In 2008, Texas Tech’s Greatest Season Ever was highlighted by Michael Crabtree’s improbable last second tightrope touchdown to upset Texas. At least that’s how I remember it. I can’t seem to find the replay.
Tech concluded their Greatest Season Ever by losing a 2nd tier bowl to an Ole Miss team led by Colt McCoy’s understudy and headset Hee-Haw Houston Nutt. They rewarded Mike Leach by nearly driving him away with a contract squabble, the organizational self-awareness equivalent of Billy Joel getting rid of Christie Brinkley. Once both sides realized their mutual inability to upgrade - the key to all successful partnerships - they quickly reconciled. However, Texas Tech lost a lot from last year’s team. And I don't mean just their dignity in Norman.
On offense, QB Graham Harrell left for greener pastures and a glorious professional future...
Harrell was believed to be somehow different from all of the other Tech QBs with identical stat lines over the last decade. Many Tech fans, seduced by this thinking, protested when he was dismissed as a system QB and was snubbed by Heisman voters. Harrell vindicated the Tech faithful by going to the scouting combine and grading out comparably to the great Joe Namath. Present day 66 year old Joe Namath. The only thing missing was a gin-sodden pass at Mike Mayock.
The QB is always replaceable on the Plains. It's Mike Leach. He's smarter than you. Tech churns out QB play as efficiently as their law school pumped out JDs to the dudes from my frat with double digit LSAT scores. Let's take a look at Leach's new first mate, The Dread Pirate Dirty Beard:
Tech is breaking in a Wookie QB
Osama bin Lubbock will throw for 4,000+ yards and 38+ TDs and he will be just fine once he puts a few starts under his belt. Not that Tween Wolf has room under his belt – he probably has to braid his pubes and roll them up in his banana hammock like a Rastafarian so he doesn’t stumble over them when he runs, all the while lamenting that the diminutive Eric Morris is no longer around to groom his fundament like a submissive marmoset.
Potts hoops it up as a young Brandon Carter looks on
Aside from looking like he lost an epic Dirty Man bet back in 2007 (Hear me! I shall neither shave nor shower until Dennis Kucinich resides on Pennsylvania Avenue), this redneck lycanthrope is said to have a BJ Symons type arm. Red Raider fan should pray that it’s not paired with Billy Joe Tolliver's brain.
Taylor Taliban will have a number of offensive weapons: solid system receivers, a stable of quality backs, and the fetid odor from the bits of food fermenting in his jowl merkin – a deterrent to pass rushers, women, and Kenny Chesney alike. Let’s move on from this filthy wizard who appears to have gone down on Grizzly Adams with crazy glue on his face and examine the rest of their rogue’s gallery…
Michael Crabtree will be missed. Mike put in his work every Saturday to the tune of 9 catches, 135 yards, and 2 tds. He put in work on Sundays too - supervising a pack of bare titted ladies cutting up ya-yo on his kitchen counter assembly line like the housing project scene in New Jack City. Tech fans who welcome his departure for the diversity it will lend their offense are whistling past Davy Jones Locker and operating from the same fallacy in which Texas fans rationalized that Ricky Williams leaving was a good opportunity to get more touches for Montrell Flowers in the passing game.
The Tech receiving corps will have some solid players left. Detron Lewis will lead the team in catches – mark him down for 85+, Trumain Swindall will catch another 60, speedy Edward Britton will lead them in potential big plays that end in drops, Lyle Leong will lead the team in mispronunciations by Dave Lapham.
Throw him a bomb if you're trying to play ketchup
It's important you know that Texas Tech has a receiver named Corndog Douglas and I pray for the day that he drops a ball that Potts throws too hard so that I can remark, "A little too much mustard there for Corndog!" and then guffaw obnoxiously until I'm silenced by the palpable scorn. I'll do it with relish.
Tech’s OL lost a lot, but they'll have giant bodies that can phalanx up and grab their way to three seconds of pass protection. RT Marlon Winn is a good player and I won't be surprised if he plays on Sundays. LT Chris Olson is a probable first year starter. On September 19th he'll line up in front of 100,000 hostile Texas fans across from Sergio Kindle after cutting his teeth against the likes of North Dakota and Rice. Tech will have a new starter the following week.
