The Cleveland Cavaliers recorded history this past Sunday by becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to erase a 3 to 1 deficit to win the series. The team brought a major professional sports championship to Cleveland for the first time since 1964. In sports culture, there are some similarities between Cleveland and Lubbock. Texas Tech has only brought one national championship title back to Lubbock, and that was in 1993. Right now, the Red Raiders are on a run for their lives in the College World Series. After a entertaining and equally shocking elimination of Florida, the best team in the nation, one question needs to be asked: Is Texas Tech ready for another national championship?
I understand how ridiculous that sounds. I really do. I've had my heart broken dozens of times by the Red Raiders, but the athletics are on an undeniable rise. Football is still the wild card, but the women's soccer team won a Big 12 title, and the baseball team won a Big 12 title this season. Texas Tech is slowly entering the national spotlight, and with that spotlight comes expectations. Every sports fan dreams of their team winning it all, and that's no exception in Lubbock. I want to see Texas Tech bring in another title, it's been a long time coming.
To answer the question, I don't think Texas Tech is ready for another national title. If this baseball team miraculously makes it to the final series, I'll eat my words, but winning out with elimination on the line every game is tough for any team. As an optimist, I want to believe that our football team will finish better than 7-5, but with recent transfers and players being dismissed, it's a little concerning to see where this team is headed. Our defense is still a big question mark, which has been what hinders us from closing out games in the past. I do hope to finish better than 7-5, but I don't think you'll be seeing the Red Raiders playing for it all in January.
The women's soccer team has been in the national spotlight for a couple of years now thanks to great coaching efforts from coach Tom Stone, but it's struggled to break through the first couple of rounds of the NCAA tournament. This next season will be progress towards reaching the national title game. Tim Tadlock has had an impressive résumé in the 4 years he's coached at his alama mater. He's taken the Red Raiders from winning 26 games in 2013 to 45 the following year, and a trip to the College World Series for the first time in program history. Since then he's brought the team back to the College World Series, won a conference title, (the first since 1997), and named 2014's College Baseball Hall of Fame's National Coach of the Year. This baseball team is reaching a higher level of standard.
Lubbock could be a baseball town soon, but I want it to be more than just a baseball town. Chris Beard is taking over a basketball team that just made a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time in years. This team is also being held to higher standards, but we won't see this still young team bring in a trophy anytime soon.
We always ask "what if". What if Patrick Mahomes plays out of his mind every game and receives the Heisman? What if Zach Smith only increases his talent and leads his team to a deep run in the tournament? What if Eric Gutierrez hits a grand-slam to put us in the CWS final? The city of Cleveland kept asking the same question until last Sunday night. Their patience was well rewarded, and so will Texas Tech's.