The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.07.07

It’s Friday, Friday.

Texas Tech was picked 4th in the Media Big 12 preseason poll and received 4, yes 4, first place votes:

1. Texas (41) – 886
2. Kansas State (14) – 858
3. Oklahoma (4) – 758
4. Texas Tech (4) – 729
5. TCU (3) – 727
6. Baylor – 572
7. Oklahoma State (1) – 470
8. UCF – 463
9. Kansas – 461
10. Iowa State – 334
11. BYU – 318
12. Houston – 215
13. Cincinnati – 202
14. West Virginia – 129

I was sort of thinking that Texas Tech would be 6th or so, and as a result this is a bit of a surprise for me. I do like expectations and don’t think that McGuire & Co. run from or are afraid of them.

The Big 12 announced the Media Preseason Team (pdf) with receiver Jerand Bradley and defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings making the cut. I think that’s pretty fair and can’t think of any players that absolutely should be on the team.

Devan Cambridge and Joe Toussaint became official members of Texas Tech basketball. I do have what I think is a good basketball post coming up next week.

Huntsville cornerback Isaiah Collins (6-3/186) committed on Monday, which is a terrific run of defensive backs for Marcel Yates and Joey McGuire. Collins had offers from Baylor, Houston, Oregon State, Utah and others.

ESPN’s Bill Connelly previews the Big 12. I know a lot of you have preconceived notions regarding ESPN writers, but right now, there’s really only one analyst for ESPN and Connelly actually started out as a blogger and turned that into a career. Living the dream if you will. Connelly’s projections think that Texas Tech finishes with 7 wins, but honestly it is a toss-up after Texas and Oklahoma with TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, UCF, and Baylor. Connelly asks if Texas is really back, if Oklahoma has the depth, if TCU will regress, if Baylor and Oklahoma State will rebound, and is Texas Tech’s sleeper hype for real:

Kittley’s first season in town was a mixed bag. The (only marginally used) run game was solid, and the Red Raiders mastered timely play — first in fourth-down attempts and conversions, 38th in red zone touchdown rate — well enough to overcome the general inconsistency that comes with constant quarterback changes. Tech went fast and scored over 30 points eight times, and it’s easy to expect further improvement.

The defense boasts decent overall experience but has to replace some serious disruptors. Eight players made at least 4.5 tackles for loss last season, and only three return. Veteran coordinator Tim DeRuyter is good at fielding fast units and creating havoc, but he’ll have to find a lot of new playmakers, especially on the edge: First-round rush end Tyree Wilson (27.5 TFLs and 14 sacks in two years) was special.

When you’re a midlevel Big 12 team, you’re likely going to play in a ton of close games. SP+ projects seven Tech games within one score, in fact. Fourth-down conversions (and, yes, some timely breaks) allowed the Red Raiders to win all four one-score contests last year because of it, but improving on last year’s eight wins will require further execution and good breaks in this department. That might be a bit much to ask, but it’s definitely not hard to see Tech improving further on paper, at least.

CBS Sports’ Shehan Jeyarajah asks if BYU, Cincinnati, Houston or UCF have the talent and depth to compete for a Big 12 title.

The second episode of the McCasland Era is up on TexasTech+.


The Latest

To Top