There’s Always This Year

What a year!

The bar was set higher than I think it ever has been after 2015’s NLCS run, and they certainly delivered. Watching this team accomplish something that had alluded the club for 108 years was exciting.

At a party the other night, someone asked me if I would be satisfied if the Cubs ended up losing the World Series. My reply was quick and emphatic.

Yes, absolutely.

While naturally I want them to win and thankfully they did, more importantly, they are building a foundation. The Ricketts family, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer have worked hard to put a team together to fix the “lovable loser” culture.

This year is only the beginning.

Nothing But Net

Classic!

And the great sequel a couple decades later..

Loved these commercials.

Farewell Air Raid

Watching the TicketCity Bowl and remembering the reports from last week regarding Tommy Tuberville stating Tech will be running more next year, I got to thinking..

Is that really a bad thing? I don’t necessarily think so.

Like most people, I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Leach and the Air Raid offense. The 2008 season was phenomenal – one that’ll be remembered. How did that season end? Losses in two of the last three games: a 65-21 shellacking at Oklahoma and a 47-34 loss to Ole Miss at the Cotton Bowl. Still a great season though.

But what else was there?

Seasons full of mediocracy and usually extremely poor defense. In order for Tech to seriously become a competitor, three things are needed:

  1. One trick pony on offense is not sustainable. I don’t think Tech necessarily has to be 50/50 balanced; however, we need to be able to run the ball. Tuberville knows this with his SEC background. Until today’s TicketCity Bowl, Taylor Potts had the longest run from scrimmage. Yes, our quarterback had the longest run from scrimmage.. that’s pathetic.
  2. We need a defense. Ruffin did great things in his all-too-brief tenure, but that’s about it. We’re in the bottom few this year in defense and dead last in pass defense.
  3. The team needs discipline, and Tuberville has done a great job of preaching that this year. Penalties (as a general rule) were out of control under Leach. Also, while it was fun waiting all of the 4th and n to go gambles, there is nothing wrong with kicking a field goal!

I’m still not happy with how things played out with Leach; Kent Hance and Gerald Myers should have been fired for that. Although, I said it before and I’ll say it again – Mike Leach wasn’t the coach to lead this team to the next tier of play.

If you look at the last ten years of BCS bowl games, you’ll see that the bulk of teams had solid defenses and an offense that relied on both passing and running. Sure, there may have been an emphasis on one over the other, but both were a big enough threat for opposing defenses.

The jury is (should be) still open on Tommy Tuberville. I’m anxious to see how the next few years will go.. it’ll definitely be interesting.

Mike Leach and Texas Tech

I have been rather vocal about my opinions on Mike Leach (link 1link 2link 3), but I am always one to give credit where credit is due: the man is coming off of the greatest football season in Tech’s history. Unless you’re A) not a sports fan or B) living under a rock (and you’re a sports fan), you’ve undoubtedly heard all of the commotion regarding Texas Tech, Gerald Myers, Mike Leach, and the status of Leach’s contract. I’ve remained quiet on the subject..

Until now.

Gerald Myers – you’re a complete moron. How you ever made it as high as Athletic Director is beyond me. You screwed over James Dickey back in 2001 and now you’re trying to do the same to Mike Leach. Dickey deserved firing; no argument there. But the way you did it was pathetic, shallow, and cowardly.

Texas Tech Regents — If you let Mike Leach go, you will reap the whirlwind in terms of fan support, season ticket renewals, and ticket sales. You better think twice.

Here’s my suggestion to the Regents: keep Mike Leach and fire Gerald Myers. Promote Marsha Sharp to Athletic Director as she truly deserves it.

What a Season

If anyone had told me that Texas Tech at some point this season would be ranked #2 I would have said they were crazy. I have been rather vocal about my opinions on Mike Leach (link 1, link 2, link 3), but maybe I’ve been wrong. 

After seeing the potential displayed this season, Tech absolutely can play on par with the big dogs. Sure, we lost big to Oklahoma. But that’s one game in a season of twelve games. 

