Spring football is over and we now all begin the countdown to the Big 12 Media Days, Fall Camps, and then, yes, the start of the 2018 college football season. So, with that being said, let’s have some fun and look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for every team in the Big 12 conference. We will start rolling these out throughout the month of May. Agree? Disagree? Don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments below!
We now take a closer look at the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who begin Year Six under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and are coming off a 6-7 season in 2017. Who will be the quarterback and how good can the defense be this season? Let’s look at the best and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Texas Tech Red Raiders Football: Best-Case Scenario
Either Jett Duffey, McLane Carter or Alan Bowman take charge and run away with the starting job. Even though they may not be top tier quarterbacks in the conference, Kliff Kingsbury works his magic and finds creative ways to have success on offense. Meanwhile the offensive line improves and creatives running lanes for Tre King and the rest of the backfield. Sure, Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell are gone but WR De’Quan Bowman breaks out and true freshman Myller Royals makes an immediate impact. Also, Grad transfer Seth Collins fits in nicely.
Defensively, Texas Tech continues to improve behind their fearless leader, LB Dakota Allen who is a tackling machine. The defensive line generates more pressure on opposing quarterbacks while an experienced secondary plays up to expectations. Let’s pump some sunshine, shall we?
Texas Tech wins a big opening test against a hungry Ole Miss team at NRG Stadium in Houston. After a tough early matchup, they catch their breath against a weaker Lamar team at home before facing off a scrappy Houston team the next week. Chalk up two wins to put this team at 3-0 before kicking off conference play. The Red Raiders finally knock off a rebuilding Cowboys team in Stillwater but suffer their first loss of the season to a high-powered offense at home against West Virginia. Things are looking bright as Texas Tech heads into the bye week at 4-1.
Unfortunately, the offense has no answers against a rock-solid TCU defense as they fall short in Fort Worth but bounce back beating a bad Kansas team at home. Then comes a gauntlet at Iowa State, vs Oklahoma, vs Texas and at Kansas State. Best case, Tech splits those four games putting their record at 7-4 before the final game against Baylor at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Once again, the Red Raiders beat Baylor making it three straight against the Bears. Texas Tech finishes the season at 8-4 and give Kliff Kingsbury something to build upon.
Texas Tech Red Raiders Football: Worst-Case Scenario
The days of Pat Mahomes running the show seem like decades ago as nobody can step up to takeover at quarterback. Instead, Kliff is forced to ride with the hot hand each week as the inconsistency at quarterback sets the offense back beyond repair. The offense line remains shaky in pass protection and after two RB transfers (Desmond Nisby and Demarcus Felton), Tre King is forced to be the lone back and freshman Ta’Zhawn Henry and SoRodorick Thompson are forced into early action. Also, the loss of WR Keke Coutee hurts more than expected.
Defensively, they improve against the run, but no one can be that needed pass rusher they desperately need. While LB Dakota Allen is one of the best linebackers in the Big 12, the secondary remains a weak spot on this defense. As we all know, no pass rush and bad secondary play will get you burned in this league. Let’s throw on those negativity shades, shall we?
Tech starts off the season on a sour note in Houston against a feisty Ole Miss team. However, they pull back above .500 with wins over Lamar and Houston at home. Then they travel to Stillwater to take on a rebuilding Cowboy team but fall short making it ten straight losses against the Pokes. The struggles continue as they can’t keep up with a high powered WVU offense at home. Texas Tech limps into the bye week at 2-4.
With the extra time the Red Raiders fight hard against a tough, physical TCU team on the road but can’t finish it out. Luckily, they get to play Kansas the following week to bounce back. Then comes a tough stretch where they play at Iowa State, vs Oklahoma, vs Texas and at Kansas State. I don’t know about you but that may be the toughest four game stretch in the Big 12. Tech could easily go 0-4 those four weeks. At 3-8, Kliff would likely be gone after the Baylor game but this team is able to win his last game on the Red Raiders sideline. Texas Tech finishes the season 4-8 and are now looking for a new coach.