The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: More on Big 12 Expansion and Could Texas Tech Have the Most Improved Defense

We dive into some more Big 12 expansion discussions, plus, the thought of if Texas Tech’s defense could be the most improved.

Photo via Charles Henry @ Flickr.


More Tributes for Jennie Bailey. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury released a statement:

“Jennie Bailey has meant so much to so many people during her years at Texas Tech,” Tech head football coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “She was a mentor, a friend and a mother figure to everyone who was a part of our program. She will be dearly missed, always loved and never forgotten.”

I recommend that you click the link, as there’s some really nice quotes from former players and coaches and I also liked this from Davis Webb:

“It’s sad to think that the next generation of Red Raiders won’t have a second mom like Jennie Bailey to not only be there for them but to have her treat you as if she was your own mother,” Webb said. “She has impacted so many coaches, players and myself. She will always have a place in the facility and especially in myself and my teammates’ hearts. She will be forever missed.”

Podcastin’. Did a little podcasting on Tuesday night with Grant Thome of EMAWdio. It’s a good 40 minutes or so, so kick back and pretend you’re listening to TPS reports.

Most Improved. The ESPN Big 12 Blog Bros roundtabled some things and considered who would be the most improved offensive and defensive units, with Max Olson choosing the Texas Tech defense:

Olson: Texas Tech won’t have the best defense in the Big 12, but this group can make a run at being most improved. When you’re one of the worst in the country at run defense, turnovers and penalties, there really is nowhere to go but up, right? As long as new coordinator David Gibbs sticks around for the entire season, we’re going to see growth. I like what they’re working with along the defensive line, and their young corners will play with noticeably more confidence. The flaws with Tech’s D were so obvious and fundamental that a sharp coach like Gibbs shouldn’t have a hard time addressing and coaxing out needed improvement. At the very least, it’s safe to say we’re not going to see another 82-point embarrassment.

Big 12 Expansion. Allen Kenney has his own blog, Sooner focused Blatant Homerism, but he also writes for The Student Section and considering he probably follows Oklahoma more than most, I appreciated his thoughts on Oklahoma president wanting the Big 12 to consider expansion. Kenney notes that what Boren most likely wants is some stability, which makes sense:

The Big 12 as it currently stands remains vulnerable to getting picked off by poachers to the east, north and west when its current TV deal ends. Additionally, the league’s history and current configuration don’t offer much assurance that its two big dogs won’t either bail at the next sign of a better offer or use it to extract concessions out of the rest of the league. (Obviously, Boren did plenty to fuel that idea with his Pac-12 gambit in 2011.)

I also liked Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown who duly noted that there is no perfect expansion candidate, which is the reason why there’s so much discussion about who candidates would be:

With the landscape relatively secure and the divide between the Power Five and Group of Five deepening, the Big 12 represents the last bastion of hope for those left behind as outcasts, for those who don’t have a seat at the table. That’s assuming the ACC doesn’t implode one day, or the Pac-12 doesn’t make another run at becoming the Pac-16.

None of the Big 12’s options are perfect, which is why it has thus far stayed at 10 after the additions of West Virginia and TCU to fill the void left by Texas A&M, Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado, back in that time when a potential Pac-16 almost destroyed the Big 12. But that doesn’t mean one or more can’t eventually develop into an attractive member, if secured in the near future.

Miscellaneous. FOX Sports’ David Ubben has his best and worst case scenarios for Texas Tech . . .


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