Miscellany

Weekly Conversation: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

Get well soon Claire!

Travis: Well I guess a learned a lesson last week: never base your current expectations on results achieved by previous regimes. I fully expected Tech to go into Norman and surprise us all, not necessarily with an upset win, but with a gritty, determined effort. Tuberville was able to do it. Kingsbury did it a few times. But things are different now. This is a wholly different team, from top to bottom, and I still don’t know what to think of it.

It feels like Yost might be a bit overmatched. Yes, he’s working with the backup QB now, but Duffy scored 50+ on OU last year (and I know OU’s improved defense should be factored into the equation but it’s still there). And, like most Saturdays in the fall, I didn’t get to watch all of the game but I got to see enough to know that I didn’t like it- particularly kicking field goals when you’re down by 180 points. I mean I guess there’s some sort of moral victory there (and it seems to be Kingsbury’s MO in Arizona these days) but I’d rather lay it all on the line and see what happens. Leach used to talk about the importance of game reps and I can’t help but think of that when I see the offense trotting off the field on 4th down so we can kick another meaningless field goal.

And yes it’s still too early to fully judge Wells’ competence but I just hate that we have to go through a season like this. It was my biggest fear when contemplating firing Kingsbury- the fact that we’d essentially have to start from scratch and give the new staff a few years leeway to get their players and systems fully implemented. These are the days I was dreading. I also hate the fact that the Holgorson news got out there last year because the fact that he legitimately wanted the job makes the next few months especially tough on Wells and even Hocutt.

So how far from reality am I? Should I be madder right now?

Seth: Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this thing. So much goes into how a program looks on Saturday. It’s the offseason, it’s the coaching, it’s the prior recruiting classes and you wonder how much of that eventually caught up with Wells on Saturday. Kingsbury was on a significant downturn from a recruiting standpoint for the last couple of years and are we starting to see the result of that with players who aren’t ready or who maybe just aren’t as talented as the man they’re lined up against. And I’m not at all trying to excuse Wells, Yost, and Patterson because they all have blame and I think they’ve all accepted the blame and are trying to be accountable. I keep going back to the idea of how many quarterbacks that Kingsbury missed, even after grooming Patrick Mahomes. He was definitely getting his 3rd and 4th options I think (I’m sure that others will disagree)

So what’s next? How does the team improve off of that? And this was always the toughest part of the schedule. I think everyone sort of knew that. Playing at home helps a ton. I think it’s so much easier playing at home at 11 in the morning rather than on the road. Things are a little bit more familiar and I honestly believe that the players take responsibility too.

So yeah, you should be angry, but I just wonder what our expectations should have been from the get-go. Was this a much bigger rebuilding process that initially thought? Does the poor recruiting (And this is based off of the experts, of which I’m not. I honestly have no idea if the recruiting was poor or good, just wasn’t ranked very high. They were 8th in 2018, 10th in 2019, 7th in 2017.) finally start to show up without a program where players get developed so that they are better than their rankings indicate? A perpetually hurt quarterback hurts consistency in terms of building a program.

I think you’re rightfully mad. That performance was pretty poor, there’s no other way to sugarcoat it.

So I figured out a new talent that’s pretty much meaningless, but I find useful. I can pick out the exact size of tupperware for the leftovers needed. Not too small, not too big, but just right. After a couple of years it started to dawn on me that the container that I pick ends up just fitting the leftovers, which saves space in the fridge. The ability to do this as well as the ability to type fast and play washers really well are my other two somewhat meaningless talents. I know you’ve got some you’ve just never laid on us.

Travis: I’ve always been really good at going down stairs. It’s almost like I’m gliding, I move down so fast. It takes a ton of concentration but if you hit the middle of your foot on the edge of each step, it’s almost like sliding down. I could probably win going down stairs races with just about anybody. I’ve only fallen a few times.

I’m also good at catching flies with my hand. My family knows when there’s a fly flying around that dad will get up from his chair, catch it, and then spike it hard onto the tile floor. It’s almost like a sixth sense, just me and the fly and most of the time I win.

Lastly, I can crack eggs with one hand without getting any shell in the bowl. You want some eggs? Bam, bam, bam, I’ve cracked them all WHILE EATING A HAM SANDWICH WITH MY OTHER HAND.

I’ve also been meaning to talk about dogs for a while. We’ve had a little chihuahua/dachshund/terrier/mash-up mix for three years named Stella. She looks like a miniature black lab- same features. She’s a really pretty dog and a really good dog. The problem is that she sits on Cash’s bed and looks out the window (his window overlooks the front yard/driveway) and waits until everyone gets home. Once everyone is home she comes into the living room and just starts barking at me. I’m probably her favorite (besides Claire, of course) because I feed her leftovers and stuff but she still just comes in and starts barking at me and won’t stop. My wife will threaten to put her to bed so she’ll stop for a minute or so but then she gets back up and just starts barking at me again. This happens every night and all day on the weekends as long as everyone is home. I don’t know how to fix it. She loves me but for some reason feels compelled to bark at me incessantly for hours. Any idea how to fix this?

Seth: Sounds like your dog is crazy. I think I’m good with dogs, but our newest dog still seems threatened by me despite the fact that I have not threatened her. She’s adopted, so there’s probably some lingering issues, but for the longest time she peed every time I pet her. I was very glad that we had stained concrete because that’s easy to clean up. But eventually we sort of figured things out and I’d hang out with her more, take her running with me. In fact, when I get up at 3:30 or whatever, she gets up with me, I let her outside while I make some coffee, then let her back inside.At first she’d go straight back to the bedroom. Then she started to hang around. We’d look at each other, and she’d just walk away. But at some point she lingered, I reached out my hand, and rubbed the top of her head. At this point she sits by the couch, waits for me to hug her (yeah, I legitimately hug her neck and she snuggles up to me) and then she goes back to bed and I go to the office. Eventually, she’s gotten to the point where she doesn’t pee when I touch her, so we’ve sort of just figured it out over time.

I’m guessing, and I’m not an expert by any means, but there’s something threatening about you. I’d guess that there’s someone reading this that can give you some ideas about how to fix the situation.

So with the football program looking grim for this week, is there a timeline for you? A lot of people are already on the “Fire Wells” bandwagon and it’s so early in the process to really even think about something like that. I think the recruiting stuff is probably one of those things where it can be used as a sword either way, but at some point there’s probably this fancy pie chart where recruiting gets the blame, then coaching, then coordinating, and then players. I’m somewhat committed for 3 to 4 years I think, but maybe that’s too long of a leash?

Travis: Well, I am a pretty intimidating guy, so that could explain things. But what’s funny is, I don’t get the same feeling. It’s more like she’s just yelling at me for some reason. She’ll even jump up sometimes and slap my phone out of my hand. Instead of me being threatening, I think she’s just trying to let me know that she’s the boss and I better recognize.

And the timeline for a coach to find success seems to be ever evolving. There’s such a push for a “win now,” atmosphere that rarely seems to materialize. I guess Saban turned Alabama around in a year and I’m sure there are more examples but I’m guessing you need at least three before you can fully expect to see marked improvement. The problem for Wells is that so many of the other programs at Tech are just killing it right now so if he doesn’t turn things around quickly the pressure is only going to continue to build.

So by the time you guys are reading this, Claire will be either in surgery or just out of it. I’m hoping to ask everyone a favor and that is to think a good thought or say a quick prayer or do whatever it is you do to wish her well. It’s going to be a difficult few weeks for her and then a long nine months before she can get back on the basketball court and doing what she loves most.

Seth: Heck yes we’ll be thinking good thoughts.

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