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Bowl Season Coming To End & Not A Drop To Drink!?!

December 31st, 2015 · Tags:Cities · Sports

I quit drinking a long time ago for various reasons … none of which are very dramatic or interesting. But last year, as a joke, I claimed to have made a New Year’s resolution to “start drinking again.” How’s that for counter-culture, messed up? Well … as New Year’s resolutions tend to go, I have not stuck with it and remain alcohol free. I guess I have four and a half hours to be a man of my word and resume drinking after all these years. For the blogging world, it would probably be a good thing if I were to knock back a few … rather than get off on tangents or rants in this blog. But, it’s what I do. Maybe I should drink to clear my head … but instead I think I’ll just jot down a few notes … about what else … football!

 

Baker Mayfield Doppelganger jpg

A quarterback is a serious thing to waste.

 

How ‘bout those Clemson Tigers of the ACC!

Love bowl season, and can’t help but express a few thoughts — mainly about quarterbacks. First off, what a treat it was to see Cal’s Jared Goff doing his voodoo in person at TCU’s house in a win over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Who played QB for Baylor this week … was it even a QB playing the position?

Next up, Trevone Boykin, TCU … why? Just, why?

BTW … Trevone has been such an enigma for his career with The Frogs. Of course he is in trouble now, just a few weeks after all the warm-and-fuzzy PR designed photo opps with disabled children … Heisman hype … Which is the real Boykin? And don’t try to feed me grape Koolaid about Boykin’s injury costing him the Heisman. There was that little matter of the 4-interception game …

OH … and until a few days ago, The Purple Nation would have told you Boykin walked on water … maybe he did. But just a few years ago, when TCU first entered the Big 12, and it didn’t go so well … On whom did the Frogs place the blame? … Trevone Boykin, who was charged with playing QB after Casey Pachall self-destructed. Let me tell you … I saw Trevone play against Texas Tech that first season … and he had one of the best games of his career … almost engineering a comeback win for TCU’s homecoming. Trevone was magnificent and carried the offense on his back that day. Eventually Tech got him 56-53. A few losses later that year, and Trevone was transformed into the season’s scape frog … or scapegoat … Crazy!

Would someone tell Gary Patterson to stay off the field during games?

Hmmm … what to rant about next?

Baker Mayfield … he got so close to taking Oklahoma to a national championship — it is so comforting to know he would still be the second-string quarterback, at best, had he continued to air it out in Raiderland. Of course, I support most Big 12 teams in the post season and hope our conference adds more hardware. Actually, I am still a fan of Baker Mayfield. I think sometimes players make mistakes based on their advisors. His handling of relations with Tech, were pretty ill-advised and sloppy. But, glad to see things have worked out for him in Oklahoma. You have to swallow your pride a bit, to leave Texas and play north of the Red River, so glad it has been worth his while.

Also, shout out to Lincoln Riley, the OU offensive coordinator … another Texas Tech connection in the Orange Bowl … via Muleshoe, Texas of course. (That is ‘mule shoe’ for the uninitiated … not “mules hoe.”)

Let’s talk hype. Why does the sports world still overrate the SEC? Man … watching one of their conference games makes it difficult to even stay awake … you know … if you are on the couch and aren’t drunk and going crazy in the stadium.

Next thought … sports and sports media is so messed up. I have said it again and will continue to say, “Statistics are so the blind men can enjoy the elephant too.” While I type, I am watching Oklahoma lose to Clemson … Probably billed as the best matchup of the bowl season, with Clemson ranked #1 and OU at #4 … YET, OU was favored to win. How can that be?

And how in the world has the sports world resisted going crazy for Patrick Mahomes. I still think there are so few sports journalists with intuition and the ability to really see what is going on. Instead, they know what the numbers on paper tell them … and often just repeat what all the other sportswriters are saying. But Mahomes is as good as they come on paper too.

Have you watched Mahomes? Have you stopped to think about his situation for just a moment? As mentioned above, Mahomes can run circles, literally, around Baker Mayfield … Mayfield probably would have been the understudy, had he stayed at Tech. Baker Mayfield had a great year, because no slight intended to my alma mater (Texas Tech) and its players, Mayfield is now surrounded by a much stronger cast of characters in Norman … Much different than the squad he left in Lubbock. Mahomes — still in Lubbock — has to kick and scratch and run for his life for every yard he makes, yet continues to amaze anyone who has seen him play.

Am I biased? No question … but for the record, Mahomes was not my first choice for starting QB for Tech. He has proven otherwise (although his predecessor Davis Webb was much more talented than Tech fans realized). Mahomes is so flashy and he has to do so much more with so much less — pretty much like every Texas Tech quarterback in the last 15 years. You would think that would endear Mahomes to sports media … but they haven’t a clue. Instead, the sports world tends to give awards — like the Heisman for example — to players surrounded by the strongest teammates. Yet it is supposed to be an individual award. Makes no sense absolutely … Go figure.

