Tillery’s Trends: Tech Possum Lives on, Big 12 Beach Volleyball, and More!

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Everyone loves a good trend, and while I may not speak for everyone in the wide world of college sports, I do have the opportunity on Heartland College Sports to discuss some interesting trends revolving around the Big 12 Conference and what’s coming up in the near future.

With this being the sixth iteration of Tillery’s Trends, I plan to discuss players, coaches, teams, betting lines, top stories, and anything else that stands out about the world of college sports.

On the menu for today, we take a look at the viral Texas Tech opossum that continues to show up, Big 12 beach volleyball, and how the NCAA’s waiver process continues to make no sense. Enjoy!



In case you missed out on the viral video of an opossum sneaking his way onto the field in Lubbock during the Red Raiders’ Week 10 win over TCU, quick recap: it was awesome.

The little guy took the field in hot pursuit of one of the many tortillas thrown on the field at kickoff, as he was escorted out of the stadium, the millions of fan reactions had already started to pile in.

While the animal is technically an opossum and not a possum (one comes from Australia, New Zealand, and China, but the difference always seems to get lost in the mix) the viral creature continues to make its presence known.

Tech fans have given the animal a career path in recent weeks with the opossum being commemorated as a fat head sign at the recent Texas Tech basketball game, as well as being sold as an official bobblehead from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.

Who knew Texas Tech would adopt an unofficial mascot all from one little opossum? Incredible stuff.



Okay, Big 12 decision-makers. I think it’s time someone let you in on the secret: George Strait was LYING about the oceanfront property in Arizona.

The Big 12 Conference announced that it would be adding two new sports for the 2024-25 season with beach volleyball and women’s lacrosse being added to the list of sports offered by the league.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark spoke on the additions saying, “Beach volleyball and women’s lacrosse are both experiencing growth and popularity on a national level. The additions will allow incoming and current members to compete for national championships under the Big 12 umbrella while expanding the league’s footprint across new sports.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the next wave of Big 12 sports, although my immediate thoughts went straight to the luxurious beaches of Manhattan, Kansas, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Ames,Iowa. Of the four new schools joining the conference in 2024, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah will join TCU as the four schools competing in beach volleyball in the 2024-25 season (No UCF??)

One day Ames, Manhattan, Stillwater, and the rest of the Big 12’s famous oceanfront getaways will get the love they deserve!



Why is the NCAA still in charge of the eligibility waiver process?

While I understand that the process has a multitude of things to take in when considering the approval of immediate eligibility waivers for transfers across the country, the inconsistencies in the process are blasphemous.

Former Texas Tech Red Raider Jalon Tyson elected to jump in the portal this offseason and transfer to California and while his initial waiver was denied, his dispute to the NCAA was accepted and granted.

Cincinnati’s Aziz Bandaogo and Jamille Reynolds both had their appeals denied by the NCAA which prompted some great quotes from head coach Wes Miller.

“What’s even more heartbreaking is the recent announcement by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors that it would review existing rules and guidelines to improve the transfer process for 2024-25,” Miller said. “If change is needed, why wait and continue to harm current student-athletes?”

So the question rests with this: Why does the NCAA continue to stay committed to a flawed system that rapidly affects and alters the lives of student-athletes everywhere?

The world may never know.

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