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Let’s stop using the “Lubbock is too desolate” excuse

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Too many of us blame Tech’s location for why the Red Raiders never sign the best recruits. This argument is deeply flawed.

NCAA Football: Sam Houston State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

You know those three-legged races people do at corporate retreats or county fairs, where you have two people running with one foot bound together, frantically stumbling to the finish line?

Imagine one of those guys who finished last in the race complaining with the following excuse:

“Well, I would’ve won if I wasn’t tethered to another person.”

Yeah, no sh*t. Obviously you’d be faster if you were just running alone. But it was a level playing field—everyone in the race was tied to someone else, so that excuse don’t really work, man.

This is directly comparable to Texas Tech fans who point to the university’s location as the primary reason the team doesn’t sign top-tier talent.

News flash: Most college towns suck. I can and will name several other programs in equal or worse locations who have a much higher track record of success.

First, let’s talk about Lubbock. There’s a negative connotation to the name among outsiders, but those are just groundless claims with no real facts to back it up.

Here’s the truth:

Texas Tech - Lubbock, Texas

Population: 252,000

Students: 36,511

Miles to nearest metropolis (city with 1M+ people): 315

Avg summer temp: 91 degrees

Avg winter temp: 56 degrees

Sure, it’s no Los Angeles, but it’s not a ghost town, by any stretch of the imagination. And if you can persevere through a few dust storms, the weather isn’t all that bad, particularly in the winter.

Now let’s look at some other schools with stronger programs in worse locations:

Notre Dame - South Bend, Indiana

Population: 101,000

Students: 12,292

Miles to nearest metropolis: 89

Avg summer temp: 81 degrees

Avg winter temp: 34 degrees

Oklahoma - Norman, Oklahoma

Population: 120,000

Students: 31,250

Miles to nearest metropolis: 89

Avg summer temp: 90 degrees

Avg winter temp: 51 degrees

Alabama - Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Population: 99,000

Students: 37,665

Miles to nearest metropolis: 202

Avg summer temp: 90 degrees

Avg winter temp: 51 degrees

Oregon - Eugene, Oregon

Population: 166,000

Students: 23,634

Miles to nearest metropolis: 528

Avg summer temp: 79 degrees

Avg winter temp: 48 degrees

Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska

Population: 280,000

Students: 25,260

Miles to nearest metropolis: 196

Avg summer temp: 87 degrees

Avg winter temp: 37 degrees

Iowa - Iowa City, Iowa

Population: 67,000

Students: 33,334

Miles to nearest metropolis: 222

Avg summer temp: 85 degrees

Avg winter temp: 34 degrees

Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin

Population: 230,000

Students: 43,338

Miles to nearest metropolis: 147

Avg summer temp: 79 degrees

Avg winter temp: 28 degrees


I think you get my point. Texas Tech is no more sequestered than many of these other schools, with warmer weather than most and, subjectively, nicer people.

The aforementioned universities, all located in equal or lesser towns than Lubbock, have combined for 40 national championships in their storied histories.

It’s time to stop using the “Lubbock is the reason Tech doesn’t win championships” excuse. It just doesn’t work.