Preview 2017: When Will Texas Tech O Win?
The Texas Tech offense might be fun, but will it ever lead to lots of wins?
Okay, Texas Tech. Existential question time.
Why do you continue to be so married to this offensive system that doesn’t really lead the way to wins?
Yeah, Texas Tech led the nation in total offense. Yes, Texas Tech led the nation in passing. Yes, everyone would like to average well over 40 points per game. But if all the focus is on the high-powered air show, and a lot of the numbers are necessary because the defense can’t stop anyone, then what’s the point?
Obviously, part of the reason for this style comes down to talent. Texas Tech can’t get the same players that the biggest of the big boys get, but it can be in the hunt for the same guys who went to Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State, and those three do fine with big-time offenses that lead to bowl games and wins.
And no, it’s not just Kliff Kingsbury who’s the issue. He’s in his fifth year after starting out 24-26 with two bowl appearances and just 13 Big 12 wins, but for this system and this style, he’s the right guy. Again, the question is whether or not Texas Tech needs to shift out of this system and this style.
Cranking up high-powered offenses has been the norm for the program, with Spike Dykes taking thing to a whole other level, followed up by Mike Leach, and then the Tommy Tuberville era, and now this, with the offense rocking and rolling the whole time.
But the only time the program had even a sniff of a conference championship over the last few decades was in 2008, and even then, the Red Raiders failed to get to the Big 12 title game.
So is this the make-or-break year for the Texas Tech style, and not just Kingsbury? Because if this O doesn’t lead the way to wins this year, isn’t it time to scrap the whole thing and go to a more conventional style with a different type of head coach? Probably not, but coming up with a winning season would do wonders to show that this thing might eventually lead the way to something big.
Finding a new starting quarterback to replace Patrick Mahomes is the biggest key, but Nic Shimonek – or any of the other options – will do what Texas Tech quarterbacks do. The receivers are going to be great, the offense will put up a ton of yards and points, and yeah, the nation’s worst defense will be a little bit better.
But will it all lead to wins? Can Texas Tech go from being a fun also-ran to a real, live Big 12 title contender? There’s a lot of work to do on both sides to get there, but after more than 30 years of this, just having an interesting system in place isn’t good enough.