"Oh no? The Red Raiders are about to become balanced?"
"What the hay? Is Tuberville going to dismantle the offensive powerhouse that Mike Leach built?"
"Stop the madness. Texas Tech is gonna—gulp—run the ball more often? Say it ain't so, Spike (Dykes). Say. It. Ain't. So."
Well, I don't know what the great Spike Dykes would say, but I say that the introduction of Tommy Tuberville won't spell the end of Texas Tech football as we know it.
For one, Tommy isn't afraid of offense. He actually tried to install the spread at Auburn before he was ceremoniously dismissed for failing miserably at doing so.
No, Tommy isn't an offense killer; he's a defense builder. That is something that the Red Raiders could surely use a little more of as a program. No disrespect to former defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, but the Red Raiders were more about points than punishment.
What Tuberville will bring to Lubbock is a team that can score a ton and keep the other team from scoring quite so much—in a word, balance.
Will it work? Does he have the personnel?
The answers are "yes," and "he's working on it."
Tuberville pulled in a 2010 recruiting class that, unlike in previous years, featured decidedly more defense than offense. Tommy's philosophy is a simple one: Defense wins championships. You can take the man out of the SEC, but...well, you know the saying.
Tech will move to a 3-4 in 2010, and that will mean more aggressiveness from the front seven—a move that will, hopefully, make it a lot tougher for teams to run all over the Raiders at will.
As for the pass first, run second, mentality: That will not change—much. Tuberville will just be looking to utilize his talent at the tailback spot more consistently. However, all that truly means is a few less passes and a few more runs every game.
Do they have a guy who can execute those carries? Of course they do. For all the attention given to the WR and QB spot, the Raiders are not without RB talent.
See the guy in the photo? His name is Baron Batch, and in case you missed it, he rushed for 884 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. The Red Raiders are every bit as capable of running the ball as they are of throwing it, and if Tommy sees fit for Taylor Potts to throw the ball 10 less times in favor of the team running it 10 more, well, that can only help Texas Tech in the long run.
Texas Tech is in for a major change. There can be no doubt about that, but the changes won't spell disaster. It just means there will be a noticeable shift in the priorities of the program where recruiting and execution are concerned.
The main question left to be answered is how will Tommy do with the spread on his second go round?