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Under Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech is relevant again

Kliff Kingsbury AP

The stars were easy to name five years ago, when Graham Harrell linked up with Michael Crabtree. Harrell’s game-winning touchdown to Crabtree against Texas was one of the highlights of 2008, with the win one of, if not the, best in school history.

Since that season, things have gone downhill in Lubbock. There was the controversial, ugly split between the university and Mike Leach. Tommy Tuberville followed with two uninspiring seasons.

But at 7-0 and No. 10 in the BCS, Texas Tech is back on the national stage. The Red Raiders’ date with Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday is one of this weekend’s more intriguing games, sort of a bellwether game for Texas Tech’s legitimacy as a BCS contender.

A large part of the success to date, though, can be traced back to bringing in Kliff Kingsbury.

SI’s Stewart Mandel looked at how Kingsbury vaulted his alma mater back into relevancy, and how his players would “literally run in front of an 18-wheeler for him.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jimmy Burch wrote how Texas Tech is motivated by its critics — those who didn’t think much of prior to the season and still don’t think much of them now.

Kingsbury specifically mentioned how Texas Tech was put on “upset alert” by College GameDay for the game last weekend against West Virginia, driving home the “prove these people wrong” point before kickoff.

While Texas Tech hasn’t played a difficult schedule — their best win is a 20-10 victory over TCU — they get Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas in four of their final five games. If their run of success continues (and there’s some more attrition around the top of the BCS standings), a Texas Tech-Baylor game in Lubbock could have championship implications next month.

Not bad for a first-year coach.

“It doesn’t matter what people are saying now, jumping on board,” Kingsbury said, via the Star-Telegram. “What matters is what we believed in this team room from Day One. The rest of it really doesn’t matter.”

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11 Responses to “Under Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech is relevant again”
  1. bearsandhawks says: Oct 24, 2013 3:07 PM

    Baylor will be texas tech in Arlinton this year where the game will be played. They’d be them in Lubbock, too, but just sayin’.

  2. kylepalm says: Oct 24, 2013 5:18 PM

    Texas Tech is probably a year away, but they have the type of program that could become a power year in and year out, especially now that they have somone like Klingsbury that is an alum who gets the culture and will likely be there until he retires.

    I still think Baylor wins this year, but they aren’t the type of program that can sustain success and will likely lose their coach after this season when big name programs come calling. They’re a good “doormat to respectable” story, but beyond that I don’t see them being a consistent program.

  3. phipfwe76 says: Oct 24, 2013 6:22 PM

    Ehhhh they’ve also played the bottom half of the Big XII so far.

    It’s highly likely they finish 9-3, possibly 8-4.

  4. thekingdave says: Oct 24, 2013 7:55 PM


    Will likely be there until he retires? A bit of a stretch no? That’s over 30 years at the same school, rarely replicated, and probably unheard of in today’s age. Alum or not, if he’s successful other schools and the NFL will come calling.

  5. kylepalm says: Oct 24, 2013 8:31 PM


    Possibly, but look at Frank Beamer. Kliff has said repeatedly that’s his destination job, and those that are close to him have indicated the only job he would leave for is an NFL job.

    The odds are good he’ll be at that school for a long time.

  6. tilmannpuschka says: Oct 24, 2013 9:13 PM

    same thing will happen that happened back in 2008 when Tech made it all the way to #2 for a brief week and a half, and then went to play in Norman.

    Cotton Bowl, Alamo Bowl, or Independence Bowl come the end of the season. ya gotta completely clean house and start over if you want a championship program- replacing the coach isn’t sufficient.

  7. tilmannpuschka says: Oct 24, 2013 9:20 PM

    ….and they won’t beat Texas either.

  8. chachooga says: Oct 25, 2013 12:09 AM

    They lose to OU no doubt.

    Mizzou will lose to SCar too.

    Oregon state is gonna get whooped.

  9. big12and0tt says: Oct 25, 2013 12:38 AM

    Tech has always had a good program, they have just never had the draw of a UT or OU program for recruiting. What they do is take a bunch of kids from Tahoka, Post, Plainview and other small towns and mix it up with the teams that might have more talent, but lack the heart that TT has. Tech will always have a winning team and with KK at the helm, may have many championship teams in the near future. This year, somebody is going to run the table in the Big12…..TT or BU. Kliff and Art have definitely done one thing; they have brought a refreshing breeze into the Big12….Coaches Stoops and Brown are both probably scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do with this new order.

  10. jarzmel says: Oct 25, 2013 4:19 AM

    Relevant again ? When were they ever relevant ? Why now ? Because they are undefeated and have played no one ?

  11. jdillydawg says: Oct 26, 2013 1:17 AM

    I hope Tech wins. And then Baylor beats OU next week.

    And then when they face each other on 11/16, I hope we’ll see one helluva football game between two undefeated top 10 teams that are the most unlikely candidates bringing respect back to the Big12.

    And I hope Baylor wins.

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