Texas Tech

Tier 1 university money

Amid a torrent of grim news for higher education during the past legislative session, state lawmakers affirmed their commitment to creating more tier one research universities in Texas.

The Texas Research Initiative Program, created in 2009, seeks to encourage private donations to certain “emerging research universities” — the University of North Texas, the University of Houston, Texas Tech, UT-Dallas, UT-San Antonio, UT-El Paso and UT-Arlington — across the state by matching private donations to research programs with state money. The Legislature allocates money to the fund, which is then used to match qualifying donations. To date, the state has matched almost $50 million.

Texas Tech and UT-Dallas have received the most from the fund, and the University of Houston has not been far behind, according to The Texas Tribune.

State lawmakers rightly kept this fund solvent during the recent budget debate. Original budget drafts did not refill the fund, but the final version allocated almost $34 million to new donations made from 2012-13. Only three Texas universities, UT, Rice and Texas A&M, are recognized as tier one research campuses today. California boasts 12 such universities.

The Texas Research Initiative Program has been successful in promoting a public-private partnership to build Texas’ national research presence. The money used from the fund will help these emerging universities build their research operations, stimulate the Texas economy and prepare more Texans for the future.

Column

Seth Doege attempts a pass against Oklahoma. The junior quarterback led Texas Tech to a 41-38 upset win over the Sooners, throwing for 441 yards and four touchdowns. The Red Raiders face the Longhorns in two weeks.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

We interrupt your continued celebration of Oklahoma’s 41-38 loss to Texas Tech for one very sobering message: Texas’ second-half schedule? Yeah, not as easy as we thought.

To reach a bowl game — which has suddenly become the goal at Belmont — the Longhorns need to win two games out of this group: Kansas, No. 20 Texas Tech, Missouri, No. 8 Kansas State, No. 16 Texas A&M and Baylor.

The upcoming game against the Jayhawks is as automatic a win as they’ll get. Everything else will be a challenge.

“[Texas Tech beating OU] goes to show you that if you’re not ready to play, anybody can beat you,” said senior linebacker and unofficial team spokesman Emmanuel Acho.

Tech proved itself very dangerous behind quarterback Seth Doege, who threw for 441 yards and four touchdowns against the Sooners. Texas better be awake for that 11 a.m. kickoff in two weeks.

Missouri (3-4) is better than its record suggests; the Tigers have lost four games by an average of 11 points and came within 10 of beating the Sooners in Norman. KSU is undefeated and led by battering-ram quarterback Collin Klein. You know the dangers in a trip to College Station, and you also know what RG3 and the Bears are capable of.

So, should you be worried? Head coach Mack Brown says no.

“This team has a good feel of where it’s going,” he said. “I can’t see them walking around with a swagger at all.”

That’s a big improvement over last season, when the team’s “swagger” morphed into complacency. But good attitude and exciting young talent notwithstanding, the rest of the schedule is a bear: three ranked teams, three road games, four teams that beat the Longhorns last year. All six opponents average more points per game than them, too.

“The league’s probably the best it’s ever been from top to bottom,” Brown said.

Pundits who projected Texas to finish 8-4 were assuming the team would have found a quarterback by now and that the conference wouldn’t be this strong. But an early-season switch away from Garrett Gilbert and a mid-season switch to David Ash requires that we re-evaluate the team’s potential.

Do that, and then consider how well the rest of the conference is playing. KSU has come from nowhere and is undefeated, the Red Raiders have lost two games by an average of six points and the Bears and Aggies boast offenses ranked No. 2 and No. 7 in the nation, respectively.

Heck, 8-4 looks like it could be the ceiling at this point.

Printed on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 as: Horns will have hands full after taking on Jayhawks, starting with Texas Tech

Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas
Officials from these four schools along with Texas Tech, Missouri, Kansas and Baylor all refused to waive their legal right to sue Texas A&M for leaving to the Southeastern Conference. Oklahoma has been the only school to waive their rights.

“We are being held hostage right now,” said Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin. “Essentially, we’re being told that you must stay here against your will and we think that really flies in the face of what makes us Americans, for example, and makes us free people.”

Missouri
Junior running back Kendial Lawrence will miss at least four weeks after he suffered a broken fibula in the Tigers’ win over Miami (OH). Starting senior linebacker Will Ebner will miss Friday’s game against Arizona State with a high ankle sprain. Defensive end Jacquies Smith will also miss the game after dislocating his elbow against Miami.

Kansas
Freshman offensive lineman Cooper Kerns was arrested early last Saturday and was accused of carrying a fake ID. Kerns is a walk-on player and is not under scholarship at Kansas.

“We’re aware of the situation and we will handle the matter internally,” said head coach Turner Gill.

Oklahoma
Sophomore running back Jonathan Miller has decided to transfer after gaining only 20 yards on seven carries in the Sooners’ 47-14 victory over Tulsa. Miller will remain in classes in Norman this semester until he decides where to transfer. Sophomore receiver Trey Franks missed practice this week because he had his wisdom teeth removed.

Texas Tech
Starting defensive end Leon Mackey spent 24 hours in the hospital after he deflated one of his lungs on a hit in last Saturday’s win over Texas State.
“It’s up in the air how long he’ll be out,” said head coach Tommy Tuberville. “Probably several weeks, maybe more.”

Baylor/Texas A&M
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and Texas A&M defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie were named the Big 12 Conference offensive and defensive players of the week.

Oklahoma State
Senior safety Johnny Thomas has been ruled ineligible for the season. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Thomas who had three interceptions and 63 tackles last season also missed the Cowboys’ opener last week against Louisiana-
Lafayette.

Kansas State
Starting center Shaun Simon will miss multiple weeks according to head coach Bill Snyder. Snyder also confirmed sophomore running back John Hubert would remain the No. 1 option at running back after he tallied 91 yards last week.

Kansas
Senior receiver Raymond Patterson is doubtful for Saturday’s game with an injured groin. Sophomore wideout Christian Matthews will also miss this week’s game because of suspension.

More conference shakeup
The Big East Conference is reportedly targeting Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State as potential expansion teams. If all three were added, the Big East would grow to 12 football teams and 20 basketball squads.