The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2018.12.12

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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The brotherhood makes my heart swell.

Beard: Matt, we all need friends.
Mooney: Yes we do.

I mentioned yesterday that there is this AP voter named Graham Couch who has decided not to include Kansas, Duke, Tennessee, Auburn, and Texas Tech in his AP Top 25 ballot because these teams haven’t played a true road game (this is a game where you play on another’s team campus) by December. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish takes Couch to task and it’s pretty spectacular if you think that Couch’s reasoning isn’t solid:

But not ranking undeniably great teams with terrific records and quality wins on their resumes only because they haven’t played a true-road game by some arbitrary date you created is neither fine nor reasonable. It’s ridiculous. More specifically, it’s a mind-boggling example of an AP voter trying to punish programs for not doing something they’re not actually required to do — and it really isn’t much different, in design, than having a rule that prevents you from ranking undeniably great teams with terrific records and quality wins on their resumes because they don’t shoot enough 3-pointers or something. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Again, no school in the nation is required to play non-league road games — and the growing number of high-profile neutral-court opportunities available to the sport’s biggest brands has actually decreased the number of opportunities for non-league road games to be scheduled. Regardless, Couch mostly ignores this fact and just insists that “to avoid playing on another team’s campus altogether is a sin of cowardice,” which is obviously nonsense. I mean, do you really believe Mike Krzyzewski was brave enough to commit to putting his team in the Champions Classic each season against other blue-blood programs, and brave enough to commit to placing his team in the Maui Invitational this season — with Gonzaga, Auburn, Arizona, Iowa State, Xavier, Illinois and San Diego State — but too scared to schedule, I don’t know, a road game at Tulane? Because a road game at Tulane, by Couch’s own admission, is literally the only reason he believes Florida State can be ranked this week but Duke cannot. Because Leonard Hamilton courageously scheduled a road game against a Tulane team that’s currently 3-6 and ranked 210th at KenPom.

Texas Tech Football

DeSoto receiver La’Vontae Shenault decommitted yesterday. I believe that there is a direct correlation between this and Emmett Jones being hired by by Les Miles and Kansas. Jones was the main recruiter for a ton of kids and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of these commits take a look at Kansas as a result of it. I should also mention that offensive line coach Brandon Jones has been hired by Mack Brown at North Carolina and is joining Phil Longo, who is a good friend of Kliff Kingsbury, and Mike Jinks is joining Kingsbury as the running backs coach at USC.

Coach Wells and Jovon Bouknight were visiting receiver Trey Cleveland.

And Wells had another Wreck’Em tweet, which could be for Cleveland, or for some other player.

SI’s Joan Niesen grades each of the recent coaching hires and thus far, all 20 have been filled. Texas Tech’s hire of Matt Wells gets a 4.0 out of 5, which is tied for the second highest grade along with Ohio State’s Ryan Day and Kansas State’s Chris Klieman:

Splash quotient: 4
Geography: 3
Stylistic fit: 5
Execution: 5
Instant impact: 3

In 2018, the Red Raiders averaged 484.3 yards per game; Wells’s last Utah State team averaged 493.8. He’s a perfect fit for Texas Tech, which will retain its offensive identity under new coordinator David Yost but also needs a major overhaul on defense that it may not get under Keith Patterson, who captained a good unit at Utah State this year but faces a much taller task slowing down Big 12 offenses. Still, mere competence on that side of the ball would represent an upgrade.

The hire that gets the best grade, 4.2 out of 5, is Georgia Tech’s Geoff Collins, who was the head coach at Temple for the past 2 years.

Miscellaneous . . . BleacherReport’s Matt Miller has his 2019 NFL Draft big board and includes linebacker Dakota Allen as the best in pass coverage and the 4th best linebacker on his board. This was released on the day after Antoine Wesley announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft and so I don’t know if he’s not included as a result of that or if he’s just not included . . . Heartland College Sports’ Pete Mundo has their All-Big 12 selections and includes a handful of Texas Tech players . . .

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