Blog Entry

The Big 12's best, minus two

Posted on: July 21, 2008 7:05 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2008 11:18 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Scratch two Heisman candidates?

This is nothing personal against Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree. Both are part of a bumper crop of Big 12 award candidates this season. But their trophy chances had to dim when they didn't show up Monday for the beginning of the conference's preseason media days.

It wasn't necessarily their choice.

Coach Mike Leach decided that the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner (Crabtree) and a guy who could become the leading passer of all time (Harrell) weren't worthy to be interviewed by us media types during a pre-arranged media session on football media day. Leach threw out something about football being the ultimate team game when I asked him why on Monday.

I'm not saying Harrell and Crabtree are out of the Heisman race before it begins. I'll leave that to the other Heisman voters whose companies spent money and resources for them to get here. Let's just say stiffing the Big 12 (and national) media doesn't help.

Leach is quirky that way. He doesn't do things conventionally all the time. Sometimes that's charming. Sometimes it's downright unprofessional. A person with knowledge told me that the Big 12 asked to Leach to reconsider bringing his two stars, but that he refused.

To reporters Monday, Leach flippantly said that any of us are welcome to interview his stars "in their natural habitat" in Lubbock. That's great except there is a reason these media days exist, so we don't have to go to each individual school. Especially when Lubbock is so far from anywhere it can see the end of the earth in any given direction.

"A lot of times there are so many guys who play football, there is a temptation to isolate the attention around a couple of guys," Leach said. "Our team is far more than a couple of individuals."

Oh yeah? That would make a shred of sense if it weren't so hypocritical. In Texas Tech's own media guide Crabtree has a page to himself. Harrell has two. Every other player in the guide except one (running back Shannon Woods) gets half a page. So much for not isolating the attention around a couple of individuals.

If this was a high school team before a state championship, I'd kind of understand it. This being a major university (according to some) with major aspirations taking in major public dollars, it is short-sighted. Tech SID Chris Cook told me an interesting story about Crabtree working out in Dallas with the likes of Deion Sanders and Pacman Jones. Sure wish I could have fleshed that one out. It sounded neat.  

Leach wants to send the message of teamwork. Here's another message Leach is sending: Attention, recruits. Don't come to Texas Tech. We won't promote you. You'll have a tough time winning national awards, never mind competing in a Big 12 South Division Tech has never won.

This is not just me on a rant. Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel woke at 4:30 Monday morning to fly from Los Angeles to be here for interviews. Daniel is currently an instructor at the Elite 11 quarterback camp in Southern California. After a couple of hours of answering questions, Daniel was right back on a plane back to California.

He seemed to be slightly upset that the Tech guys weren't here after the effort he had made.

"You've got to bring your best players here," he told me. "It's the best thing to do. Coach Leach is a smart guy. He's been in this business a lot longer than I've been alive. He can do what he wants. (But) you look at it: You have a guy like Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, both are legitimate Heisman candidates. You've got to get them both out in the limelight."

The trend continues here. Oklahoma redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford won't be making an appearance either on Wednesday.The nation's pass efficiency leader last year is old enough to go to war, own a house and vote but apparently not mature enough to handle a few media questions.

It's not like we're going to grill him. After the season he had, we want to say good things. Start with the fact Bradford is an inspiration on the field and to the Native American culture he represents.

Maybe there are extenuating circumstances. I doubt it. I'm tired of it, anyway. These kids aren't the property of the football program. They are students with lives to lead who might want to see a different part of the world than their own. In essence, they are promoting the school, before themselves, at these media days.

In that case, what the hell is wrong with being an individual?



Category: NCAAF

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 11:18 am

The Big 12's best, minus two


<meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" /> <meta content="Word.Document" name="ProgId" /> <meta content="Microsoft Word 11" name="Generator" /> <meta content="Microsoft Word 11" name="Originator" /> <link href="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\HORACE~1.TAB\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\03\clip_filelist.xml" rel="File-List" /><o:smarttagtype downloadurl="http://www.5iamas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="City" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:smarttagtype><o:sm
arttagtype name="place" namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View>
<w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false<
/w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false&l
t;/w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>
xt> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInte
; </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><style type="text/css"> </style><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->

What is the criteria you and others in the media use to vote for the Heisman or any other post season awards? Is what player does on the field or how well they do in an interview?  I think you are making a little too much out of this. If MC or GH have better years statically than they did last year and win the Big 12 title I doubt you will hold it against them that you did not get write a story about them in August.

