I’ve Found a Silver Lining for Texas Tech Football
Texas Tech football fans are upset, and I get it. The team is a collective 6-12 since Matt Wells was hired, and 22-33 over the last five seasons. The Red Raiders haven't won a bowl game since 2013. Every loss for the Red Raiders this season makes the free bowl ride in 2020 seem less and less likely.
Sometimes, Texas Tech's defense will look competent, and the next week they will give up 62 only because Lincoln Riley took pity on the souls of the downtrodden and Sooners receivers dropped a few big ones.
The Texas Tech offense also flashes, but the stretches are rare and mostly in the first quarter or early in the third quarter. The system itself from David Yost frustrates fans, leaving the latest Red Raiders OC with only around 10 percent approval on the official approval rating.
The Big 12 leaves a little hope with two winnable games left on the schedule in Baylor and Kansas. Oklahoma State in Stillwater seems like a long shot, but the game this weekend in Fort Worth is closer to a coin flip than the 10-point line favoring Texas Christian University makes it appear.
So, what's the silver lining? Is it the freshmen who have made an impact? No, but that is an encouraging sign. Tajh Brooks, Myles Price, Philip Blidi and several other freshmen have been playing snaps this season.
Is it the special teams play? After a shaky start, Austin McNamara has been booming punts and has seemingly fixed his whole 'getting punts blocked' issue. Too many issues otherwise, though, to make this a silver lining.
Is it on the defensive side? No. Giving up 63 to Oklahoma and only getting stops after the other team stops trying to score isn't helping the theory that the defense is significantly improving.
It's not the offense. So what is it?
No 11 a.m. kickoffs.
You might have already noticed, but after the latest announcement that Baylor and Texas Tech would kickoff at 3 p.m. that makes eight straight games with a kickoff later than 11 a.m. Last season, Texas Tech had four early games. In 2017 and 2018 combined, the Red Raiders had 13 kickoffs scheduled for 11 a.m. out of their 24 games.
So even though the product on the field hasn't been to the expected level of the fanbase and the wins aren't exactly stacking up, at least Texas Tech isn't doing it at 11 a.m. That's the part everyone hated. Not the losing and the ineptitude; it was the 11 a.m. kickoffs. And those are gone.
ESPN: Texas Tech Football's Odds to Win Their 2020 Games