2018 Texas Tech Red Raiders Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 6-7
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 6.5
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Under'
How much more rope will Texas Tech give Kliff Kingsbury?
I won't ever defend Tommy Tuberville, a proven loser as a head coach. But Tuberville won 55 percent of his games (21-17) in Lubbock and posted two eight-win seasons in his three years. Kingsbury is below .500 in his five seasons at the helm and has just one eight-win season in that stretch.
Texas Tech has finished with a losing record each of the past two seasons and three of the last four. And if you really dig into Tech's schedule you will find that the overwhelming majority of Kingsbury's wins have come against FCS teams and dregs. In fact, Texas Tech is an ugly 16-29 in Big 12 play since Kingsbury took over. And prior to this last four years, the program had suffered just one losing season in the previous 20 years.
So what is this guy still doing with a job?
Kingsbury will try to take the next step with the Red Raiders this fall. And in a cruel twist, maybe the most important season of his young coaching career could hinge on the Texas Tech defense. And for an idea of how harrowing a prospect that is, consider that his stop units have allowed more than 41 points per game in three of the past four seasons.
But Texas Tech actually has 10 starters back on defense, its most in over a decade, and a lot of experience on this turnover-producing unit. The Red Raiders have four three-year starters, including linebackers Dakota Allen and Jordyn Brooks, to go along with 12 of their top 13 tacklers back in the fold.
Scoring has never been an issue for Kingsbury's teams. However, there are a slew of question marks at the skill positions this year. Tech lost five of its top six receivers, four of its top five rushers, and its starting quarterback. Whoever is handling the ball will benefit from a talented and experienced offensive line. But we still have no idea who actually is going to be handling the ball for this attack.
We're going to find out everything we need to know about Texas Tech before we even leave September. They open against Ole Miss in NRG Stadium, host Houston and West Virginia, and open Big 12 play at Oklahoma State. I can't see them winning more than two of those games.
That means that they would have to sweep their next three easiest games - Kansas at home, at Iowa State and Baylor in Arlington - just to get to five wins. They would then have to score two upsets against TCU, Oklahoma, Texas or Kansas State (in Manhattan) just to get over this number. I don't think so. I think this team will find its way to six wins and bowl eligibility. But I also think that is its ceiling. I'm playing this one 'under', and I wouldn't be stunned if Kingsbury is out of a job in January.
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