Texas Tech Football Notebook: Big 12 Previews Roll In; #DifferentCreatures

Different Creatures. Mike Smith is just strange enough for me to think, that I really like him. He’s a bit different.


Sports On Earth Previews the Big 12. Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown has a lengthy preview of the Big 12. Just to catch everyone up, Sports On Earth was originally a USA Today venture, along with MLB, but in 2014 that didn’t pan out. I think it was intended to be sort of a Grantland type of site with many writers from The Classical. In any event, it’s smart sports-writing. I’m not saying that you’ll agree with everything ever written on the site, but it is smart. Here’s Brown on Texas Tech:

7. With improvement on defense, Texas Tech can easily get back into the bowl mix and pull off an upset or two. The Kliff Kingsbury era has been bumpy thus far, with a 2-12 record in the last 14 Big 12 games, but the defense can’t get worse, and the offense may find some stability after playing musical chairs at quarterback for two years. Kingsbury is a fine offensive mind, and with players like tackle Le’Raven Clark, receiver Jakeem Grant and underrated tailback DeAndre Washington, plus two viable options at quarterback in sophomore Patrick Mahomes and junior Davis Webb, Texas Tech will start doing what we expect it to do: Score plenty of points and put up huge passing numbers. It won’t mean contending for the Big 12 title, but it can lead to enough improvement to placate a fan base that was blindsided by last year’s 4-8 debacle.

There’s a lot more there, so go check it out.

Compare that with College Football Talk, which I love for breaking news sorts of things, but they managed to fit in every Texas Tech stereotype into their preview of Texas Tech:

The bets thing about Texas Tech is Kliff Kingsbury and his swagger. But good looks do not translate to wins on the football field, and Texas Tech is the textbook example of that right now. I have little faith in Texas Tech’s ability to be consistent enough on offense and I have even less confidence in Texas Tech’s defense to stop anything. Sure, shootouts may be fun to watch at times, but the Red Raiders need a lot of things to start turning around if we are ever going to see this program recapture the magic the Mike Leach era offered at times.

Five Big Questions. ESPN’s Max Olson has five big questions for Texas Tech:

How will Tech respond after Oct. 3?

We’re going to find out a lot about this Red Raiders team rather quickly. Starting Week 3, they’re going back-to-back-to-back against No. 18 Arkansas, No. 2 TCU and No. 4 Baylor. And only one of those games (TCU) is in Lubbock. With no bye week until late November, Tech won’t have much of a chance to regroup after that fairly terrifying trio of games. No matter how they fare during that stretch, the Red Raiders can’t get too beaten up, because there’s no time for a hangover if a bowl is the goal.

Expanding Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium. Awesome look back from LAJ’s Don Williams as he gets in the wayback machine to look at how Jones Stadium was expanded, from excavating 28 feet of dirt to moving sections of the stadium 226 feet back.

High School Action. I normally don’t have time to do this, but Skyline’s Da’Leon Ward rushed for 189 yards on 21 carries . . . Wichita Falls Rider’s T.J. Vasher caught 8 passes for 160 yards, including 2 touchdowns . . . Steele’s Xavier Martin completed 7 of 10 for 151 yards with 3 touchdowns and ran 4 times for 37 yards in just one half of play . . . I don’t have time for every commit, but pick a player and git your Google-on and let us know how they did . . .

Miscellaneous. FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel predicts every bowl game and has Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl against Ole Miss. This would mean that we’ll all be partying where DanSwany stays before the game . . .

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