LUBBOCK _ I saw Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill at the airport in Lubbock on Sunday morning and realized how quickly things changed for the Red Raiders.
After slipping by Baylor on Saturday afternoon, Tech coaches, players and fans huddled around TV sets all across Texas late Saturday night with high hopes of Oklahoma State upsetting Oklahoma. An OSU win would have put Tech into the Big 12 championship game against Missouri.
OU, however, thumped OSU, 61-41, and that set off a chain reaction that had McNeill in the airport headed on a recruiting trip instead of huddling with the rest of the Tech coaches to prepare to play Missouri.
McNeill said he started packing in the third period of the OU-OSU game when he saw things going the Sooners' way.
The Red Raiders, 11-1 and tri-Big 12 South Division champs with OU and Texas, are now likely headed to play in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day against Mississippi.
_ Dwain Price