My fellow Red Red Raiders,
Up to now, even I'll admit that this piece is a little rah-rah and pomp and circumstance. However let's now look at the thumbnail landscape of the Big XII. We'll have plenty of time for the in-depth stuff over camp and the first part of the season. If you look at it, the Big XIIIt's there for the taking. Who wants it? What are you going to do about it? Every team has a flaw, but at the same time, there are no gimmes on the Big XII schedule. Anything can happen. And anyone that thinks they know how this conference is going to shake out is lying through their teeth.
Oklahoma is picked to win the conference, but I don't trust the Sooners. Thin and unproved up front on defense, and Landry Jones struggled after Broyles went down last season. (Unless you ask Bob Stoops.) With the news of C Ben Habern ending his career and their receiving corps still with question marks, it makes you wonder how they are going to put it all together.
West Virginia is the new kid on the block and everyone loves Dana Holgerson and Geno Smith. What about the 3 draft picks they lost on defense and their change in defensive coordinator? Not to mention the Big XII Schedule.
Texas is undecided at QB. Might be a little thin on the front 7, but when you look at the draft, there wasn't as much talent as you might think. Three draft picks. None before the fourth round.
Oklahoma State is starting a true freshman QB. And just lost their starting left tackle. They've led the country in turnover margin the last 2 seasons. No way they do that again this year.
Everything went right for Kansas State last year, can it all go right again?
Baylor is replacing a once in a lifetime player. We all know that. They're also replacing 4 other draft picks. We'll see how the Bears handle expectation in 2012.
TCU has also suffered a hit to the depth chart. In addition to the winningest senior class in TCU history, they have lost 7 players from their 2 deep since they last took the field. That's the equivalent of half a graduating class. Remember what Tuberville said about depth, apply that here as well. Terrence Bullitt also said it best when he said, "We'll see how they do when they have to play someone every week."
Iowa State is a force to be reckoned with, but you wonder if they'll be consistent enough. They changed offensive coordinators this offseason, but say it's a good change. They are also unsettled at QB.
Kansas is still Kansas. We'll see if Charlie Weis and Dave Campo can coach them up or if it will be the same old song and dance. That said, we used to say the same thing about Iowa State and I don't think anyone around Lubbock is marking Sept. 29th in Ames as an automatic win for the Red Raiders.
That brings us back to the Red Raiders. Maybe it's good that they are picked 9th in the conference. Maybe it's time to relish the role of the underdog once again. And maybe it's time to go do what you do best and go prove some people wrong. While I don't know exactly how this thing is going to play out, but I know I don't want to miss a down.
Finally, I challenge you, the Texas Tech fanbase. It's time. You've had 8 months. Time to get up. Time to dust yourselves off. Time to regain your pride. For some, as Neal Brown pointed out this past summer, it's been 2 years and 8 months. You're either on the side of the Red & Black or you aren't. Time to set differences aside, put the emotional toll of last year in barrel and set it on fire. This team needs you, but they need you now and not just when and if things are going well. They need you now. They need you to show up. They need you to let them know that you're behind them, and most of all you need toyou're your Big XII conference bretheren know that when your team gets knocked down, no matter how bad it gets, no matter what you have to endure, you're in no matter what.