This season proves two things in my mind:

  1. Defense still wins games. Ruffin’s defense played consistent the entire season — up until the Oklahoma game. They looked discombobulated that entire game, and it spilled over into the first half of the Baylor game.
  2. Of equal importance to defense is consistency at quarterback. Graham’s maturity in the program is one of the reasons Tech had such a great season. We cannot go back to the one-year-starter routine again. I think Taylor Potts only has two years of eligibility remaining, so maybe he shouldn’t be the starter.

One final thought regarding this season.. the Tech-Texas game. I am sick and tired of hearing football “experts” on ESPN, ABC, etc. state that Texas lost the game on the last play. The way they are saying it is rather condescending towards Tech. Why? Tech did what it needed to do to win — especially in the first half. Texas came out firing in the second half.. there’s no doubting that. But just because Tech won on the final play only means that they performed well exactly when they needed to in order to win. That exemplifies the media bias against Tech.

In any event, it’s been a great season. If things play out like it seems they will, we’re likely going to the Cotton Bowl. Hopefully we can finally win the game. 🙂

Wreck ‘Em Tech!

Football in Texas

Classic example of how important football is to Texans.

Lubbock is currently under a state of emergency due to heavy flooding. All three colleges cancelled classes. The local school districts cancelled school. Many daycares did not open.

Where did some first responders go on Friday?

Texas Tech Athletics is grateful for the support of the Lubbock Fire Department and other campus groups who came to the rescue in order to get the field prepared for Saturday’s game. The Lubbock Fire Department had four trucks on the scene on Friday to help drain the field and other campus groups were able to help get the campus pumps back up and running.

http://texastech.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/091208aab.html

That’s Texas folks.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. I am not one of these fly-by-night, jump-on-the-Cubs-bandwagon since they’re doing good this year. 

I was reading my RSS feeds earlier and came across Mark DeRosa’s latest blog entry. It’s an interview with Ryan Dempster that is an okay read until the last question which is an instant classic.

DEROSA: I’m going to set a scene for you: Kerry Wood on the mound, Game 7 of the World Series in Wrigley Field. Ground ball to second, DeRosa throws it to D-Lee, game over, Cubs are World Series champs. What happens?

DEMPSTER: Pandemonium. I’d say the top of the Budweiser building blows off. People storm the field. Huge chunks of ivy are ripped off the walls. Police cars are turned over on Addison, on Waveland, on Sheffield, and you can’t walk within a 45-block radius of Wrigley Field because people will be drinking there for seven to 10 days. What a great feeling.

What a great feeling that would be indeed. Is this year finally “next year”?

Doomed From the Get-Go?

Two ESPN articles peaked my interest today.

Allstate Sugar (BCS vs. BCS) projection : Auburn Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

ESPN link

No, you didn’t misread that. This writer actually has Tech going to a BCS bowl game!

The Red Raiders are gunning for big things in 2008. QB Graham Harrell and receiver Michael Crabtree lead what might be the country’s best offense, and coach Mike Leach believes he finally has a defense that can stop opponents.

ESPN link

Classic quote about our wonderful defense.

I just hope these articles don’t jinx our season.. When Tech football is being discussed, I tend to take a “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude.

Fantasy Football Fun!

No more alliteration; I promise.

I participated in a fantasy football league this with a group of guys I know through Monica. Her group of close friends at work get together and this group of guys is the husbands. Great bunch.

$20 buy-in; winner receives $100, second place gets $40, and third gets $20. Draft went as expected mostly. I got second pick amazingly, so I assumed I’d get Peyton Manning since everyone would pick LaDainian Tomlinson first, right? Wrong. First pick owner drafted Peyton, so I snapped up LT real quick. I also got Randy Moss, Carson Palmer, Adrian Peterson, and (naturally) the Chicago Bears defense. All in all, a pretty good outcome for me.

Season goes by fairly well.. until Katie Lynn decides to join us. Beginning that weekend, I went on a four game losing streak. Luckily though, the earlier wins in the season kept me going and got me into the winner’s playoff bracket.

In the end, I won. I couldn’t honestly believe it. The last week was a decent week with a key free agent pickup (Anquan Boldin) three days before game day saving my butt.

Oh, do I tell the guys that this was my first fantasy football experience?