Conference play continues for the Sooners, who are now 3-0 against Big 12 foes. In case you were thinking about getting complacent, we're here to remind you exactly why we hate all the teams in our conference. So read up, take to comment sections across the internet, and don't let anybody tell you to calm down.
This week, Oklahoma rolls into Lubbock to face off against
Ryan Gosling Kliff Kingsbury's squad of merry men. This is why we hate them.
The Baker Mayfield debacle
This one is the most obvious, so let's get it out of the way. For those of you who've never been on the internet or listened to any of the numerous interviews about this situation, here's a quick rundown of the events at Texas Tech involving Mayfield.
- Mayfield earns the starting QB spot as a walk-on in week one.
- Mayfield suffered an injury during the season, ultimately leading to him being replaced as the starting QB for a while.
- Mayfield won the 2013 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year award, but did not start in Texas Tech's bowl game.
- Mayfield left Texas Tech after reportedly not being offered a scholarship.
- Mayfield enrolls at Oklahoma as a walk-on, but has to sit out for a season because Texas Tech would not waive the intra-conference transfer restrictions, despite Mayfield never being on scholarship in Lubbock. This cost Mayfield a year of eligibility, again largely because his former coach would not waive the intra-conference transfer restrictions.
- Mayfield plays the next season at OU and leads the Sooners to the College Football Playoffs.
- In the offseason, the Big 12 initially failed to pass a vote for a new rule that would protect former walk-on players from this type of treatment, but took a re-vote and passed the measure.
On one hand, I certainly understand that Kingsbury isn't happy to see a former player playing for a conference opponent. The part of this that looks bad, though, is that Texas Tech never really invested much into Mayfield's career. He paid his own way while in Lubbock, and the Red Raiders were more than happy to have his talents on hand as they started the season 7-0. You could argue that they invested time in him through coaching, but that's time they were going to invest in whomever was their starting quarterback, anyway. Even after the season, there's no evidence that Texas Tech offered or was about to offer Mayfield a scholarship. The vindictive actions of Texas Tech (and specifically Kingsbury) after Mayfield's departure feel immature at best.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that if a player has played an entire season with your team, and you still don't offer him a scholarship, he should be free to try to get one somewhere else without having to sacrifice a year of his eligibility. The Big 12 ultimately agreed with me (which took way longer than it should have), but the fact remains that Kingsbury had several chances to do the right thing, and whiffed badly on most of them. That knowledge makes it awfully hard not to root against the Red Raiders.
It also doesn't help Kingsbury's likeability with opponents that he reportedly flirts with recruits' mothers and bragged about bringing bottle service girls to practice once in an ice cream truck. Kingsbury is often compared to Ryan Gosling for his looks, but his actions actually fit more closely with a Zac Efron movie (seriously, pretty much any recent Efron movie). Sometimes I think he spends more time stabbing his Mayfield voodo doll and running for president of a fraternity than coaching defenses, but we'll get to that more in a bit.
The uniforms. Dear heaven...the uniforms
I've been critical of other teams’ uniforms before, and this time won't be the last time (see you soon, Baylor and Oklahoma State), but please don't mistake me for the fashion police, out to get everyone who tries out anything slightly unconventional. I'm generally fine with most uniforms, with a major exception that I fundamentally believe schools should stick to their own colors for the most part. With Texas Tech, I've found a loophole with my rule, and I'll close it by saying you should also try to stick to your own logo. Seriously, what is that? Oh, and the rest of the uniform looks just as ridiculous.
For a full rundown of Texas Tech's uniform selection, I suggest you head here. You'll notice they feature several gray uniforms (despite their colors being red, black, and white), as well as some unique options. Even if you happen to like some of the uniforms, it's indisputable that Tech occasionally takes the field with an absurd look. Call me old fashioned, but I really wish schools would stay in their lanes, or at least somewhere near their lanes.
Their defense brings shame to the conference
You may or may not have heard, but the Big 12 has a reputation for playing poor defense. In some cases, I really believe that the offenses are just so good that it's hard to totally shut them down. Even Mike Stoops agrees, saying the offenses are fool-proof, though he doesn't expect you to understand. In fact, Texas Tech typically has one of those kinds of “fool-proof” offenses; they finished second in yards last year (sandwiched between Baylor and TCU, respectively).
Their defense, on the other hand, lends real credence to the notion that the Big 12 just doesn't bother playing defense. Last season, their offense, with the second-most total yards in the country, gained 6.95 yards-per-play. On the other end, Texas Tech allowed 6.91 yards-per-play. To put it another way, the prolific offense only managed to out-gain the yards allowed by its defense by 1.44 inches per play. Also, according to ESPN, only Eastern Michigan and Idaho allowed more yards-per-carry than the 5.9 surrendered by Texas Tech. Their passing defense was slightly better nationally, but they still gave up 7.7 yards-per-throw.
In 2016, with a new defensive coordinator, things don't seem to be getting much better. Through six games, they've given up less than 44 points only twice (Stephen F. Austin and Kansas). In their other four games they've given up 68 points(!) to Arizona State, 45 points to Louisiana Tech, 44 points to Kansas State, and 48 points to West Virginia. Those kinds of performances are a big reason that Oklahoma's wins against conference opponents won't look very impressive on paper. Maybe Texas Tech should have given the scholarship it wouldn't offer to Mayfield to someone who can stop the run. Until then, the Big 12 will continue to be shamed, in no small part, for the shortcomings in Lubbock.
Texas Tech, obviously known for its rich history of classy tradition, has a habit of wasting good tortillas during games. I looked around the internet for a while to figure out how the tradition started, and I got several different answers. Since this column is not about the history of throwing away good food, I admittedly didn’t look too hard. If you’re interested, though, you can get a summary here.
School traditions are fun, and it’s nice to give fans something that excites them about coming to a football game. That being said, this particular tradition is a bit odd. A quick scan of the Texas Tech blogs will tell you that this tradition is awesome, but I disagree. College football is loaded with cool traditions. Oklahoma has the Schooner, Florida State's Chief Osceola and USC's Traveler get the crowds pumped up, Wisconsin coined the "Jump Around," and Tennessee has the Vol Walk, just to name a few. But fans throwing tortillas around the stadium? Maybe it's just because I'm not fourteen anymore, but that seems to lean more toward silly than cool.
I will say, though, that whatever Tech fans choose to do with tortillas is still certainly better than what they reportedly did to Texas A&M buses recently. Way to keep it classy.
Worst of all, Texas Tech forces OU players, coaches, and fans to travel to Lubbock, Texas every other year. That's unforgivable.
Bonus: Here’s Samaje Perine’s ridiculous touchdown against Texas Tech last year. Enjoy.