Big 12: CHris Thomsen

Lunch links: Crazy expansion ideas

January, 2, 2013
Onward to the Fiesta.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas keys

December, 28, 2012
Let's take a look at three keys for tonight's Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

1. Grab a turnover or two. Texas Tech's defense has to be very, very frustrated by now. The last time the Red Raiders forced a turnover was all the way back on Oct. 20. Since then, the Red Raiders are 1-4 with the only win coming at home in overtime against 1-11 Kansas. That stretch has sent Tech to minus-12 in turnover margin, which is seven takeaways below any team in the Big 12 and tied for 110th nationally. If Texas Tech can't crack the streak and force a turnover, this one will turn into a game quickly.

2. Force the tempo. It might be a little odd for Texas Tech without offensive coordinator Neal Brown in charge of things. Offensive line coach Chris Thomsen has taken over as interim coach and receivers coach Sonny Cumbie is stepping up to call the plays. There aren't a lot of teams in the Big Ten who run with the tempo that Texas Tech wants, but Cumbie's got to be quick on the trigger and keep the Tech offense rolling. Schematically, Minnesota can slow down the Red Raiders, but going with a lightning pace in Brown's absence will give the Golden Gophers problems.

3. Don't forget about Kenny Williams and Eric Stephens. Texas Tech didn't win the game, but its 208 rushing yards against Baylor was nearly enough to knock off the Bears and helped Tech put 45 points on the board. Minnesota ranks 77th nationally in rush defense, and though Tech loves to throw it around the yard, some balance would no doubt help the Red Raiders. Against Kansas and Oklahoma State, Tech averaged fewer than three yards a carry, but the team posted nearly seven yards a touch against Baylor. Williams, Stephens and SaDale Foster all average nearly five yards a touch and combined for more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns. Cumbie's not a very experienced playcaller, but he's got to keep those guys active, too.

Lunch links: Baylor's bowl win fallout

December, 28, 2012
Stop eating people's old French fries, pigeon. Have some self respect. Don't you know you can fly?

Weekend roundup: Big 12 bowl discipline

December, 26, 2012
It happens every year. With a month between bowl games and a week of activity in a new city, suspensions drop and impact players miss bowls.

This year won't be the exception.

Oklahoma defensive tackle Stacy McGee is likely to miss the Cotton Bowl after being arrested on Monday for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

From SoonerNation:
McGee was suspended for Oklahoma's first six games after violating university rules during the preseason. But he had returned to the Sooners mid-season and become a regular part of the defensive tackle rotation along with Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker. If McGee does not play in the Cotton Bowl, the Sooners could turn to freshman Jordan Phillips, who has played sparingly as OU's fourth defensive tackle this season.

There's been no official word from the Sooners, but McGee, a senior, will likely never suit up again in a Sooner uniform.

Over at Texas Tech, however, interim coach Chris Thomsen is taking his new responsibility seriously. Between Tommy Tuberville's exit and Kliff Kingsbury's arrival, this is his team, and three of his players have no confusion about that.

From our news story:
A Texas Tech official says three Red Raiders won't be playing against Minnesota in Friday's Meineke Car Care Bowl because they violated team rules.

Football program spokesman Blayne Beal on Monday would not divulge the rules violated. He says Red Raiders starting defensive back Cornelius Douglas, Chris Payne, a linebacker who played mostly on Texas Tech's special teams, and backup defensive tackle Leon Mackey won't play in the bowl game.

Douglas is by far the biggest piece missing there, though Mackey could have made some impact, too. Douglas, a senior had a pair of interceptions and four tackles for loss this year, and returned against Baylor from a knee injury that cost him almost six games.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Thomsen said two players missed practices in December in Lubbock without notifying coaches but wouldn't discuss the third player because of privacy laws.

Lunch links: Monken departure fallout

December, 11, 2012
Don't forget to join our Bowl Mania pick 'em group.
Texas Tech offensive line coach Chris Thomsen will take over interim head coach responsibilities for the Red Raiders leading up to their game with Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

Thomsen will fill in for Tommy Tuberville, who accepted the head coaching job at Cincinnati on Saturday.

Thomsen was the head coach at Abilene Christian, a Division II program, for seven seasons and carried the Wildcats to undefeated seasons in two of his last three years before leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Arizona State. Just over a month later, however, he came back to West Texas to be the Red Raiders' offensive line coach for the 2012 season, replacing Jim Turner.

Seems like a good move for the Red Raiders, who likely won't be without a full-time replacement for Tuberville for much longer.

Lunch links: Bedlam better than Red River?

March, 21, 2012
If I lose my helmet, am I also forced to miss a day of blogging? I'd never do that to you people.