Three Red Raiders were picked as part of the 2021 Preseason All-Big 12 Team, including center Dawson Deaton, receiver Erik Ezukanma, and punter Austin McNamara. You can check out the entire team here, where Oklahoma has 9 players, then Iowa State has 8. That’s 17 of the 30 spots taken by two teams.
Via the Big 12, Oklahoma was picked to win the Big 12 again, the 6th straight year, with 35 first place votes by the Big 12 media members. Iowa State was picked second followed by Texas and Oklahoma State. Texas Tech was picked 9th, which should not be a surprise.
Center Dawson Deaton and linebacker Riko Jeffers are the two players to represent Texas Tech at the Big 12 media days, Texas Tech’s day being July 15th.
Dallas Morning News’ Scott Bell has the bit from Athlon’s about opposing coaches and what they are saying about Texas Tech:
“They play hard, and they’re more talented on defense under Matt Wells, but they’re still lacking a cohesive identity on that side of the ball. I know that they were inconsistent on offense and made the change there, but it’s the defense that’s holding them back. So you could say in broad strokes that it’s the same situation they had with Kliff Kingsbury. I think you can see the stress it put on their offensive play-calling, that they know they’ve got to keep scoring to stay alive no matter what the situation is. … The safe bet is that they’re going to start the Oregon transfer [Tyler Shough]. He’s the best chance they have to win right away, and they’re probably on the hot seat now. … We’re curious how much of that offense will be Sonny [Cumbie] and how much will be Matt. They’re going to keep the backs involved; it won’t be the old Tech Mike Leach Air Raid. … This is a huge, huge offseason for them. They went into the portal pretty hard to try to fix things and there’s pressure to win now. That usually means as a coach, when you haven’t won somewhere and don’t have that to point to, you can end up getting outside of your system, outside of your culture. It’s really tricky. … I really feel like if they show defensive improvement, meaning if they’re able to start holding some conference teams in the 20s, that’s enough to keep Matt.”
I had sort of been waiting on this with a bit of insight, but this isn’t anything that I think most of us didn’t know already. The only thing I’d argue with is the last sentence, which I think it comes down to wins and losses to keeping Wells, not holding opponents to a low score.