What was your key takeaway from Texas Tech’s $200 million football facility investment?
Steven Chapman, Photographer: It’s huge for the program. These improvements will be among the best in the country and it will be very unique. This investment gives something to both fans and players and will open eyes across the country to Tech’s commitment to the football program.
Jarrett JohnsonPublisher: The first thing I thought of was what a tremendous impact it would have on recruitment, especially with this staff led by Joey McGuire and then Jacob Blanchard backstage.
Kenny Romero (okieredraider01), Contributor: My main takeaway is that Texas Tech wants to get into the big leagues of football to match what they’re already doing in baseball and basketball. Joey McGuire was the first step in this process of becoming a force to be reckoned with and facilities are the next big step in making that a reality.
Joe Yeager, lead author: I can think of far better ways to spend your millions, but if Texas Tech Football is the most important thing in your life, then I think it’s the way to go.
Joey McGuire represented Texas Tech at the Big 12 Media Days last week. What was special about what he said?
Chapman: Not so much about anything he said, but more about his performance and the fans’ enthusiasm for football. He hasn’t coached a fallout but he gives you the feeling that we have a great program and the future is very bright.
Johnson: Just the confidence he showed and the players how much fun they seemed to be having. I actually started drinking some of the Kool-Aid because of it. Your confidence is contagious.
Romero: Nothing in particular he said was surprising or outstanding, but just the way he represents the university and how committed and popular he is in Texas is a breath of fresh air.
Hunter: The fact that all three QBs appear to be playing as a planned part of the offense. There will be special packages for Smith, Morton and Shough. If Tech plays three quarterbacks in every game, it could be a historic first in college football.
Texas Tech did not have a representative on the media’s preseason All-Big-12 team. Which Red Raider do you think has the best chance of making the team after the season?
Chapman: Tyree Wilson and Myles price. We know Wilson’s ability and if he can’t become more consistent he’ll scare the Big 12 QBs. All Myles price is to keep improving and it’s going to be hard not to keep putting the ball in his hands. Do that and his numbers will be big.
Johnson: Wilson is probably the best choice here, but I could see Myles price, Tahj Brooks, Dadrion Taylor Demerson and Reggie Pearson all also make an All-Big 12 list.
Romero: Tyree Wilson will be there by the end of the year.
Hunter: Tyree Wilson is a castle. He could be the best defensive player in the Big XII.
What’s your best-case scenario for Texas Tech in re-hosting the conference?
Chapman: Realistically, Tech isn’t going to the SEC or the B1G. So the best thing is to make the Big 12 as strong as possible. The way to do this is to add the 4 corner schools from the PAC 12 and maybe wait and see what happens to the ACC. I’m not very keen on adding Oregon or Washington as they just don’t seem to fit well with the Big 12.
Johnson: The most realistic scenario, I think, is for the Big 12 to poach a combination of PAC 12 schools like Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah and Oregon and Washington, then maybe some ACC schools like Georgia Tech, NC State, Pitt and Virginia Technology. Then there is hope that there will be a bidding war between the networks and streaming services for the third power conference. That makes the Big 12, and therefore Texas Tech, viable… and pretty exciting in my opinion. The final consideration is whether the Big 12 would compete for the same national title as the Big Ten and the SEC. If that’s the case then watch out, this is going to be a lot of fun and the Red Raiders will be in a vastly improved position compared to the Big 12 over the past decade.
Romero: Best would be to be drawn into one of the 2 “Big Dog” conferences, but the most likely scenario I can see is the Big 12 adding 4-6 teams and the Red Raiders in the top quartile of that new Big 12 are.
Hunter: The S. But at the moment it looks like a long shot, at least in the short term. But turbulence is the norm in collegiate sports, and maybe five years from now the instability will work in Texas Tech’s favor.
If you had to pick one Texas Tech football game this season, what would it be and why?
Chapman: First I thought of the Texas game. However, I think this is a year where tech will improve as the season progresses. I think they’re going to play hard for McGuire all season, but as the season progresses you’ll see some players move up and make big improvements and you’ll continue to see the chemistry build. I think the Oklahoma game will be the game to watch at the end of the season.
Johnson: NC State would be great fun. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do that or not. The home game I would choose would be against Baylor. These games have been tight since returning to home stadiums and there are many storylines involving McGuire and several coaches drawn from that program.
Romero: Probably the Longhorns at The Jones. This game is always a great atmosphere and the fact that with the upcoming realignment the times they visit Lubbock could potentially come to an end makes it even more interesting this year.
Hunter: North Carolina State because I’ve never been near North Carolina. I’d love to see what all the fuss about North Carolina BBQ is about.