I Will Kick Your . . . (Not Really, I’ll Probably Lose). Land Grant Gauntlet is running a pick’em with all Big 12 teams. If you join, you’re pretty much guaranteed to beat me.
Likely to Bowl. The AP’s Ralph Russo writes that Texas Tech is one of six teams coming off of a bad season likely to go bowling this year:
Kliff Kingsbury has gone from hot young coach (not talking looks) to the handsome guy with the bad the team in two seasons. Just like players, coaches can improve with experience. The 36-year-old Kingsbury calls a mean game and works well with quarterbacks, but his teams have committed a ton of penalties and played little defense. He brought in respected defensive coordinator David Gibbs to fix the latter. If a brutal early stretch that includes at Arkansas, TCU and Baylor doesn’t break the Red Raiders, there is reason to believe a bounce back is coming.
Analytics and Returners. Land Grant Gauntlet has two interesting posts, one that takes a look at a new set of analytics, which measures a teams’ performance highly correlated with winning, and the second is a heat map of the teams with returning production in the Big 12.
Fining Players. Yesterday, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville (that still feels good to type) said that he’s fining players and the AD said, absolutely. Apparently, coaches are permitted to fine players, or take away part of their scholarship, but according to ESPN’s Lester Munson there’s more to it than just fining the players:
In order to avoid legal repercussions, the use of these funds for discipline must be written into the grant-in-aid agreements that are the basis for any athletic scholarship. The option must be a part of the scholarship transaction from the moment the athlete agrees to attend the university.
The other thing is that there must be an appeal process for the players in a fine.
The thing that I don’t understand is why would these coaches take away this extra stipend, that’s there to make up for the cost of living expenses and where’s the fine money going to go? The answer to question #1 will probably result in players running away from that program.
Miscellaneous. ESPN’s Paul Lukas has his yearly look at the new uniforms in college football. Texas Tech is not mentioned because I don’t think that Kingsbury wants to make a big deal out of uniforms, but I’d bet that there are definitely some new uniforms on the way . . . DBS Sports has their Big 12 expert picks and also predicting the best players and coach . . . DMN’s Michael DuPont has his best case and worst case scenarios . . . LAJ’s Don Williams re-tells the story about how Pete Cawthon resigned, at the age of 49, after a winning percentage of .693, was that he refused to play teams in Texas (pretty much) and traveled across the U.S. . . .