Tag Archives: Texas Tech Raiders

Big 12 Links: Bishop, Briles and $1 Billion

On Monday, Baylor hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe after firing Art Briles .Grobe resigned from Wake Forest two years ago after spending 13 years there. Following this announcement, Baylor’s athletic director Ian McCaw resigned after he was placed on probation. The president of Baylor Ken Starr has also resigned.

Some people need to learn to keep their mouths closed. Staley Lebby, the daughter of Art Briles and also the wife of Baylor’s running backs coach spoke in her father’s defense via Facebook Thursday. Lebby said that her father’s firing was a “media witch hunt” and said that her father is a “man of incredible character”. It surprises me that her dad let her speak up on this matter and to do it on Facebook seems a little unprofessional to me.

This week it came out why Robert James Castaneda was kicked off of the Texas Tech football team in May. Castaneda told investigators that he took a gun safe with at least seven weapons in it. He also took a television and a camera from a home in Lubbock Texas in December. Castaneda was arrested on Friday and was released on a $5,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

After 20 seasons at Texas, Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in college baseball history, is out. Texas had its first losing season since 1998 and will miss the post season for the third time in five years. Augie will still be around the university as a special assistant to the athletic director. Garrido has been honored six times as the national coach of the year and will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

Michael Bishop, former Kansas State quarterback, is up for the College Football Hall of Fame. Bishop is one of the 75 players and six coaches on the ballot. Bishop led the Wildcats to two 11-win seasons in 1997 and 1998 and led the Wildcats to their first number 1 ranking in history. Bishop has been honored in the Kansas State Ring of Honor, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame. Mark Simoneau and coach Bill Snyder are two Wildcats that have been honored already in the College Football Hall of Fame. Bishop is up against some very tough competition on the 2017 ballot. Eight players who played on Big 12 teams. I am not sure if this year is the year he will be voted in, but hopefully it will happen soon.

Baker Mayfield will not play an extra year at Oklahoma. The Big 12 voted on the walk-on transfer rule for Mayfield this week at the Big 12 meetings. The vote ended in a 5-5 tie that means it did not pass. Bob Stoops was not happy about the decision that was made. Stoops stated “ I’m incredibly disappointed the rule change proposal wasn’t passed today at the big 12 meetings. I hope the conference will reconsider its decision and put the welfare of the student athletes first. It only makes sense for the Big 12’s rules to be consistent with those of the NCAA when it comes to non-scholarship walk-on student-athletes. “ Mayfield could transfer and play at a school in another conference in 2017 as a graduate transfer if he wanted. If he ends up doing this it will not look good for the Big 12. If I were a transfer athlete looking for a school this decision would make me not choose a school in the Big 12. As of yesterday the Big 12 voted to change a transfer rule for walk-ons that would allow them to change schools within the conference and not lose a year of eligibility.

This week the Big 12 administrators are going to be presenting information that will show that the Big 12 Conference can earn at least $1 billion dollars if it decides to expand. This money would come from TV rights contracts they would gain from the expansion. This amount would be if the Big 12 decided to expand by four teams, which I don’t see happening. If it only expanded with two teams then they would gain around $500 million dollars. This won’t help the current Big 12 teams but it would make sure that the conference wouldn’t fall behind the other Power 5 conferences like the direction it is currently going in.

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Can Davis Webb Keep Cal Relevant?

Fans of the California Golden Bears are in for a pleasant surprise this fall. Cal just landed senior graduate transfer Davis Webb, formerly of Texas Tech. Webb, familiar with coach Sonny Dykes’ air raid philosophy, chose Cal over his previous destination, the University of Colorado. As a graduate transfer, Webb is immediately eligible to play for the upcoming 2016 season. Although there is a battle brewing as to who the successor will be to Cal’s quarterback god Jared Goff, it’s easy to assume Webb’s familiarity with the air raid passing scheme will give him the upper hand heading to training camp this summer. With the recent addition of Webb, is he the key to keeping Cal relevant this season?

