Regardless of the Big 12 Conference dropping from 12 members down to 10, the Texas Tech Red Raiders have much bigger fish to fry as the 2010 NCAA Football season rolls on beyond week one.
And after holding on for a 35-27 wild win over the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, they absolutely appear to have some weak spots heading into week two.
So, what are the top 10 reasons the Red Raiders will struggle this season?
Although having a new coach at the helm of a program is not always a cause for concern, having Tommy Tuberville call Lubbock, Texas home for the first time in his life may give Red Raiders fans a few reasons to be worried.
That’s not necessarily a slam against Tuberville personally; when a new coach takes over a new program, many times he will have high expectations in the LONG run (but most don’t expect to come in and immediately turn things around in one season).
Sure, Tuberville is still in the south and still in charge of a well known college football team.
Just don’t expect him to make Texas Tech title contenders overnight.
Writers and analysts around America have been questioning the Texas Tech defense well in advance of week one’s matchup with SMU.
Now they have every reason to do so.
Sure, Texas Tech survived a scare on Sunday afternoon when they played SMU—but it still proved the Red Raiders have a lot to address in terms of the team’s secondary.
Success is not guaranteed based on just one football matchup, as one could easily still ponder the depth of the Texas Tech rushing game.
Under former coach Mike Leach, the Red Raiders rarely ran the ball successfully—but the new-look team was able to run the ball four consecutive times against SMU.
The question is: will Texas Tech continue to be successful on the ground?
Welcome to Big 12 play in Lubbock, Texas, Coach Tuberville.
The Red Raiders will begin conference play in two weeks facing a familiar foe when Texas Tech hosts the No. 5 Texas Longhorns.
But the outcome will likely be a forgone conclusion, as most predict the Red Raiders to kick off Big 12 action with an 0-1 start facing the highly-touted Longhorns.
Sure, everyone could be wrong; but I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Tech’s upcoming Big 12 matchup with the Horns is over by halftime.
Sure, we’ve already addressed the run game; but how about the passing game under first-year coach Tuberville?
Texas Tech’s passing game looked solid in the team’s week one win over SMU, but I think we’ll have a lot more answers about this question by the time Big 12 play rolls around in a couple weeks.
And we may even have some solid answers by the end of week two.
Looking beyond No. 5 Texas in two weeks, Texas Tech has a very tough road ahead as the Big 12 remains one of the most dominant conferences in college football.
And if they begin conference play at 0-1, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop a handful of Big 12 games this season.
Ready for the end of September, Texas Tech?
Regardless of Texas Tech picking up a ‘W’ against SMU on Sunday afternoon, the game still proved the Red Raiders have many issues to address in terms of holes in the team’s overall progress.
And they won’t have much time to fix them, as week two looms around the corner and the No. 5 Horns soon await.
The long trips to and from Lubbock, Texas may also take a wear and tear on the Red Raiders in 2010.
Yes, they’ve always dealt with miles and miles of travel to get to the team’s playing destinations—but it’s also likely always been a drag on Texas Tech’s players and coaches.
It’s a fairly long season in NCAA football, but traveling long distances just to get to games can become a constant drain.
Could the Red Raiders be the weakest conference team in the State of Texas?
If you want my opinion, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.
Texas is a top-tier program, while Texas A&M and Baylor have continued to improve as the seasons have progressed.
And most of that news spells trouble for Texas Tech.
Plain and simple, a new coach and a new system is not going to salvage or save the Texas Tech Red Raiders’ football woes.
Try as he may (and certainly will), Coach Tuberville will not be able to turn around the Red Raiders’ gridiron program in just one season.
Two to three years from now? Maybe.
But the fact of the matter remains: Tuberville is not the savior for Texas Tech’s football team.
And it’s highly unlikely the new-look Red Raiders will be tasting much success in 2010...
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org