As our football program is staring down the barrel of a losing season with the trigger being one more loss, it could be enough to trigger some changes. While considering that metaphor it sprung the question “What do I as a fan really expect?” Obviously we are making large strides in basketball by reaching the NCAA March Madness tournament for the first time in years. As well as in baseball by reaching the College World Series two out of three years, plus earning our first victory over the top seeded Florida. However, in terms of football, we clearly haven’t found our groove yet.
We as Tech fans would love to have 10 win seasons every year, but could we handle that? As fans we could because we want to see the team that we love dearly in more of a national spotlight, but I’m not sure that the team itself could handle that.
In my opinion we are too inconsistent to be good, seems logical right? However, I mean that in a way that you probably aren’t thinking. I think we can all agree that we are an above average “average” team. Our defense (even though it is showing improvement) is the main thing that seems to be holding us back, because I believe that we could outscore most of the teams across the country. The reason why I used the phrase “too inconsistent to be good” is because if we managed to climb the national rankings to any extent it would probably be due to our offense. Putting up video game numbers with Mahomes slinging it all over the field and outscoring our defensive shortcomings. However, it would also set us up for embarrassment. Let’s say that we managed to get to number 15 in the country, that’s great and all, but there are not many more places to go from there except down. I would just hate for us to reach a decent ranking and then get embarrassed on national TV.
So what are we as a program? Are we a sleeper pick for the conference title while waiting on a few more “pieces” to come together? Or are we a perennial middle of the pack team that college football powers are afraid to play because we are high powered and volatile? I personally think that we are a sleeper pick for the Big 12 title, just waiting on the stars to align. However, that begs the million dollar question of what are the stars, and then when are they going to align? I simply can’t answer that.
I love this team with all my heart, but how can you expect success when you haven't seen it yet? For example Kansas, they won one game this year against Rhode Island 55-6. Do you think that their administration is going to expect a 10 win season next year? Of course not, they will be lucky to just get two.
What does that say about our football program? I think 2008 spoiled us. I know every time Tech fans bring up that year people say “stop living in the past, what have you done recently?” However, you can’t deny that ‘08 was a great year. In reality, I think it set our expectation too high. All it took for us to think this season had potential was Mahomes and the fact that Gibbs was going into his second year at Texas Tech. That tells me that our fan base has a microwave mentality. They want things to work now, and if they don’t, they immediately start asking why. The reason why is because it takes more than two year’s of the same defensive coordinator and a star quarterback to get things done. A football team can’t excel with just one star, and I think people are realizing that this year.
When it comes to the success of our team we need to have an oven mentality. It might take more time to get things cooking, but when they do, it’s going to be a deliciously beautiful thing. Just like Thanksgiving dinner. My point is, why do we expect a 10 win season out of a team that has been 7-5 to 6-6 or lower in recent memory? I am not going to expect success out of a team that hasn’t yet proven that they can be successful, because that’s just not fair to them. I love my team, and I wish for success every year when the new season comes along, but I’m going to wait to count my chickens until I start seeing a new trend.