The Morning Stake | 2019.01.02

Leading Off

I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. A couple of things for you to read while you figure out how to avoid work this morning.

Via Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth, he follows up on the story of Cody Crockett, who died, along with his girlfriend and a ranch owner, in trying to stop a fire that was raging over West Texas. Cody’s little brother Ben plays for McLean and won a state title.

I talked to Ben the day after the Main Street celebration. He was about to turn in his football equipment for the season and pick up his jersey and shorts for basketball. Then he was headed back to his house to do some work with his father—prowling some pastures, checking on cattle, and making sure there was enough water at the windmills. I asked him how often he thought about Cody during the miraculous 2018 season. (Cody also had played for the Tigers during his high school years, wearing the #20 jersey, the same number Ben wore.) “Well, sir, to be honest with you, a lot,” said Ben. “I mean, I didn’t look up and have conversations with him. But I thought about him being here, so I could have heard him say, ‘Good job, little brother.’ I know that’s why I played as hard as I did. I did it for Cody.”

Tyler Trent was the biggest Purdue fan you’ve ever seen, a national story and an inspiration, and he passed away yesterday at the age of 20 from cancer that was on his spine. Trent wrote an article for the Indy-Star three weeks ago:

Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be. To make the most of whomever comes to visit, texts, tweets or calls me.

Yet, isn’t that a choice we all have every day? After all, nobody knows the amount of days we have left. Some could say we are all in hospice to a certain degree.

So why don’t we act like it? Where is your gratitude? With Christmas coming up, what are you thankful for? I had to write my will recently, and I’m just thankful I can give my family Christmas presents, maybe even for one last time. Let’s not forget that my doctors gave me three months to live almost two-and-a-half months ago. So why can’t we live grateful lives? Why can’t we make every day count like it’s the last?

Lady Raider Basketball

Texas Tech Basketball

The Red Raiders take on West Virginia in Morgantown tonight at 6:00 p.m., game televised on ESPNU. We’re basketball-centric this morning as we’ve got a new writer debuting at 8:00 this morning, with LaBarre following up at 10:00 a.m. and the preview and game day thread going up at noon.

Miscellaneous . . . the AP updated their Top 25 poll and Texas Tech checks in at #11 . . . Heartland College Sports’ Matthew Postins has his Big 12 power rankings for the new year with Texas Tech 2nd overall . . . Postins also has five things to look at as conference play is set to start . . .

Texas Tech Football

Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson reports that former Texas Tech head coach and current USC offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury is actually interviewing for the head coaching jobs for the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets:

Considered to be one of the most creative offensive minds in college football, Kingsbury’s NFL candidacy comes on the heels of him rebuffing an opportunity to coach the University of Houston in recent days. Now the NFL appears to be in play, with multiple league executives telling Yahoo Sports that Kingsbury is in the league’s candidate pool for some head jobs.

He’s also considered a prime commodity for top-level offensive coordinator positions, although it’s unclear he’d be receptive to those openings. While both the Cardinals and Jets are expecting to schedule head coaching interviews with Kingsbury, executives from two other teams with vacancies told Yahoo Sports the former Texas Tech coach is on their candidate lists but not currently targeted for an interview.

CollegeFootballTalk all but reports that West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is set to be the head coach at Houston as West Virginia would not match the 5-year $20 million that Houston is set to pay him. Potential replacements are North Texas’ Seth Littrell, Troy’s Neal Brown and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.

Congrats to former Red Raider Eric Morris who was named the Express-News Sportsman of the Year for turning around Incarnate Word in a year, going from 1-10 in 2017 to 6-5 in 2018.

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