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That photo above? The one with Texas Tech's head football coach Matt Wells wearing a mask next to a comically long ESPN microphone in front of a nearly empty stadium. That's a thing of the past, or at least Wells hopes it is.

Today, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people can "resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

To that bit of news, Coach Wells had a simple statement: "#PackTheJones"

Now, I don't know that this guidance guarantees that Texas Tech's football stadium will be 100-percent open this season when the home opener happens in September, but it sure is a good sign and at the very least a glimmer of hope that business is truly picking up.

The guidance comes a day after Garth Brooks announced a sold-out show in Lincoln, Nebraska at Cornhuskers Stadium where 90,000 country music fans will watch the GOAT play a show in August. If Garth by god Brooks can run a full stadium, then so can college football teams.

I could take a shot that the side of the stadium in the above picture hasn't been full in years, but I won't do that because of two things. First of all, I have hope that Red Raider fans will indeed pack the Jones for the first game of the season after most had to miss out on an entire season of being there in person. Second of all, and I'm really going out on a limb here, I think Texas Tech football will win more than they lose next year.

I do, I'm on the bandwagon. It certainly worries me that SaRodorick Thompson and Erik Ezukanma will probably miss some early games, but I really like the Texas Tech roster. If Texas Tech can start 3-0 against Houston on the road and in-home games against Stephen F. Austin, the home opener, and Florida International, then I think TCU could be in store for a serious Red Raider crowd early in October. You know, if Texas Tech can beat West Virginia in Morgantown and be competitive in Austin.

Both attainable goals.

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