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Is a Bowl Game Realistic for Texas Tech?

As the season progresses the question still looms large

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech just had their most heartbreaking loss of the season, falling a missed extra point away from erasing a 10-point fourth quarter deficit against Oklahoma State. If they could have squeezed out that win on the road against a ranked opponent, they would be in the driver’s seat to get to six wins and bowl eligibility. As it stands now, they need to win both of their final two games to gain bowl eligibility. It is a tall task that understandably has their fans feeling nervous.

How the Red Raiders Got Here

Texas Tech has a record of 4-6 on the year. To put it simply, the reason they are in this predicament is that they have failed miserably in their Big 12 games. This loss to Oklahoma State is only the most recent example of a string of disappointments in conference play. They have lost five of their last six games, and all of those were to Big 12 opponents. The only wins that the Red Raiders have been able to secure in the Big 12 this season were against Kansas and TCU.

Defensive Struggles

If you are looking for somewhere to point the finger for the struggles of Texas Tech this year, point that finger squarely on the defensive side of the ball. The Texas Tech defense has been a joke all season long. They are giving up a staggering 44.9 points per game. There are only three teams in the country that have worse scoring defenses. As good as the Red Raiders offense has been most of the year, the defense has let them down miserably.

The most recent loss to the Cowboys is the latest example. Any time you score 44 points, you should win the ballgame. In the Red Raiders first loss of the season, they scored an impressive 55 points but gave up 68 points to Arizona State. They scored 59 points and still lost to Oklahoma. Having your defense let you down time and again in this manner has to be extremely disheartening for the offense.

Chances Texas Tech Can Become Bowl Eligible

Red Raiders fans should not give up hope. Both of their final two games are winnable. First up, they head to perennial Big 12 punching bag Iowa State for a game they should win. The Cyclones have a record of 2-8 on the year, and the oddsmakers have installed Texas Tech as a three-point favorites on the road.

The final game of the season will be much tougher. If the Red Raiders can get past Iowa State, they will need a win at AT&T Stadium against Baylor to gain bowl eligibility. The Bears have a 6-3 record, but those three losses have all been in their last three games. Baylor has a potent offense like they do every season. This year they are scoring 48.1 points per game to lead the nation. Texas Tech is right behind them, averaging 45.1 points per game. The game should be a highly-entertaining shootout, and the Red Raiders need the defense to step up big when it matters most so they can enjoy a season that ends in a bowl game.