Colt McCoy Newt

Colt = Newt

The world thought Texas’ Vince Young walked on water, when the Texas Longhorns won the national championship. But you know what, if you go back and watch video of the games, Vince usually ran for 30 yards when there was a 30-yard “hole” in the defense in front of him. He was surrounded by a tremendous cast of characters that year … As are most UT quarterbacks … including Colt McCoy (whom I really like) … the guy who made Austin forget Vince (a huge NFL bust, of course) … was also surrounded by blue-chippers at UT.

At least the term “system quarterback” has started to fall by the wayside. Pass-happy teams have been criticized for years with that label, but I think the sports media has figured out “the air raid” is where football is going — across the board. Most ridiculous, I just read an old article that said Texas Tech quarterbacks enjoyed a ‘quarterback friendly’ system, and therefore rewrote the record books. What is “friendly” about running for your life before you throw the ball, because your lineman are not nearly as big and strong as the opponent? Texas Tech, with its lack of blue-chipper linemen is probably the most dangerous turf in the country for quarterbacks. Yet somehow, it works.

Speaking of size … It is always a hoot to read the negative comments by fans of my school Texas Tech on Twitter and such. As Tech played LSU close for three quarters — despite the huge size mismatch — Tech fans tweeted “Tech just can’t play defense.” I think my response is worthy of a resend: “Tech fans would throw a bantam weight in the ring with a heavy weight and then criticize the guy for not being a good fighter.” Let me shed light for my Tech brethren … The Red Raiders defense vs. huge LSU players was genetically pre-disposed to be dominated in that game. Have you ever tried to tackle a back that outweighs you by 50 pounds, or wrestle a lineman that is 100 lbs. bigger and stronger. That is not a matter of skill, or guts, or heart … pure physics. Tech will deal with that until they can recruit more size and strength. No amount of coaching is going to overcome the gravity of the situation.

And although Patrick Mahones put on an exhibition scrambling away from the LSU Tigers the other night and connected with receivers — throwing off his back foot and across his body — like fans and sportswriters always say can’t be done … It was not the Texas Tech defense that let us down in the Texas Bowl. The Tech defense actually did a pretty good job to have been in such a dismal mismatch. Tech defenders actually pulled off several stops and forced punts by the Tigers. Probably more than anyone expected …

But … dating back to the Mike Leach era, if Texas Tech is to have a chance to win a game agains a bigger opponent, its offense cannot miss a beat. The pressure is on Mahomes and company to score … on all or almost all possessions … because the defense is what it is. In the Mike Leach era, with QB Graham Harrell at the controls, Tech would score 3 or 4 times … maybe even 5 times consecutively. That is how they upset teams. For Tech to win, the offense has to have that same level of execution … near perfection. As much as Tech and Mahomes improved this year, the offense was far from automatic. For Tech to win, it must be an offensive machine.

Had Tech executed on offense the other night in Houston … they may have won. It certainly would have been down to the wire. The same can be said for several of Tech’s losses during the regular season … games that were much closer than indicated by the scoreboard.

AND … I am still thanking the lucky stars that Tech hired its former star QB Kliff Kingsbury to heal the wounds from Tech’s own little civil war — the rift from the ridiculous firing of Coach Mike Leach (PAC12 coach of the year, btw).

The one question I would pose to Coach Kingsbury after the LSU loss is this: Why no trick plays? Tech had a month to prepare for the bowl game. Tech knew they would be overpowered by brawn … Why didn’t we prepare a little more brain? Granted, the trick play that caught Texas off guard in that season ending Texas Tech win can’t be used very often … But man … there are so many genius plays out there … And Tech’s offense just went all “meat and taters” against the Tigers. Thank heavens for Jakeem Grant and DeAnde Washington. If those guys don’t continue their careers on Sunday in the future … well … Then me and my service animal should apply for an NFL scouting position.

Finally … I had to bite a hole in my tongue the other day as I read social media. An old friend on Facebook claimed that yes Kliff Kingsbury is “hot” … but “not a very good coach.”

OMG … did I dream that!?!

Case KeenumHouston, rewrites the record books and lands in the NFL, although undersized, under the tutelage of Kliff Kingbury. Johnny Football, Texas A&M redefines what it means to be an “Aggie” and made it to the NFL in spite of himself … under the tutelage of KK. Mahomes, groomed by Kingsbury is or will be the best quarterback in the nation … even if no one has realized it yet …

Just as he did as a player, Kingsbury the coach is doing more with less than anyone in The Big 12 — The Red Raider Way — and things are turning around. As always, the Tech future will be made or lost on national commitment day. But the helm of the former pirate school is in great hands.

 

Know what I sayin?