Texas Tech Football: John Baucum Q & A

John BaucumCorrespondent IJune 21, 2008

1) Mike Leach was so disappointed in the Red Raider's showing in the spring game that he made them play it twice.  What is your take on this?  Is there an attitude problem amongst the Red Raiders or was it simply a poor showing in the first spring game?

There’s no real problem amongst the team. Actually, this group looks like a tight-knit bunch. The second scrimmage was closed to the public. However, according to Leach it was much more violent and active. The defense still dominated but it met Leach’s expectations.

2) Some people believe that Texas Tech is this year's Kansas.  How realistic is this comparison?

Another Kansas? I say no simply because this Texas Tech team will not sneak up on anyone the way Kansas did. They are set up for a good season because they have lots of returning starters and more depth than any time in Leach’s tenure. Road games at Nevada, A&M, Kansas and Oklahoma will force the 2008 Red Raiders to earn their stripes.

3) There has been much talk surrounding talents wide receiver Michael Crabtree.  Could it be that Crabtree ends up as the second sophomore in a row to win the Heisman?  What would it take for Crabtree to accomplish this goal?

Crabtree has several factors working against him as far as the coveted Heisman goes. Chief amongst them is the fact that no receiver has won the award without returning kicks. It is not in Tech’s plans currently to allow Crabtree to be a returner. However, there is no denying that he is a very special player. He’s as good as Tech has ever had at receiver and the best the nation has to offer (with apologies to Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin.) The spread offense will hurt him because in some voter’s eyes he gets more catches than Maclin or Harvin, strictly from a receiving standpoint.


4) There has been a position battle at running back this spring, and most people agree that Shannon Woods has emerged out of the four contenders.  Do you think it will be more of a running back by commitee or will Woods take the hunk of the carries?  How many yards do you think Woods will be able to produce?

Actually, the odds on favorite to start is Aaron Crawford. The sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee surpassed Woods, who had a stint or two in Leach’s dog house and was sent home from the Gator Bowl by bus before the game took place. Woods is in the running but the competition got a little less severe with Leach’s announcement that the diminutive Kobey Lewis was suspended for the 2008 season. 4-star signee Harrison Jeffers could figure heavily into the discussion but he is awaiting ACT scores to insure qualification. One should expect both Crawford and Woods to play with Crawford getting the bulk of the starts.

5) Some experts have Texas Tech in their pre-season Top 25 ranking.  This shows the tremendous expectations for this year (vying for a Big 12 South championship).   Do you think the Red Raiders have any chance of capturing the Big 12 South title and which games will be big in determining this?

As I mentioned above, road games are the key to the season. In the rugged Big 12 South, it’s no cakewalk for the eventual winner. If Texas Tech can get to the OU game on November 22nd with only one conference loss, the Red Raiders will contend for the title. However, in addition to the road games, Texas Tech has a huge game with UT in the friendly confines of Jones AT&T Stadium. If the Red Raiders get past a Texas team that they haven’t beaten since 2002, they will be in a decent position to claim their first Big 12 title. The 2008 team looks like a great candidate to make waves. It’s time for the Red Raiders to take that next step and let their play on the field speak for itself.