National Writers Opine on Grading the Kliff Kingsbury Hire

Scott Halleran

Two completely different opinions on the hire of Kliff Kingsbury as the head coach for Texas Tech.

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news first. SI.com's Stewart Mandel is grading all of the coaching hires and gives the hiring of V-Neck, also known as Kliff Kingsbury, an A+:

Texas Tech: Kliff Kingsbury, former Texas A&M offensive coordinator. Not even bringing back Mike Leach would have inspired the same level of excitement in Lubbock as the return of prodigal son Kingsbury, the fast-rising coaching star who helped groom Johnny Manziel into a Heisman winner at A&M. Kingsbury, 33, will need time to grow into the head coach's role, but he's not facing overwhelming pressure and will have time to learn as he goes. Grade: A+

Some college up in Ohio got a "C".

Now, to rain on your parade a bit, Crystal Ball Run's Aaron Torres has a more comprehensive look at Kingsbury and gives the hire a B- and I give Torres credit for talking this out. I think I would quibble with is that he thinks that Kingsbury will inherit a "thin roster". I don't know if I really agree with that or call the roster "thin". There are some really good skill position players graduating and we've discussed the offensive line, but I don't know if I would consider the roster "thin" in terms of players. Torres also seems to like the idea of hiring of Kingsbury in theory, but not in execution. I don't know that this makes any sense, either you like it or you don't. At some point, Kingsbury was going to get hired as a head coach at some point because he was really good at his job at two different colleges. Anyway, Torres is asking some good questions, but he also seems to think that Texas Tech will only get leftovers behind UT, TAMU, OU, OSU, TCU and Baylor:

The bottom line is that the elite players within the state are going to end up at Texas or Texas A&M, and TCU has quickly emerged as a nice third option for kids looking to play Big XII football with a bit more of a city life splashed in (at least relative to Lubbock, anyway). Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will always get their players, and with back-to-back eight win seasons (and three straight seven win seasons overall) even Baylor has to be considered a better destination for kids than Tech, especially ones who want to play in a fun, high-scoring offense.

So ultimately, where does that leave Texas Tech? Other than picking up the leftovers?

This is one of those times where I don't know why my perception of Texas Tech is different than someone from the outside and if it is because I'm too close to the program. The only thing that I would add is that Texas Tech essentially out-recruited all of those programs except for UT, TAMU and OU with a head coach that had no interest being in Lubbock. I tend to think that Texas Tech will be just fine as far as recruiting and that Torres (and this is probably true of most bloggers and/or writers) has this perception of Lubbock, but has never visited the University.

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