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Are we underrated, or do people really not know what to call us?

Nobody knows what the Red Raiders will be this fall.

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

As a writer for this website, I see all the difference faces of the fanbase. The blind supporter, the realist, the cynic, etc. One resoundingly answer that every Tech fan tends to believe historically though - we’re underrated. Oddly, through this offseason, I’ve noticed Vegas call our O/U on wins at 5.5, us picked 9th by sports writers, and a healthy amount of concern as to how we get to bowl eligibility. So, why do you see so many people dogging on the team, and even fewer sticking up for why they’re better than that?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not entirely willing to tout that we’ll win nine or 10 games.

Here’s why: Kingsbury hasn’t proven that we should blindly believe we’re good. We all saw that Arizona State bowl win, to be followed by a four win campaign the next season. Yet, I’ll be the first to admit I felt we were better than we showed that year. We followed that four win season, with a respectable seven wins, but then a disappointing five wins.

For those in sales, you know that predictable forecasting is one of the most desired traits to find. Leaders like to know what they’re going to get from someone. They hate the up and downs. Well, I think that applies to this situation here.

We’ve talked ad nauseam that we took Kingsbury a little early, but that’s because we had to lock him down. We’ve talked about how he’s needed to grow up a little bit, how he’s been humbled, and how his maturation has become apparent.

So, here’s where I’m having this huge moral dilemma, I think my common sense is telling me that we’re a better team. Yet, my head won’t let me “call” it.

Here’s the the deal though: if there was ever a team to be a little more hyped than usual about due to pure facts/data - it’s your 2017 Red Raiders.

What did your eyes tell you when Shimonek torched Kansas in Lubbock that evening? This kid gets it, and we didn’t skip a beat.

What did you eyes tell you when Jordyn Brooks had 18 tackles against Baylor? My instant reaction was, wow he finally is starting to understand Gibbs’s scheme. This is a future war daddy.

What did your gut tell you when Dakota Allen got kicked off last years team? Oh crap…he was bar none our best defender and was likely responsible for 6 turnovers/season. You definitely can believe that we’d have been better with him (6 wins?).

What did your eyes tell you when Douglas Coleman picked off Kenny Hill in Fort Worth? Or when he stripped D’Onta Foreman? We got a gamer in the secondary to go with Johnson.

(Disclaimer: I get chills every time I watch that)

What does common sense tell you Jah’Shawn Johnson will do this season? Well seeing as how he’s averaged 80 tackles and multiple turnovers/season - yeah, I’d speculate he won’t be getting worse.

I’m not going to put myself out there and say that we’ve got a truly better team this season. Because, I really have no clue what’s going to happen with our defensive line, linebackers, secondary, offensive line, running backs, or even quarterbacks. Look, the Wide Receivers are good - we all know that. The reality is though, the talent that we have at all those positions is real. Other good teams wanted these players, and that hasn’t always been the case in the past.

I’ll admit that the reports out of fall camp have me bullish, and I’ll be severely disappointed in anything less than seven wins.

Seriously - why can’t September 2nd get here already.