Texas Tech Football: Hiring Kliff Kingsbury Would Get School Back to Prominence

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

17 Nov 2001:  Quarterback Kliff Kingsbury #16 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders throws the ball during warmups before the Big 12 game against the Oklahoma Sooners at SBC Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.  Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech 30-136.  Mandatory Credit:  Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Texas Tech needs to back a Brinks truck up to Kliff Kingsbury's door step.

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports has reported that Tommy Tuberville has left Lubbock to take over as head coach at Cincinnati.

Kingsbury, a former Red Raiders quarterback, had been the co-offensive coordinator at Houston before moving to Texas A&M with head coach Kevin Sumlin to take over the same duties. Tuberville hasn't been a failure at Texas Tech, but his 20-17 overall record at the school didn't quite reach the heights of his predecessor, Mike Leach.

It was under Leach that the Red Raiders upset the No. 1 Texas Longhorns en route to an 11-2 season in 2008. That season Texas Tech was 10-0 going into Week 13 and was ranked No. 2 in the BCS. Leach was of course fired a year later in the aftermath of the Adam James scandal.

The more the school continues to finish with records hovering around .500, the more fans will forget about that 2008 season and the air-raid offense Leach implemented.

Despite the conference's losses, the Big 12 is still very competitive. And it's hard to argue that Baylor hasn't overtaken Texas Tech in the Big 12 hierarchy. If the school chooses the wrong guy at this stage, it's threatening to fall even more into mediocrity.

Under Kingsbury, the Red Raiders can return to the standards Leach set. He might only be 33, but Kingsbury has already become a hot name in college football.

His youth shouldn't be counted against him, as he has proven at Houston and Texas A&M that he's capable of running a great offense. Plus Kingsbury has the experience of playing under Leach and Dana Holgorsen at Texas Tech.

Kingsbury orchestrated stellar offenses in Houston with quarterback Case Keenum, and he's doing the same in College Station with quarterback Johnny Manziel. The freshman is the front-runner for the Heisman after setting the SEC record for total yards in a season.

And don't forget it was Kingsbury and Sumlin's gameplan that confounded Nick Saban and Kirby Smart as the Aggies upset the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

If Texas Tech passes on him now, they'll likely be unable to hire him in the future as another school will snap him up.

Now is the time for the Red Raiders to bring back one of their own.