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Big 12 Media Days: Texas Tech

A day and agenda item that would have drawn some entertaining moments a year ago dulled a bit today.  No more Mike Leach, no more pirates, no more mention of some guy named Nick.  Tommy Tuberville takes over in Lubbock and the Red Raiders are no longer an honorary member of the Ringling Brothers circus.  It's a shame, a real shame.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Tuberville and Coach Gill is that Tuberville is replacing a coach who DEFINED the program.  Mark Mangino did that to an extent, seeing as he was the most successful in school history, but there wasn't a single part of the Red Raider program that didn't have Leach written all over it t years.

Yeah, you have to get your philosophy over, as I said. If you don't sell that to your team and your fans, then you're going to have problems. You've got to let them know up front how you're going to handle things.  Everybody's philosophy is a little bit different.

...I'm excited about having an offense with the players that we have. We're going to be exciting. We'll change it to some degree. We'll put our stamp on it.

For some reason, everything was focused on offense. I'm a team player. I wanted the players to know pretty quick this is going to be about team.

On the plus side the Red Raiders are among the teams in the Big 12 that are returning some experience at quarterback.  That doesn't however mean that they don't have controversy.  Both competing quarterbacks have played plenty, both have started and both have served the backup role within the last twelve months.  Will Tuberville look toward a more consistent approach?

Your quarterback is your team leader, not your head coach. Your quarterback has to have the respect of every player on the team from the kickers, defensive linemen. Everybody has to have confidence that the quarterbacks are going to get the job done.

This quarterback, whoever it is, can lead us down with two minutes to go in field goal range to kick the ball and win it by one. They have to be leaders on and off the field, and they have to handle themselves very well.  So this is just part of their growing process coming here today, and at the end of the day we'll have a vote, and we'll let you pick out the starter.  That will make it a little easier on me.

What we'll do is we'll go into two-a-days, and I want to get at least two scrimmages with both. It's going to be tough to make a decision, but one will stand out.

Hints to the changes offensively?

I'd probably say 60-40 pass to runs, maybe 65-35, depending how the defenses play. If we get into a game and find a team that can't cover anybody, we're going to throw it 100. We're going to throw it as many as we can.

My guess is in a perfect world Tuberville would be closer to the 60-40, but the personnel might dictate the approach in year one.

Top five Mike Leach ghosts that Tuberville will have to shake

  1. The quote machine.  Sorry Tommy, this wasn't nearly as entertaining as Coach Leach.
  2. The Coach v the QB.  Tuberville seems to want the quarterback to lead, Leach could find a quarterback in a West Texas bar at last call if he had to.
  3. Defense.  Tech wasn't bad, but this wasn't the focus for Leach, how will the Tech fanbase react if the philosophy shifts too far from what has made them most successful?
  4. A fan mutiny.  Is this already an uphill climb?  Leach was popular, very popular and rightfully so.
  5. Personality.  Will a guy like Brandon Carter all painted up on a Halloween night in Lubbock fit with Tuberville?  Leach brought a unique vibe to the program, Tuberville brings a name, which is better?