a while and to summarize, it’s that the Kingsbury era isn’t adding up the way that I or most people wanted it to add up when he was fired. Personally, I’m at the point where I think I’ve seen enough writing on the wall to think that this just isn’t going to work. Where do you stand on where things are at and do you want Kingsbury to be the head coach next year?
Travis: I’m just not there yet with Kingsbury. Maybe I’m naive, but I just can’t get to a place where I don’t want him to be the coach next year. I know he’s taking a lot of heat, and some of the continuing mistakes are maddening, but I’m not ready to pull the plug of support just yet. But, if they lose out, it might not matter much.
In our super secret text chain, some of the guys were really piling on Mahomes during and after the game. It seems that he looks for the homerun when a single or double would do, particularly on that last play of the game. So, to pivot away from Kingsbury and his fate, where do you stand on Mahomes’ growth (or lack thereof) this season?
Seth: I go back and forth on Mahomes. I tend to not look at his footwork, particularly because I really don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to be looking at. I’m not exactly a quarterback guru. One of the things that helped out so much last year, and it’s probably one of those things that’s ridiculously underreported is the idea that there is no running threat, at least not a significant one. I tend to think that the offense has to work in total concert, otherwise, things just aren’t going to look real great and that’s where it’s at. Without a running back that other teams really respect and an offensive line that is average at best, it really limits what Mahomes can do. Remember last year when Mahomes could do a bit of play-action with DeAndre Washington and there would be some pretty magical plays. Without that threat, I think it makes a difference, or maybe it’s made a difference over the long haul. Mahomes hasn’t really trusted the running back spot, and justifiably so, and the offensive line hasn’t opened up huge holes. So it sorta all goes together. And my opinion of Mahomes is essentially one where he hasn’t improved, he’s pretty much said that he’s regressed in terms of footwork and gets sloppy at times.
Kingsbury and the coaches haven’t done him any favors. Not knowing who should be playing at running back, not being able to fix offensive line issues in-game, that’s going to affect how things look with Mahomes.
What are your thoughts on Mahomes and given the current situation, is there anything that you change so that 2017 is a successful season (change coaches, procedures, something offensively, defensively, etc.)?
Travis: My biggest issue has always been to defer the kickoff to the 2nd half so Tech can get the ball to start the 3rd quarter. It seems that every week there is a big swing in the 5 minutes going into and coming out of halftime. Another thing I’d like to see (and he’s started doing it more) is blitzes. If you’re gonna get beat anyway, why not take a chance on the play and blitz one of the corners or safeties, particularly on 3rd down. Of course there’s a reason I’m not a college coach, so take that advice about as far as you can throw it.
So how’s soccer going?
Seth: Soccer is going well. The game on Saturday was rained out and I missed the week before as I was at the TCU game. Youssouf did score 4 goals in that game. If you ask him how many goals he wants to make each game, it’s always ten with a sheepish smile. We’re definitely going to move him up a league next year, but that means he’ll have to learn how to pass to his teammates and share the ball. That’s something he doesn’t do very well right now, but it’s difficult to tell him to pass the ball as that’s a tough concept for 4 year olds.
And Claire is already starting on her high school basketball team! I can’t even imagine the emotion as a parent and for her.
So one of the criticisms of me from earlier this week was that my Ten Things post was too sappy and I think the consensus is that pretty much everyone wants Kingsbury to be back. I think I was in this place where I just kept thinking, “Shit, this ain’t fun. Ain’t fun at all.” So I’m in a bit of a depressed mood knowing that I have to write 2,000 or so words on a loss that seemingly could have been avoided with some better quarterback play and not giving up 600 yards of offense. So my question is 1) am I too sappy? and 2) is any talk of replacing Kingsbury really premature and if yes, what’s your timetable?
Travis: One of the things that make fan sites unique and popular is that we aren’t bound to traditional reporter/reader relationships. When I was covering the Spurs, I had a discussion about the difference between writing for a blog and a traditional news outlet. We might not have the reputation of a large outlet behind us, but we are free to still be fans. The fan’s voice is growing in popularity, and with it the prominence of bloggers. So, yes, it’s ok for us to get angry or happy or even sappy at times. Readers that want straight, unemotional news know where to find it.
I think he deserves at least one more year. Mahomes should be back, there’s a good recruiting class coming in and there is some pretty good young talent playing right now. I’d say if he doesn’t make a bowl game next year then it might be time to move on.
Prediction this week?
Seth: I think Oklahoma State rolls here. Texas Tech hasn’t won there in 15 years when Kliff was the quarterback. OSU has had Texas Tech’s number for a handful of years and I think the Cowboys are playing as well as anyone in the Big 12, especially at home.
The official SARR prediction?!?!
Travis: Oh, Tech wins, big-league.