Some Hither, Others Yon | Texas Tech vs. Wyoming

Here and there

Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
Wyoming Cowboys (0-0, 0-0)
September 2nd @ 6:30 p.m.
Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium | Laramie, Wyoming
Texas Tech -14
PM Thunderstorms.


One of the reasons that Wyoming is the way that they are is that they are more similar to Kansas State than not. To explain, Craig Bohl was the head coach at North Dakota State before Chris Klieman, it was Bohl that built that program to what it was (and is) and Klieman kept things rolling and maybe even improved.

I don’t like to pretend to be smarter than I am, but I do appreciate fans having a pretty reasoned discussion about Bohl and why he’s been so good for Wyoming:

In the 14 seasons of Mountain West play before Craig Bohl arrived, Wyoming had only had one 8 win season. Bohl has had three. In the 14 years before Bohl, Wyoming had been to just three bowl games. Bohl has taken us to five. Bohl also won us our first division championship since the WAC era. Bohl is 6-3 against Colorado State and .500 against Hawaii and Utah State. He has put 11 players in the NFL, including two time Pro Bowler Josh Allen. His .486 winning percentage in Laramie might not sound that good. But it’s far higher than the three previous coaches. We have home-and-homes with Texas Tech, BYU, Utah, California, and Arizona coming up over the next decade.

And alternately, it’s not all apple fritters and Long Johns:

An antiquated offensive system, inability to develop offensive talent, the “yes man” syndrome (almost as bad as nepotism) that leads to people like Grant still being in charge and Bohl almost exclusively hiring from within his own coaching circle/tree, and mindboggling game management and in-game decisions…along with random-ass, headscratching games (often against inferior competition) where the team literally seems to quit.

Added to his slowness to adjust, whether in-game or in the larger scope of players/personnel, his stubbornness, and the fact that he gets pissed any time there’s any pushback against his decisionmaking.

The coach in question that is receiving a lot of the blame is Mike Grant, who is the associate head coach and passing game coordinator. Wyoming returns a ton of talent at the receive position, so there shouldn’t be an excuse. And alternatively, the other coach in charge is Oscar Giles, who has an interesting title as head freshman coach, associate head coach, run-game coordinator and defensive coordinator. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a “freshman head coach” and that’s an interesting concept.

Stock Up & Stock Down

Up: I can’t remember an offseason where things have “felt” better about the trajectory of the program. Joey McGuire has been a revelation. The new car smell hasn’t warn off and it’s been a year and a half. That’s odd. I follow Tottenham, which is an English Premier League team in North London and they just hired their own version of McGuire in Australian Ange Postecoglou who has been on the job only a few months, but everything that comes out of his mouth and his squad have been nothing but a change of pace. Postecoglou had only managed in Australia and Japan before arriving at Celtic and leading them to a championship. He didn’t have the pedigree of previous Tottenham coaches, but the powers that be decided that they would hire a football manager that is really good at his job. This isn’t about McGuire, but it could be:

“Especially in Australian football, the message was always, ‘We’re underdogs — we’re here to prove a point.’ He puts the focus on where we’ve all come from, which is all different backgrounds and nationalities, and you’ve had to go against the grain to become a professional footballer in Australia. So I think those kinds of messages really kept us together as a group and made us all want to prove a point.

“It sounds simple talking about it, but the way he delivers it is on another level.”

/language warning/

Similar? You are not just playing for you, but you are playing for your brother next to you, or the person who helped you along the way and that absolutely is a Joey McGuire thing. Unselfishness and team sports is what drives a team more than anything else.

Down: The Pac 12. When I was kid I owned an Arizona fitted cap. It was one of my favorite things. I loved watching the Wildcats and Lute Olson basketball team and I’ve been infatuated with West Coast football for longer than I can recall. The Big 12 has, as of right now, made it out alive, and for that I am grateful. Brett Yormark simply didn’t overplay his hand in negotiations and the complicity of FOX and ESPN (people sometimes forget to blame FOX in all of this too, but they’re just as complicit) in the division of college football isn’t fun. I sort of like the footprint that is the Big 12 and doesn’t feel as out of place as what the Big Ten has done in grabbing UCLA, USC, Washington, and Oregon or what the ACC is proposing in pulling in Stanford and California. I think grabbing a partner for West Virginia in Cincinnati make sense with UCF being a powerhouse waiting to happen (is it likely that they will pass Miami because Miami is a dumpster fire that sometimes can’t get out of their own way, largely because of boosters who feel that they run the program) and the Four Corner schools really just connect the dots.

