Texas Tech? Good grief, man. A very large state institution, yes, but even little private school TCU has got to be better than that, for Big survival if nothing else. Once the Pirate left town, or was forced out of Lubbock, the place has become a jock wasteland. - Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star Telegram
In a column that Galloway released on Wednesday about whose example TCU should follow, he laid out the perception that people outside of Lubbock now have of Texas Tech. Of course, these are some of the same people that said Tommy Tuberville was a coaching upgrade over Mike Leach, so perceptions can change fairly quickly. So what does Texas Tech have to do to change those perceptions?
Texas Tech would point to the two most recent football recruiting classes as proof that Texas Tech is not a jock wasteland. Recruiting well is one thing, winning is something different all together. Just ask Texas A&M about out recruiting Texas Tech under Mike Leach on a regular basis but only posting a 3-7 record against the former Red Raider coach. Texas Tech needs better results on the field.
The national perception has a lot to do with the football team under Tommy Tuberville, but it is not helped at all by the Texas Tech men’s basketball team being so bad this past season. The Lady Raiders had a decent year and are currently making a run in the WNIT, the track and tennis teams are doing well, and the Tech baseball team shows signs of promise. The problem is that no one outside of Lubbock takes any notice of anything but the two main television sports: football and men’s basketball.
Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie has gotten a free pass, and rightfully so, for the basketball’s team poor showing. It may take a few seasons for him to turn the program around. To say that Gillispie inherited a program that was in shambles, might be giving that program too much credit. That is why the job of turning around the perception of Texas Tech will fall completely on the shoulders of Tommy Tuberville.
The program that Tuberville inherited was anything but in shambles. In fact, the football team was averaging a little over nine wins a year over the three seasons prior to his arrival. That is what the national media sees. Whatever issues existed within the program come off sounding like excuses, especially after the Tuberville made the mistake of talking about not being able to throw because of the wind. It is an often repeated example on the part of his critics. Of course, the rub is that Texas Tech threw in the West Texas wind for ten years under Mike Leach with great success.
Now, Coach Tuberville finds himself in a situation where he has to win. Perhaps the Red Raider faithful will listen to, and consider any reasons for not winning in 2012. Nationally, those reasons will sound like more excuses. The only way for Texas Tech to restore its reputation as a good program is to win at least eight regular season games in 2012. It is also probably the only way that Coach Tuberville will be around for the 2013 season.