Webb, a 6’4″, 230-pound pocket passer, put up fairly respectable numbers during his three years at Texas Tech (5,557 yards, 46 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions). Webb was later supplanted by sophomore Patrick Mahomes early into his third season with the Red Raiders. I know what you’re thinking- how can an ousted quarterback actually benefit the Golden Bears? Simple really, the benefit is experience. It’s very infrequent that you lose your all-time passer and follow it up with a potential replacement with vast knowledge of the very system his current team is running. It couldn’t have been scripted any better.

Not only does Cal benefit from a system- experienced quarterback, but Cal returns an intact, veteran offensive line that played relatively well in some moments. Moreover, Cal has as much of a diversified back field as any team in the Pac-12, or even the nation for that fact. When times get rough, and they most likely will, it’ll give the quarterback some stability to lean on such a dynamic running back corps.

 

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         Photo courtesy of  Flickr/John Martinez Pavllga 

Upon hearing of Webb’s transfer to Cal, I was pretty excited. It’s quite rare to have such a windfall from departing star quarterback and follow up with a quality successor (see Everett Golson in for Jameis Winston. Most recently, Vernon Adams in for Marcus Mariota). Although this seems too good to be true, which it is most times, I had to look a bit closer at Webb. He has all the physical measurables. His arm checks out. He can make all the throws. But, something stood out as I was looking into his season and career stat lines, completion percentage. In the two-plus seasons and briefly into his third, he completed a little over 60 percent. His final season, in which he was replaced, he completed 53 percent. To be fair, that was just the one game he played. Even if I were to omit the final season, only completing a little over 60 percent of pass attempts does give me a little cause for concern. It’s not like Cal is returning the same receiving corps from last season, far from it. So, it’s going to be very interesting how Webb will be able to vibe with his receivers going into camp and then onto the season, provided he’s starting. Cal plays a challenging schedule and his ability to get rid of the ball and keep the chains moving in this pass-happy offense is paramount.

All in all, a lot of things need to come together for coach Sonny Dykes, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, and the Golden Bears. I do believe the addition of Davis Webb certainly gives the Bears more wherewithal in the experience category. How this translates to wins, I have no clue. But moving forward with a player who has performed at the major college football level for a team with the same philosophy, you cannot ask for better odds. Besides, if Webb does not pan out, the news of his transfer didn’t affect the quarterback battle during the spring game, which means Cal isn’t tied to one option at quarterback.

At this stage of the game, it’s all speculation. When the season begins, then we can take stock in Webb’s ability to lead the Golden Bears. I will say this,  if Cal can go into conference play with zero, or at the most one loss, Webb will have done enough to keep the Cal Bears relevant.

 

Week 3 Rundown: SEC Steals the Show

We start this week on a sad note, where Texas can’t get out of its own way. If Texas isn’t turning itself into a circus off the field, it’s putting its fans on a roller coaster that gets stuck at the top. After somehow battling back from a 3 touchdown fourth quarter deficit with an offense that has been anemic all year, the Longhorns scored what should have been the game-tying touchdown only to miss the extra point. Fast forward to 1:35 of the video if you’d like to see the carnage.

Another team that left its fans with heartbreak, albeit in a different fashion, was the USC Trojans, who did what USC always does in losing a game they weren’t supposed to. Before the season started this loss wouldn’t have been crushing, but after Stanford lost at Northwestern in the opener USC fans had to have expected a win here. But the Cardinal continue to have the Trojans’ number at The Coliseum and leave USC with little room for error the rest of the way. Also not a good sign, Southern Cal gave up 41 to Stanford, who has one of the worst offenses in the Pac-12. On the other side of the country, Clemson avoided doing what they usually do in fending off Louisville on Thursday night, squeaking by with a three point victory. They certainly won’t get any style points for this one, but I think anytime you can get a road win in a Thursday night game you just take it and move on.