LG Brandon Carter continues his Columbine-Moody-Goth-With-The-Pituitary-Of-A-Mastodon act. It’s boring. If he unleashed the Mexican midget wrestler El Caliente (who lives symbiotically between his belly fat folds) on enemy pass rushers, I would be more entertained by his WWE shtick. Otherwise I anticipate him one day replacing Criss Angel’s terrible brooding magician act at a Connecticut Indian Casino.
Ladiiiies Annnnndddd Gentlemannnnn, Pawnatuckee Tribal Casino is proud to preeeesent Brannnnndon Carrrrrter in...DoucheBrainWarpBlitz!!
The tendency in these previews is to write "same ‘ol Tech" and be done with it, but this group does have a chance to be one of Leach’s better running teams. Talent is deep at RB – four star recruit Harrison Jeffers, the talented (and injured) Baron Batch, steady Aaron Crawford. Most importantly, they have some folks in the OL with the potential to drive block rather than just lean and screen. I never underestimate the genius of a man that can make Cody Hodges a serviceable Division I QB, but if I have one major problem with Leach it’s his refusal to be stubborn in the running game when it’s working to the tune of 6-8 yards per pop against a dime defense. He’ll abandon it like a Spartan father presented with an eleven toed newborn.
Defensively, the Red Raiders have some real challenges to surmount. For example, their players and coaching. They must challenge opposing offenses the way that defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill challenges wicker furniture, but they don’t have the players.
DE Brandon Williams went pro early and he's now a Dallas Cowboy.
At the other DE position, the Stephen Hawkingesque McKinner Dixon was being tutored by Dexter Manley and flunked out. He was promptly drafted by the Budapest Breakers of the Hungarian Gridiron Enthusiast League. Mike Leach called his loss "addition by subtraction" – wisdom which, if passed on to Dixon, may account for his failure to pass his college algebra class.
Coach say to add, McKinner must first…sub-track? Only then is Buddha-nature revealed. Man, what da fuck?
McKinner's senior thesis proved daunting
I don’t know how you flunk out of Texas Tech short of jettisoning one’s excrement on a TA mid-lecture like an enraged squid presented with a calamari taunt, but apparently it happens. He’ll be replaced by Rajon Henley, a converted DT. Former JUCO Daniel Howard mans the other DE. DT Colby Whitlock also returns. He’s a battler and a guy that will get some push for you.
DT Chris Perry, who transferred to Tech from Miami - wins this year’s prestigious N****, Is You Crazy? award. South Beach for the South Plains. Latina model bunda in exchange for women who light their Marlboros with an arc welder. Seriously? Were you lured by the Gun’s Up slogan? Tech’s DL looks to be OK, but I don’t see a pass rusher. Thankfully, everyone in this league runs the Veer. They should be just fine.
Tech’s LBs consist of quality MLB Brian Duncan, a guy from the Sig Ep flag football team named Bront Bird, and a Gold's Gym personal trainer named Marlon Williams. If you think this is starting to sound like a somewhat familiar Tech defense – spotty guys placed next to a few quality players – then you’re getting the drift.
Tech’s secondary will miss Darcel McBath (2nd round NFL draft pick) and Daniel Charbonnet (All-Big 12) at safety. They combined for double digit interceptions last year and made a lot of big plays for that defense. Their replacements remind me of West Texas topiary: specifically, scrub. Jamar Wall is a good CB and a very good athlete, but the other CB job is delirium tremens shaky and they lack quality depth across the board. I wouldn’t give a nickel for their dime.
Despite all of these losses, Texas Tech alumni look boldly to their future. They can see it, just there, on the West Texas horizon, etched against an endless azure sky:
A 8-5 record, the Independence Bowl, and happy hour at Applebees.
You might also enjoy Scipio's 2007 - Texas Tech State of the Union which begins like this:
The grit in my eye, the wind in my face, and the chlamydia on my genitals can mean only one thing: Texas Tech, baby. Pardon me while I put in some Visine, put on a baseball cap, and get a bolus dose of penicillin so we can get this magic carpet ride started...