Coach McGuire has lit a fire under the Texas Tech football program. A large recruiting class for 2023 sits near the top of the rankings. High profile transfers have come in to help support his red hot new staff.
But for any first year head coach the most important game to win is the expectations game. Matt Wells failed miserably in year one to build any momentum, and drastically undershot expectations culminating with the embarrassing loss to Kansas.
Coach McGuire will look to avoid that same fate in his first season. But that does beg the question, what should be the expectation?
The staff is extremely competent, with both coordinators having success to prove their systems. But do they have the pieces on campus right now for a big run?
Reviewing the returning production, Texas Tech has questions in the receiving corp, the offensive line, the linebacker corp, and the quarterback position.
There is talent there, but a lot of questions of what will actually happens. However, key returners have boosted the secondary, the defensive line looks actually deep for the first time in awhile, and the running back group is the best in the conference.
75% of success in year one is just what pieces are already there/can you bring in through the portal. But that 25%, which installing anew culture and coaching the kids up, is the difference between 5-7 and 7-5.
Now let’s take a closer look at the schedule.
Not the easiest nonconference schedule, going on the road to NCState who looks like a top 15 team and having a rising Houston program looking to build on a successful season. If Tech can split those two games, that would be a massive win.
Up next, Texas has to be a win. At home, and with the next two games being brutal tests, Tech has to get it done against a Texas teams with holes all over the roster. It won’t be easy, but it is a must win.
Splitting Kansas State and Oklahoma State will be quite the task, but if it can be done that would be massive. Followed by 2 wins out of the next three (most likely West Virginia and TCU) would have the season rolling. The last three games are all winnable, with Kansas being a surefire win and an depleted Iowa State squad first. Beating OU will be tough, but the Sooners look vulnerable for the first time in recent memory.
What would the most likely case equate to as I just described? 7-5 and a bowl trip.
To me, that is a reasonable expectation in year one. Either 6-6 or 7-5. The talent is there, and I am not asking for the moon. If McGuire can just do that, Tech will be positioned extremely well in Year’s Two and Three.