Likely to Go Bowling. FootballScoop’s Zach Barnett has the top five programs that are likely to go bowling after not going last year and includes Texas Tech:
Position Battle. ESPN’s Jake Trotter writes that the quarterback position battle is the make-or-break for Texas Tech and eventually will choose Patrick Mahomes over Davis Webb:
Prediction: Though Mahomes finished the 2014 season with a flurry, coach Kliff Kingsbury has refrained from proclaiming him the starter, even with Webb undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The Red Raiders aren’t ready to give up on Webb, nor should they, as he showed great promise as a true freshman two seasons ago. Still, given how Mahomes jumpstarted the Tech offense late last season, it’s difficult to see the Red Raiders not sticking with him to open the season.
Chiaverini on Receivers. RedRaiderSports’ Will McKay talked with wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini about the progress of the outside receivers and it appears that the freshmen are very much pushing the veteran receivers, but that Dylan Cantrell and Devin Lauderdale are starting to separate a bit from the pack:
“I think their attitude has been good, effort has been good. I think their mental toughness has been up and down, good at times, but still working through it. What I keep telling them is that they’ve had a lot of good days, but we haven’t played a game yet. We haven’t arrived yet. At the end of the day, we’re still what we put on tape last year. So, we’re working to change those kinds of things. We’re getting good execution in practice. Guys are stepping up, Lauderdale is really pushing, and Dylan (Cantrell) is making a lot of plays. People aren’t talking about Reg Davis much, but he’s having a really good camp. Then the young guys are really playing well. Tony (Brown) is making plays. Donta Thompson is playing well. KeKe (Coutee), he’ll put one on the ground, but he comes right back and makes a play,” he said. “I think their mental toughness has been good, but there are still things we have to improve on.”
Deadspin is on Baylor’s Ukwuachu. Deadspin’s Diana Moskovitz is starting to dig into the deatils regarding Sam Ukwuachu’s sexual assault trial, which was previously under seal and no one has known anything about, other than Ukwuachu’s dismissal at Boise State, which also involved a sexual assault. It’s a fascinating read and I can’t draw enough implications here to really do it justice. This article is linked in the comments, but as noted in the comments, Baylor isn’t above trying to pull a few strings. And a quote from the author in that comment:
Instead, Baylor spent nearly two years asking all it’s boosters for money for the football program while telling them what fine young men they were building—and all but flat-out lied to reporters who asked about the missing player, unless you consider two counts of sexual assault the same as having “some issues” (I don’t). Perhaps they were preserving the process. I’m more inclined to feel like they were protecting their paychecks.
Northwestern Loses Union Ruling. Via CollegeFootballTalk, the group of Northwestern football players will not be permitted to form a union as deemed by the National Labor Relations Board. If you like to read interesting things, then this from The Nation’s Dave Zirin is quite fascinating:
But the decision by the NLRB was not just absurd. It was also cowardly. In handing down its verdict, it refused to rule on whether the football players at Northwestern could be called “workers.” This in and of itself has huge repercussions, because even if the players could not in fact be in a union, there are legal rights and constitutional protections that go along with being classified as a “worker” as opposed to a “student-athlete,” which is a legal term conjured by the NCAA decades ago to avoid paying workers compensation to the widow of a football player who died on the field.
Miscellaneous. ESPN has their weekly report card for recruiting . . . LAJ’s Don Williams is picking his all-time Texas Tech team and today is the punter with Maury Buford first, then Mark Bounds, and then Alex Reyes . . .