Why I think Texas Tech Football IS Relevant, and Tuberville is Here to Stay

It's all about expectations.

In 2000, Mike Leach took over a Texas Tech football program that had seen new life under Spike Dykes. Granted it wasn't all roses and sunshine, but Dykes brought Tech football back from nearly a decade of disappointment (Dockery-Moore era).

During the Spike decade, we were happy with beating at least one rival (Texas or A&M) a year and getting a bowl invite. There was no pressure on Spike, so he just grinded out 6 and 7 win seasons with the occasional 9 win season here and there. He recruited decent players, occasionally landing a diamond in the rough recruit. Fans weren't elated or disappointed, just kind of accepted the situation as it was, and realized Spike had a ceiling.

When Leach was hired there was no fanfare, no big celebration, just a huge "Who the hell is this guy?" reaction from most Tech supporters. Most of us were disappointed that Tech didn't hire a big name and instead went for some unproven coordinator from OU. Nobody knew what to expect.

Expectations of Dykes era:

  1. At least 6 wins
  2. Bowl invite
  3. Play a close bowl game (just don't get blown out)
  4. Find a diamond in the rough recruit

The 2000 season was a bit strange. The offense brought excitement and put points on the board. I remember feeling giddy about scoring points, big plays and being risky. It was a sharp contrast from the run-run-pass vanilla offense that Dykes ran. I liked the exciting feeling, but the results were the same as Dykes - A record of 7-6 with a bowl loss.

2001 was pretty much like the year before. Fans loved the exciting offense, national media was popping up in Lubbock, Kingsbury flirted briefly with Heisman talk, but the results were similar.

Since our expectations at this point were still relatively low, we let this Leach guy stick around, even though the majority of us were disappointed with the results. We had an exciting, explosive offense, but the results were the same.

GUT CHECK - Time to be completely honest with yourself

How did you honestly feel after the 2001 season?

A) Mike Leach has the team on the verge of greatness
B) This is about as good as Texas Tech football is going to get (exciting, but still a 6 to 8 win team at best)

I'd say the vast majority would select "B". Nobody could predict at that time that Tech was headed for annual top 25 finishes.

After Leach left, the scale of expectations had been lifted considerably. Not only did we expect a higher level of results, we expected more.

Expectations of Leach era:

  1. At least 8 or more wins
  2. Bowl Invitation
  3. Bowl victory
  4. Find a diamond in the rough recruit
  5. Top 25 team
  6. Beat a ranked team

Enter Tommy Tuberville. Even amid all the distractions and chaos after the Leach firing, Tuberville was able to salvage a pretty decent recruiting class. He installed new offensive and defensive coaches/schemes. He was also able to bring together this team to a very respectable 8-5 record, got a bowl invite and victory and beat a ranked team along the way. On top of that, earlier this year he recruited the best class in school history (#20). So far for 2012, we are ranked #16.

Based on the expectations of the Leach era, I think Tommy Tuberville did his job.

Tuberville is working his way with this team, but after a season and a half (19 games), everyone wants to burn him at the stake. I understand that expectations have been lifted to another level, but what would have happened if we would have shown Leach the door after the 2001 season?

I think our coach deserves patience to groom his team like Leach was able to.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors.</em>

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