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The 2OT: Why football teams win games

Who’s more responsible for winning games, the coaches or the players?

The Thought.

Did you know that the Texas Tech Red Raiders were the only school to have a winning record every year since joining the Big 12? That (obviously) came to an end in 2011. What changed? The coach? The players? Upon joining the Big 12, Spike Dykes remained coach for a few more seasons. He already had several winning seasons and even a conference title. He was quickly followed by Mike Leach who continued that winning streak until 2011. Then Tommy Tuberville came in. While he finished his first season as Texas Tech coach with a 8–5 record, it all went downhill from there. Was Tuberville’s 2011 season successful because of the players recruited by Mike Leach or was it his own success? Does having the best players help a team succeed or do coaches? Which is more important?

The Take.

Dykes was the school’s first coach to defeat the Texas Longhorns in six different seasons. He earned three Southwest Conference and one Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year honors. His record at Tech stands at 82–67–1. During Leach’s time, Texas Tech had 3 nine-win seasons and one eleven-win season. In 2002, with Kliff Kingsbury as starting quarterback, the Red Raiders defeated Texas, Baylor, and Texas A&M for the first time since 1997, when Dykes was still coach. They went on to defeat Clemson in the bowl game that very same season. Leach built a strong passing offense at Tech that is still evident with Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching style. Under Leach, the Red Raiders led the NCAA in passing yardage for four years in a row and his team broke records left and right. He had Coach of the Year awards and still remains the all-time winningest football coach in Texas Tech history. Then he got fired. Even at Washington State he continues to have more winning seasons than not. When Tuberville took over, his coaching career at Texas Tech just didn’t seem as impressive as his predecessors. Sure his first season was great, but his team was still made up of guys previously recruited and coached by Mike Leach. He did only stay for three years though. When dear old Kliff started he was still on a high from his 2012 season at Texas A&M and still had Baker Mayfield. So what was it that helps a team succeed - the coaches or the players? Did Kingsbury, Symons, Cumbie and Hodges help Texas Tech keep that winning record during Leach’s coaching career at Tech or was Leach just so good at his job he made great players?


Do you think a successful football team depends on good coaching or good players?

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  • 22%
    (31 votes)
  • 3%
    (5 votes)
  • 73%
    (102 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now