Barely escaping was a common theme in the ACC this week. Along with Clemson, Florida State slugged their way to a 14-0 win at Boston College in a Friday night contest. The Seminoles offense continues to be hit and miss and will have to hope they can find some consistency as they move deeper into ACC play. Florida State’s rival Miami almost had a disastrous loss on Saturday. After dominating the whole game and entering the 4th up 33-10, Miami should have been able to cruise in the final quarter. Well they did a little too much cruising and not enough pedal to the metal, allowing the Cornhuskers to claw their way back and force overtime. Luckily the defensive backfield, one that appears light years ahead of where they’ve been the previous few seasons, intercepted Nebraska’s opening pass in OT, allowing Miami to just need a chip shot field goal to seal the win.

Georgia Tech was not able to escape with a win, albeit against significantly better competition than the rest of the ACC played. Even with QB Malik Zaire lost for the season, Notre Dame showed they are a complete team who will be in the playoff race all year. That defense is good, and they have a playmaker in the backfield with CJ Prosise and at wideout with William Fuller. In two weeks the Irish go on the road to play Clemson in what might be this year’s first playoff elimination game.

While Notre Dame was making their statement as a playoff contender, a couple other contenders were doing their best to look anything but. Ohio State sleep-walked through last week’s game against Hawaii before pulling away, and this past Saturday walked an even finer line in beating Northern Illinois by just a touchdown. I’m not sure if the Buckeyes aren’t nearly as good as last year’s team or if they’re just going through the motions because they’re so much better than the teams they have been playing. Either way they’ll need to have things rounding into form before they play Michigan State later in the year. TCU is the other member of the preseason Top 2 and they are struggling as well. Though I’m not sure the outcome was in doubt, the Horned Frogs gave up 37 points at home to SMU. Because of injuries, that defense is in shambles and will be hard to overcome in a conference that has seen Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State putting up points at will. I have the Horned Frogs on upset alert next week at Texas Tech.

It’s amazing that I’ve gotten this far without discussing the SEC. Might as well save the best for last right? Speaking of the best, LSU RB Leonard Fournette might be the best RB (or player in general) in the country. That dude is scary. Even though most college football fans know about his beastly running skills, it’s still amazing to watch when he puts on a display like the one he did against Auburn on Saturday. LSU pounded Auburn, who has quickly turned into a dumpster fire but is still somehow ranked. We wouldn’t want voters to be too flexible with their preseason opinions on teams now would we?

I should mention Georgia as well, if for no other reason than QB Greyson Lambert set an NCAA accuracy record by completing 96% of his passes on 25 attempts. This game probably says more about South Carolina than Georgia. The Gamecocks have fallen swiftly from their run of three straight 11-win seasons. Georgia has looked good, but considering their history no one is going to take them seriously until they win a big game. Ole Miss definitely won’t have that problem after going into Tuscaloosa and beating the Crimson Tide. They’re now top five in both polls and have much easier contests the next few weeks so they should be able to build even more momentum going into the stretch run. It’s hard for me to decide what I should take away from this game. On one hand you think of the two somewhat fluky long touchdowns the Rebels scored which had huge impacts on the game. But they also had multiple drives in the 2nd half where there was a ton of pressure on them to stave off the Alabama comeback, and they made the plays on both offense and defense when they had to. Either way, the Rebels are legit.

Losing at home is always a disaster for the Tide, but isn’t it a little impressive that they managed to only lose by one score in a game that they lost the turnover battle 5-0? That should show just how good they still are and certainly aren’t out of the race yet. However, they will definitely need help with Ole Miss having to lose two conference games in order for Bama to have a chance to make it to the SEC Championship game. Right now the SEC West has been turned upside down with pre-season frontrunners Alabama and Auburn losing to Ole Miss and LSU. We’ll see if the Rebels and Tigers can keep it up as the year goes on.

Top 4

Ohio State
Ole Miss
Michigan State
Baylor