<o:p> </o:p>

I am not sure where I stand on the issue of not having GH or MC there in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kansas City</st1:place></st1:city
>. On one hand Leach has had a hard time getting his teams to focus and not getting a big head in the past which has lead to a lot of divisions in the team. On the other those players should be available. I think the goal for this team is winning the Big 12 and Leach is going to do what he thinks is best to accomplish that. If it means sacrificing some individual awards that is fine with him and I bet with GH and MC.  

<o:p> </o:p>

Oh and by the way it is not that hard to get to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Lubbock</st1:place></s
t1:city>. American Eagle, Continental, and Southwest Airlines all fly into there and it is only 10 mins from the airport to the football faculty.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 11:10 am

The Big 12's best, minus two

Wow, would you like some cheese with that Whine?  My 3 month old doesn't even cry that much.  Sorry you had to do 5 minutes of work as a result of Texas Tech's HC picking players that weren't your top choice.  And as pointed out above, you devoted an entire article to Texas Tech Football - and as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Oh, and last time I checked Lubbock, TX has telephone service so you can pick up the phone and call Crabtree and Harrell instead of fly out there.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 11:06 am

The Big 12's best, minus two

I always thought the Heisman was won on the field of play...silly me.  If either of these players or anyone else is required to sit down for tea and crumpets with scribes and talking head in order to "qualify" for consideration, then the award is a BS award.  It may have already entered the BS award zone.  It's always been said the Heisman is given to the best college football player in the country.  It should be the best college football player in the country who happens to play QB, WR, RB or returner.  Defensive players and offensive linemen need not apply.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 11:01 am

The Big 12's best, minus two

You come off as a whiner in this piece, Dennis.

By the way, Urban Meyer didn't bring Tim Tebow to SEC Media Days last year, and that didn't stop you from voting him #1.

But, anyways, thanks for throwing more Heisman hype towards Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree. I sure do appreciate you getting Chase Daniel to add to it, as well.


Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 10:57 am

The Big 12's best, minus two

What an absolute hack piece.  First, get over yourself.  No one cares about you.  You are a dumpy little online reporter who thinks everyonen should bow down to you simply because you have a job writing opinionated pieces that would receive an F in any college journalism class.

Who are you to dictate what one should and should not do?  Who are you to deem what is and is not a "major" university?  Your bias against Tech (not Leach, not the players, but TECH itself) was so evident in your hack piece that it was clear to anyone who read it that no matter what Leach did, you would attack him for something.  OU didn't bring Bradford, yet I didn't see you attack Stoops, the city of Norman, or OU.  Talk about hypocritical!

Please end this charade of your's.  You are not a jounalist.  You are a hack.  Get over yourself, because if you fell off the face of the planet tomorrow, no one would even notice. 

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2008 9:32 am

The Big 12's best, minus two

"This is nothing personal against Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree." 

I'm going to have to say that after reading this article this is about as untrue as anything I have ever read.  How could you say it's not personal when you write an entire article blasting Tech, Lubbock, Harrell, Crabtree and Leach all in the same article?   I could provide quotes all day from your article, "Especially when Lubbock is so far from anywhere it can see the end of the earth in any given direction" and "This being a major university (according to some)", who are you kidding?  You obviously took Leach's comments personally otherwise you wouldn't have responded in the way you did.  This is the only article I have ever read of yours and I'm surprised Leach was able to get to you the way he did.  Also you didn't seem to blast on Bob Stoops long for not bringing Bradford.  He did the same thing Leach did minus responding to an answer in a way you didn't like.  Kind of hard to say you didn't take it personally all things considered. 

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2008 11:15 pm

The Big 12's best, minus two

I just don't want Leach bitching about his underrated team in November when Harrell has thrown for 10,000 yards and Crabtree is catching 15 passes per game. Sorry, Mike, it doesn't work that way.


Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: July 21, 2008 11:12 pm

The Big 12's best, minus two

Might want to go from 5 to 4 pots of coffee per day.  Seems someone overdosed on reaction to Leach's 08 BigXII showcasing.

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: July 21, 2008 8:42 pm

LOL. This is too much

Football is a team game. However, when the whiny media doesn't get its precious stories/quotes, they suddenly whine and complain. Cmon now. I'm not Leach's biggest fan, but he has the right idea here. Football is a TEAM game. As for someone not choosing to go to a school where they won't get promoted for individual awards... well other schools can have that kid because he won't amount to jack squat anyways with that me first mentality.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2008 8:32 pm

The Big 12's best, minus two

Sounds to me like Leach is a genius.  By not bringing them, the media is spending more time talking about Harrell and Crabtree than the guys who are at the media days. pirate..........

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or