It's become a familiar routine this time of year. Stuff your face with turkey, max out your credit cards on toys that the kids will break within a month, and discuss whether or not the head coach at your school deserves to have his contract extended.
With the recent news of Texas A&M giving Coach Sumlin a six year extension, and Baylor giving Coach Briles an extension through the end of time, I thought it would be fitting to argue whether or not Kirby Hocutt should extend Coach Kingsbury.
As an aside, has any coach's contract ever expired? Can you imagine Coach Buttkicker shows up for August practice and the AD is there waiting at the door. "So sorry Coach Buttkicker, we totally forgot to get you a new contract and this one is expired. I dropped the ball on this one big time LOL."
"I'm gonna need your keys and your whistle because Coach OneHunderdTenPercent just signed a new contract and he's gonna take over. See ya later. Again, totally my bad."
It's no secret that I'm a huge Kingsbury fan. Even after the struggles over the past six weeks, there is still no coach in the country I would rather have patrolling the sidelines at Jones Stadium and leading the Red Raiders. Therefore my thoughts on whether or not he deserves a raise might surprise you.
Because I don't think he does.
Reason Number 1: Mistakes
The team got off to a great start but I didn't see improvement in the little things that could have made a difference down the stretch. Every week we seemed to talk about the same mistakes that cost the team. Too many penalties. Too many turnovers. Sporadic and sometimes abysmal special teams play. While a coach can't correct every mistake, he can certainly have an impact and we never saw any significant improvement.
Reason Number 2: Michael Brewer
The Brewer situation will always be something that baffles me about the 2013 season. We've heard all the speculation and rumors about a rift between Brewer and Kingsbury, and that Brewer is considering transferring and that Brewer just never got the reps to get into game shape. Through all the fog it's hard to discern the truth, and I think that's where Kingsbury made a mistake. I understand the desire to keep things in house, or play things close to the vest in an effort to maintain a strategic advantage, but at some point you have to face the consequences for doing so. Perhaps Brewer isn't in game shape. Perhaps Kingsbury is trying to protect him. Or perhaps Brewer somehow really pissed Kingsbury off. Whatever the circumstance, the team lost five games in a row and two freshmen quarterbacks couldn't reduce their turnovers or costly mistakes. Kingsbury has every right to choose his quarterback. But in doing so, he might have cost himself some money heading into the holidays if not playing Brewer was for any reason other than he wasn't a better option than either Baker Mayfield or Davis Webb.
Reason Number 3: Nick Saban and Mike Gundy
Saban was 7-6 in his first year at Alabama in 2007(6-6 during the regular season) and didn't receive a contract extension until after the Crimson Tide posted a 12-2 record in 2008. While I don't see Texas Tech following the same course in 2014, I do expect to see an improvement on the field and subsequently an improved win/loss record.
Mike Gundy didn't receive an extension until his 3rd year, and that was only for one year. Gundy was 4-7 in his first year, 7-4 in year two and 6-6 in year three heading into their bowl game when he received the extension.
Reason Number 4: Hypocrisy
After his first year in Lubbock Tommy Tuberville was famously (or infamously) given a 33% increase in pay and a one year contract extension after posting an 8-5 record. I was completely opposed to that move.
Reason Number 5: Pride
Maybe I'm completely off base here, but I imagine Kingsbury as the kind of guy that wants to earn everything he gets. I would also imagine that he'd be the first to admit that things could've gone a little better. Coach Kingsbury doesn't make excuses and I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. So it is what it is. A 7-5 record and a losing record in conference play.
I'm still 100% confident that he is the coach of the future for us, and I want him to retire at Texas Tech. I fully expect that he can accomplish great things in Lubbock and lead the program to new heights (hence my Gundy and Saban comparisons) but I want him to earn it, every year. And I bet he wants the same.
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