Up: Not running from the past. One of the best qualities of McGuire is that he’s decidedly never running from anything. He has no reason to do so. Want to talk about Mike Leach and discuss what he meant to the program? Yes, he’s here for it and will tailor a sportscoat with pirates in the lining to honor him. And I have no idea who suggested and greenlit Leach being included in the Hall of Honor, but it’s very clear that McGuire isn’t afraid of Leach’s legend. Things are probably still not perfect and I have no idea how his family will receive this situation, but he was part of us for so long, he was our identity for a large segment of the fans. I am glad it is being done.

Quickie Big 12 Previews & Recaps

This Week: Kent State @ UCF (8/31 @ 6:00 pm on FS1)
Last Week:
UCF is favored by 37 points so this, in theory should be an easy win.

This Week: Missouri State @ Kansas (9/1 @ 7:00 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
No line for this one, but the expectation is that Kansas is going to start dominating opponents. They should do that.

This Week: Colorado @ TCU (9/1 @ 11:00 am on ESPN)
Last Week:
The debut of Deion Sanders and essentially an entirely new Colorado team. TCU is favored by 21 and although they replaced a lot of talent, they hit the portal pretty hard.

This Week: Arkansas State @ Oklahoma (9/1 @ 11:00 am on ESPN):
Last Week:
The Sooners had better be sprinting out of the gate and the improvement on defense should be immediately. Be careful to judge the performance of OU based on this game, but last year was largely disappointing.

This Week: Northern Iowa @ Iowa State (9/1 @ 1:00 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
Without a doubt, this is a game that Iowa State struggles with and that’s with their starting running back that didn’t just check out of school because of gambling on his team. No line on this game, probably because they don’t want Iowa State betting on it.

This Week: Rice @ Texas (9/1 @ 2:30 pm on FOX)
Last Week:
The Longhorns are back and favored by 35. I do expect UT to blow the doors off of Rice, which I have always sort of liked Rice for some reason.

This Week: Eastern Kentucky @ Cincinnati (9/1 @ 2:30 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
I won’t lie and tell you I know something about Eastern Kentucky football. I don’t. Cincy by 100.

This Week: Southeast Missouri State @ Kansas State (9/1 @ 6:00 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
Another feeble opponent and no current line on ESPN, which means KSU should hang half a hundred here.

This Week: Texas State @ Baylor (9/1 @ 6:00 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
Texas State is trying a young but talented coach without much experience as they hired G.J. Kinne, who was the head coach at Incarnate Word for one year, where Eric Morris was at previously, and the Cardinals went 12-2 last year. Baylor is favored by 26.5 and the expectation is that Baylor rolls.

This Week: UTSA @ Houston (9/1 @ 6:00 pm on FS1)
Last Week:
UTSA is favored by 1 in Houston. Amazing. I am convinced that Jeff Traylor is the second best head coach in the state of Texas. I asked my dad, who is an Aggie, if he thinks that the people in charge would ever hire someone like Traylor and we ultimately decided that they would never swallow their pride hire someone like Traylor because he doesn’t have the pedigree, regardless as to the fact that Traylor is an insanely talented football coach. I am anxious about the number of Red Bulls Dana will ingest watching Frank Harris who has developed into a heck of a quarterback. Will also be interested to see how Donovan Smith does this game.

This Week: Central Arkansas @ Oklahoma State (9/1 @ 6:00 pm on ESPN+)
Last Week:
Another game without a line and would expect Oklahoma State to get silly here. Alan Bowman quarterbacking is also something to watch, but am not sure if he’s officially been named the starter.

This Week: West Virginia @ Penn State (9/1 @ 6:30 pm on NBC)
Last Week:
The game of the week in the Big 12 maybe? Neal Brown is coaching for his job, but going into Happy Valley doesn’t sound like fun when you are coaching for your job. Penn State is favored by 20.5 and I sort of expect Penn State to turn things up.

This Week: Sam Houston @ BYU (9/1 @ 9:15 pm on FS1)
Last Week:
Sam Houston is always good, the athletes that fall to the wayside from Power Five teams sometimes end up in Huntsville and this is usually a very athletic team. Regardless, BYU should be fine here and they are favored by 20.


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