The Morning Stake: April 27th

Photo via Kimberly Vardeman @ Flickr


Texas Tech in Midland, Takes on Abilene Christian. I won’t have time to get up a series thread since it’s just one game, so this will have to suffice. Texas Tech will play Abilene Christian tonight at 6:30 in Midland at Security Bank Ballpark. Erikson Lanning (2-3, 6.29 ERA) should get the start tonight and face Nate Cole (1-5, 4.58 ERA).


Niems Makes It Official. The official site makes it official as Niem Stevenson has signed his letter of intent and scholarship agreement. Here’s Stevenson’s head coach at Seward County C.C., Bryan Zollinger, talk about what Stevenson brings to the team:

“Having coached at the collegiate level for over 20 years now, I have had the opportunity to coach a lot of different players and I can tell you that Niem is one of, if not the best, that I have ever been privileged to coach,” Seward County Coach Bryan Zollinger said. “More than just his talents on game day, Niem is a fun kid to be around and knows when to laugh and joke and when it is time to get down to business. He is a genuine person and is a nose to the grindstone worker. He is very coachable and isn’t afraid to listen despite his immense talents. He has done everything that we have asked him to do in his three years here, and it has helped get him to this point. Knowing him as a person, Niem will do the same thing at Texas Tech and continue to be successful and an important part of the team there in Lubbock.”


Underrated. FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman looks at some underrated prospects for the NFL draft and Texas Tech’s Jakeem Grant gets a mention:

9. Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech, WR-KR: He’s tiny at 5-6, 170, but Grant may be the quickest guy in this draft. He’s dangerous out of the slot and as a returner with go-the-distance speed. He was also the toughest guy in their program, Tech coaches told me. Last season, he caught 90 passes for 1,268 yards and 10 TDs, and he returned two kickoffs for TDs.

Graduate Transfers. Sports On Earth’s David Ubben looks at the graduate transfers and how some coaches have a problem with them, while other coaches are fine with the rule. This is a very nuanced article, going from how graduate transfers are looked at as mercenaries, but then so are coaches who seek greener pastures. Here’s head coach Kliff Kingsbury:

“I can definitely see both sides of it,” Kingsbury said. “I think there’s some situations where teams feel like they have discovered a talent, helped groom a talent, helped develop a talent and for four or five years, put literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into their education, their nutrition their training and then their senior year, they take all those talents and all that developed talent somewhere else to play, it can definitely be tough. But it works both ways, because if your program is looking for one of those guys and have a spot that’s opened up because of maybe some attrition on the roster, it can be a saving grace.”

Lots of good stuff there. And Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre thinks that Webb will still go to Colorado.

Q&A with Hocutt. ESPN’s Jake Trotter talks with Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt:

What was the biggest thing that surprised you your first year being part of the committee?

KH: I’m not sure if there were any surprises. Just the respect that is around that table. The respect of each other’s opinions. The respect for how we all look at the game of football and what’s important to us. We talk a lot. It’s an art. It’s not a science. What’s important to one particular committee member may be something totally different to another. It’s very respectful, a great team with great chemistry. Everybody is very respectful around the room.

Do Work. Best part of the first video (aside from the player lifting 572 pounds) are the coaches.  That’s Kliff Kingsbury in right part of the screen clapping and yelling “Let’s Go!”  The reaction afterwards is simply fantastic.

How Different Is Baylor to Penn State? Student Section’s Matt Zemek asks how different Baylor is to what happened to Penn State five years ago:

When one considers the culture of Baylor, and when one then considers the simple fact that Oakman used to play at Penn State, but was responsibly kicked off the Nittany Lions by the school, it is as though the torch has been passed.

What Penn State once was, Baylor is now… but not just now: in 2012 and 2013, when the aftermath of the Penn State scandal was still fresh, breathed into one’s moral and ethical lungs every day.

Miscellaneous. Land Grant Gauntlet’s Chuck Chaney ranks the Big 12’s non-conference schedules . . . Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand and Michael Smith have a fascinating breakdown of how the FOX and Big Ten negotiations went down, including how ESPN didn’t really offer a competitive bid . . .

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