The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2023.09.07

A good day for links.

I do like Grant McCasland, connection and joy are good things to strive for.

Speaking of basketball, 24/7 Sports’ Isaac Trotter has a good look at the Big 12 conference and divides teams into tiers, which are title contenders, then middle of the pack with top-4 upside, NCAA Tournament bubble, and basement. He has Texas Tech in the second group, middle of the pack with top-4 upside.

Texas Tech is very, very dangerous under first-year coach Grant McCasland. Defense won’t be optional, and McCasland built a roster filled with vicious individual defenders. It should mesh into one of the Big 12’s best defensive units under McCasland’s leadership. There’s a lot riding on sophomore point guard Pop Isaacs developing into a certified dude, but all of Texas Tech’s additions help him in different ways. If the defense is elite and Isaacs is an All-Big 12 guard, Texas Tech has the depth and homecourt advantage to be a real player in the heated Big 12 race. But there are some shot-creation questions that could bog down this Texas Tech offense.

He also predicts that Pop Isaacs, Darrion Williams, Devan Cambridge, and Warren Washington will start, which seems like the logical starting 5. This is a good read if you’re a Big 12 basketball junkie.

In addition to Patrick Mahomes and the Chief playing the Lions, women’s soccer will kickoff on Thursday (tonight) at 9:00 CST in Tucson against Arizona.

The Register-Guard’s Alec Dietz writes about the reunion of Tyler Shough and some of the Oregon players:

Oregon senior safety Steve Stephens IV, who was roommates with Shough during each’s freshman season in 2019, said the two have had friendly interactions on social media over the years and that Saturday’s game will feel a lot like practices years ago when the two battled at Oregon.

“It’s going to be fun in a different uniform,” Stephens said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him. It’s going to fun to see his growth. He’s been gone for a few years now so it’s going to be fun to see how much he’s stepped into that QB1 role and that leadership role and seeing how much he’s grown from my perspective to where he is now.”

The Athletic’s Justin Williams dives deep on the how big oil and the relationship that regent Cody Campbell and Dustin Womble have with the program. Don’t forget that is a good tool to read things on the internet. There are a few items that are interesting and I can’t quote the whole thing, but the article has a few nuggets.

  • At some point the relationship between Campbell and Kirby Hocutt wasn’t great and that changed with Campbell became a regent and he and Hocutt connected and realized how close they were on items.
  • The Matador Club has signed NIL deals for football, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, baseball, track, and golf.
  • Texas Tech leased the ground in the south end zone to a 501(c)(3) entity called Red Raider Facilities Foundation to oversee the renovation and construction, which allowed for a expedited construction timeline because it is now a private venture.
  • Sharon Leach will be in attendance when Mike Leach is inducted in the Hall of Honor.

Here’s a bit:

“The resources we enjoy from the Permian Basin and the people who work there is incredible,” says athletic director Kirby Hocutt. “I’m one of the few ADs in the country who is OK with fuel being $5 a gallon.”

According to Hocutt, Texas Tech has raised more than $100 million for what will be the largest contiguous football facility in the country, bolstered by the lead gifts from Womble ($20 million) and Campbell, both of whom are also on the university’s board of regents.

But this is the brave new world of college football, meaning that new-school oil money also fuels the Matador Club, a non-profit NIL collective spearheaded by Campbell and Sellers that supports Red Raiders athletes and operates under the auspices of Double Eagle. It has an annual NIL budget of $8 million spread across all Tech athletics, including 120 football players — scholarship and non-scholarship — receiving at least $25,000 a year.

The broader landscape of college football may be in turmoil following another wave of realignment, but the horizons remain clear in Lubbock. With the College Football Playoff set to expand to 12 teams and the Big 12 Conference finally stabilized despite Texas and Oklahoma departing for the SEC, the Red Raiders see an opportunity: to seize control of a new-look Big 12 and become a relevant program in the national conversation.


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