Travis: It seems like we spend a significant portion of our convos trying to find a silver lining or something optimistic or moral victories. And while I was disappointed with the outcome last Saturday it wasn’t like it was a complete surprise. For whatever reason, Iowa State has dominated us for the past several years and it just seems like Campbell and his staff are a step or two ahead of whatever we want to do. I guess if I’m digging really deep to find something positive I’d say that it looked as if the team didn’t give up and kept fighting after the slow start. Not sure if that’s much to hang your hat on, but I suppose it could’ve been a lot worse than a 10 point loss in the end.
There was also a bit of “one step forward and two steps back,” on the defensive side of the ball as after a couple weeks’ worth of containing good offenses it was painful to watch Patterson’s group get gashed again and again. So just past the halfway point of the season I have two questions for you. Knowing what we know and considering all factors, what grade would you give Wells and staff so far? And do you see a path to getting three more wins this season to become bowl-eligble?
Seth: This was always going to be the toughest stretch of the schedule. Normally, this part is back-loaded, so Kingsbury would have started out fast, and then faded late. Now, we’re primed for an awesome comeback! In our staff Slack conversation, Kyle mentioned that the average SP+ rank of the first four conference opponents was 15 and the average rank of the remaining is 52 so honestly, Texas Tech was likely never going to win any of those games and the fact that they blew out one opponent that from a program perspective is significantly ahead of Texas Tech (i.e. Oklahoma State) should still be a good sign.
And I agree about the defense, they were pretty terrible and I don’t have significant issues with the offense. The defense legitimately gave up 10 yards a play on Saturday.
So far, I think I’d give the staff a solid C+. They’re definitely not failing in my opinion. I know this is difficult for people to maybe appreciate, but change is difficult, so when there’s this new way of doing things, it may not look really smooth game-in-and-game-out. And I’d also state that the staff might deserve a B because part of the process is recruiting and Kingsbury was not interested in recruiting really at all (this is my opinion and I will not be deterred from thinking this as the recruiting rankings are relatively telling), and that’s been a significant point of importance for the new staff. There’s a lot left on the table before signing day, but right now, the class is 6th in the Big 12 according to Rivals and 40th overall. No one really ever wants to talk about it, but recruiting matters. Chris Beard and Tim Tadlock will absolutely confirm that, so better players will hopefully lead to better results.
As far as bowl eligibility, I really don’t know. I tend to think that if it happens, that’s great, but I think it will come down to the last one or two games of the season. It’s going to be really close. I’d love the extra practices.
My wife has decided that she wants to change the rooms for the boys. They were in a larger room and I was in a smaller room where my wife had her crafts (i.e. sewing projects that she has not finished and if she were to read this she might murder me) and I worked on blogging things. She decided to switch things and on Sunday, we spent the day moving things to from one room to the garage, then to the new room and then to the other room. It was a blast. As a quick aside, we have those furniture sliders that you put under the legs of furniture and move them around and they’re absolutely awesome. Is your wife a mover?
Travis: Ok, we’re getting into some dangerous territory here so we have to all promise that we’ll keep our mouths shut about this.
My wife isn’t necessarily a mover, but I worry sometimes that she might have some hoarding tendencies. We’ve stayed at five different places since we’ve been married (700 sq ft apartment in Amarillo when we first got married, our first home in Amarillo, a house in San Angelo and two houses in San Antonio). Each house has naturally gotten progressively larger but each house has been stuffed to the gills with just stuff. We have stuff everywhere. Picture frames, old wood, things we’re gonna sell, things we’re gonna fix, things we’re gonna fix and sell. It’s amazing how can cover up all the walls, all the floor space and all the garages and all the attics. We have stuff everywhere. And if I ever bring it up she says it’s me that has all the stuff. I think there might be three things in that house that I’m solely responsible for picking out. Then we’ll go look in my closet and see how full it is but I rarely mention that almost all the stuff in my closet is her stuff that she wants to find a space for. I have three candelabras in my closet.
One time a few years ago I was looking for a pen to write something down. Probably some plans for an invention or something, but I couldn’t find a pen anywhere. I looked in the office where pens usually are. No pens. I looked in the junk drawer in the kitchen where pens usually are. No pens. I looked in the other junk drawer in the kitchen No pens. I looked in the other junk drawer in the kitchen. No pens. I looked in my bedside table drawer, no pens. It was crazy. Not a pen in the house. I can’t remember how I solved it but I probably just gave up.
A few weeks later I was driving in her car for some reason and I just happened to open the console. OMG, Seth, I swear I started sweating and the blood rushed from my face. She had like 100 pens in her console! It was alarming, to be honest. Kinda freaked me out. I asked her why she had so many pens in her car and she said she needed a pen. Now I keep a few pens hidden around the house just in case.
So you mentioned Kingsbury and I tend to agree with your analysis but I wanted to get your feedback on his time so far as an NFL head coach. I know it’s still early but this might be a case where he’s a great play caller and leader but he just lacked the other skillsets to make him good as a college coach (i.e. recruiting, etc.). I watched Arizona play on Sunday and although it was just the Giants, they looked impressive. He’s got a rookie QB and now an unproven RB, and he’s got a three game winning streak. It seems like he might be in a situation in the NFL where his particular strengths can be maximized. Anyway, I’m happy for him. I hope he wins a Super Bowl someday. How about you?
Seth: Hey, we’re all in a safe space, so it’s all good. My wife is the opposite of someone who holds onto things, she is very prone to getting rid of things, except . . . when it comes to her clothes and her sewing stuff. Which I really don’t care. The thing about our house is that we really don’t have any storage, so there’s no place to put stuff and I’m pretty minimal in what I think that I need. She had a difficult time getting rid of clothes and that’s her vice. Mine is blogging at completely unnecessary hours.
I must admit that I have not watched one single snap of the Arizona Cardinals. I’m happy for Kingsbury. I think the professional game probably suits him better because he can literally just coach. He doesn’t have to meet with donors or recruits or any of that stuff. He just has to design football plays and there’s no doubt that this is all he ever wanted to do. I’m absolutely good with that and I’m excited for his success.
I went on a podcast to discuss Texas Tech and Kansas and admitted up front that I haven’t watched any snaps of Kansas football, so I’m really great about giving out opinions without having watched anything. If Texas Tech loses to Kansas, are we going to be doing this Weekly Conversation from a bunker?
Travis: It makes me shudder to think how things will be if Tech loses to Kansas, but it is a possibility. I haven’t watched them either this season but I do know that they dang near beat Texas last week so that has to mean something. So, just to be on the prepared side, I’ll go ahead and start digging a hole on Saturday morning. I’ll do it in my neighbor’s yard so no worries, my property value won’t be affected and we’ll have a safe bunker for future convos, just in case.