If one of your non-Tech friends asked you straight-up, no qualifications, who's the best football player on Tech's roster, who would you say and why?
Alyssa: DeAndre Washington.
Cameron: Le'Raven Clark. He was a crucial part of an offensive line that blocked for Tech's first 1,000 yard rusher in 16 season. He did so in one of Tech's worst offensive seasons since Spike Dykes retired in 1999 due to a lack of production from skill players. Oh, and it's an "Air Raid" style offense run by a former quarterback who played under pass-happy coaches such as Mike Leach and Bill Belicheck.
Jarret: Dre. I'm sure he made some mistakes last season, but I can't think of one. He consistently ran hard and almost always made the first guy miss or broke the first tackle. He has also seemed to develop a knack for always falling forward, which we didn't see form him before and is a bit surprising at his size. He's an excellent receiver, takes care of the football and is a good blocker as well... pretty much exactly the guy you want in this system.
Joe: DeAndre Washington. He finally played a full season injury-free in 2014 and promptly rushed for over 1,000 yards. He's also a complete back who catches and blocks reasonably well, and he has the speed to take it to the house at any time. I look for a huge season from him in 2015.
Zach: Le'Raven Clark - he is an NFL guy playing at the college level.
Complete the sentence: Tech baseball has won five of its last six Big 12 games and six of seven overall to move to 25-15 overall, 9-6 in conference, which puts the Red Raiders in position to....
Alyssa: win the series against Oklahoma State this weekend, which should put in good conference standing.
Cameron: make an NCAA Regional, and oh dear God don't jynx this.
Jarret: make a run at a Big 12 title.
Joe: virtually guarantee a top-four finish in the Big 12.
Zach: worry some coaches as the Big XII Tournament approaches.
The decommitment of Katy DB Collin Wilder leaves Texas Tech without a defensive commit. Should Tech fans be worried or not? Explain your answer either way.
Alyssa: Kind of, but it’s only April.
Cameron: Nope. At this point, the defense can't be any worse. Maybe the Red Raiders should try to convince some Mount Union players to transfer. I'm sure they'll take a scholarship in a heartbeat. According to NCAA Football simulations on College Gameday a decade ago, they could compete with the USCs and Texas's. Again, after the last few seasons, anything is worth a shot.
Jarret: I'm a little worried. All last cycle the message, which I preached, was patience. I'm not concerned specifically about losing Wilder, just by the lack of numbers, specifically in the front seven. I know of at least two playmakers in the front seven who are all but committed, but still, if you aren't at least a little concerned by the lack of signings on defense with the 2015 class, coupled with zero commitments in the current cycle, then you are kidding yourself. I'm not saying it's too late, there is plenty of time, it's just something to keep an eye on.
Joe: No reason to worry...yet. Four commitments is very early in the game; there are still many slots left to fill with defensive players. However, if Tech gets to seven commitments with none on defense, then it will be time to worry.
Zach: No. It's early in the process and the staff clearly moved on from Wilder.
Everybody seems to be trying to give latest Tech commit Gio Pancotti a nickname. Back in the day, sportswriters used to hand out nicknames (a lost art) for athletes all the time. Give it a whirl.
Alyssa: I think that's for his teammates to decide.
Cameron: The Pancake. You just try and make a better name for an offensive lineman.
Jarret: Hahaha. Joe wins with "The Icepick". I fell out of my chair laughing when I read it.
Joe: Gio "The Icepick" Pancotti
Zach: "Pancake" Pancotti
We get a lot of best food questions. What was your worst dining experience? Please provide details.
Alyssa: Searching for Mexican food in Lubbock is a task of it’s own, but a friend from Laredo (trustworthy, right?) recommended a place, but my friend found a hair in her food and the queso formed into a solid substance. High hopes crushed, still searching.
Cameron: I'm sure I've had worse, but Hector's Mexican Restaurant on FM 1960 in Humble is my worst nightmare. It's a Mexican food restaurant who literally used zero spices. Oh my God, it was work to eat anything at that place. I couldn't do it. I'm too Texan to eat a bland meal.
Jarret: Aw man. My wife and I had a favorite place in Port Isabel, situated just across the bridge and bay from South Padre Island when we lived there. We returned to the island a handful of years after moving to DFW for our son's first birthday. Bottom line is we got a babysitter, got dressed up and giddily went to what we though was the same, upscale, well-run restaurant as before, but quickly realized upon entering it was a whole new operation. We shrugged and decided to try it. Big mistake. I ordered a steak, I don't even remember what cut. When we were served, what was placed in front of me looked like a congealed heart wrapped in discolored grit and grime. That was the first and only time I have returned a meal and refused to pay for it. The manager came out and challenged me in a way that caught me off guard. I was on vacation out with my lady just laughing it off, but when he swore at me and basically accused me of trying to get a free meal I turned and squared up with him on reaction. My wife recognized this, cut into the steak (with great effort), showed the mess to the manager and said (I'll never forget this), "sir, would you eat this? Go ahead, try it." He looked at both of us, swore under his breath about the cooks, then apologized to us over and over again. We got out of there as quickly as we possible and ended up eating at our favorite pizza joint.
Joe: I guess I've been lucky, because I haven't had many truly terrible dining experiences. One that does stand out is one that didn't actually happen. About a year ago the wife and I went out to dinner at a Mexican joint on 50th street, called Taqueria Autlan. Well, we seat ourselves in a booth, and the restaurant is fairly busy. So we wait, and wait, and wait, and wait... Nobody even bothers to greet us, ask us if we'd like some water, or to drop off the chips and salsa. So, after about 15-20 minutes of studied neglect, we get up and walk out. Needless to say, we haven't returned.
Zach: It was in Fort Worth the day of the TCU game last year. I was sunburned, exhausted, had an afternoon hangover and migraine, and had just witnessed the worst loss in school history during one of my last games as a student. I walked to the McDonald's close to campus - filled with Horned Frog fans, of course - asked for a McDouble with no onions... They gave me a McDouble with only onions. It was too much. I just sat down in shame and ate my cheeseburger.