Texas Tech Red Raiders

Kliff Kingsbury
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Texas Tech AD Hocutt endorses Kingsbury for 2017, but hot seat must be warming in Lubbock


Before he makes his way to this week’s College Football Playoff selection committee meetings to determine the rankings he will be forced to defend publicly on Tuesday night, Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt met with the media in Lubbock to offer his public endorsement for head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

“We are moving forward with Kingsbury because it is the right thing for Texas Tech University,” Hocutt said during his press conference.Kingsbury may have saved his job with a 54-34 victory against Baylor in Arlington this weekend,

Kingsbury may have saved his job with a 54-34 victory against Baylor in Arlington this weekend, which snapped a three-game losing streak that included losses to Texas and Iowa State. At 5-7, Texas Tech’s season came to an end. This was the fourth season under Kingsbury as the head coach and the second losing season in that time (Kingsbury is 24-26 as a head coach). Texas Tech may have been able to pile up the number son offense, but defense has been lacking, to put it kindly, and it has gotten worse each season.

Yet, Kingsbury remains the head coach at Texas Tech. Year five will prove to be critical. Texas Tech has Kingsbury locked into a contract through 2020, but it will be time to start seeing a return on the investment that is paying Kingsbury over $3.1 million each year with $200,000 raises each successive season up to $4.1 million.

“I believed in Kliff Kingsbury when we hired him in December of 2012,” Hocutt said. “I believe in him today. I look forward to future success under his leadership as we move forward”

The scope of the national coaching search may have been a disadvantage for Texas Tech as well with Texas already making a change and openings at Houston and Baylor currently open, not to mention other pending changes to come. If Texas Tech scuffles next year, could the Red Raiders hit the open market to see what they can do? Time will tell, but the 2017 season should be one with a very warm seat for Kingsbury.

Baylor drops fifth straight game as Texas Tech wins high-scoring shootout

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Jim Grobe of the Baylor Bears at a time out during the first half of the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 25, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
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There are few things in college football that are a sure thing but betting that Texas Tech and Baylor would get into a shootout on Black Friday was one of them.

The Bears ended up dropping their fifth straight Big 12 game of the season 54-35 to the Red Raiders in a wild game from AT&T Stadium in Arlington that produced points and yards a plenty.

Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes ended his 2016 season by passing for a remarkable 586 yards and six touchdowns, doing most of his damage in a 41 point outburst in the first half. Four of his wideouts finished with over 80 yards through the air, with Keke Coutee leading them all by racking up 221 yards and two scores on just eight catches.

Baylor was no slouch in what amounted to a 7-on-7 game in the Lone Star State, as freshman quarterback Zach Smith threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns in his best game as a starter. His favorite target was Ishmael Zamora, who finished with 155 yards and a touchdown. K.D. Cannon added another 132 yards and two scores through the air as well.

All told, the two teams combined for 89 points, 179 plays, 1,300 yards of total offense, 56 first downs and one long set of game film for the coaches to break down over the weekend.

Yet in the Big 12 this season, especially in games involving Baylor and Texas Tech, nobody is all that surprised at what transpired on Friday.

Dallas Cowboys’ home to host Big 12 title game next five years

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 3: The Alabama Crimson Tide takes the field before the Tide takes on the USC Trojans in the AdvoCare Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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Not surprisingly, the revival of the the Big 12 championship game will take place in a Lone Star State football palace.

Friday morning, the Big 12 announced that AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, has won the bid to host the league’s title game beginning in 2017. The home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys will also host the game from 2018-2021.

Kansas City and San Antonio had bid on hosting the game.

“There is great anticipation with the return of the Big 12 Football Championship and we look forward to hosting the event in AT&T Stadium for the next five years,” said commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “The building is a state of the art facility and offers many amenities that will be enjoyed by our institutions and fans.”

The same stadium had played host to the last two Big 12 championship games in 2009 and 2010 before it was abandoned amidst conference expansion.  Kansas City was the host five times (2008, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2000) and San Antonio three times (2007, 1999, 1997).

It was announced in June of this year that the title game would return for the 2017 season. Last month, it was confirmed that he teams with the best and second-best record in conference play will square off in the championship game instead of splitting the league into two divisions.

Texas Tech OT Justin Murphy retires due to ACL injury

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 25:   The Texas Tech Red Raiders flag flies outside the stadium before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys September 25, 2014 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 45-35.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Texas Tech’s defense isn’t the only issue the Red Raiders are looking to overcome. The offensive line is taking another hit to the depth with news that offensive lineman Justin Murphy is retiring from football due to knee injury concerns. He is the fifth offensive lineman on scholarship to be lost for the year this season. Murphy announced his retirement with a statement on Twitter.

The decision to retire reportedly came off the advice of doctors who recommended a second surgery on his knee that will likely be one he would never fully recover from, or at least recover to be able to play football.

Texas Tech is now in a mad scramble to pad the depth on the offensive line by any means necessary. “We’re pretty much scouring the country,” Kliff Kingsbury said, referring to junior college transfer options that could jump right in during the 2017 season.

2016 College Football Bowl Projections after Week 11

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11:  Kenyan Drake #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide returns a punt for a 95 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Week 11 in college football is in the books and it was certainly a wild one with half of the top 10 going down and several other upsets shaking up the postseason picture. Everybody is deservedly talking about the playoff path for nearly a dozen teams and it should all make for a fun final month of the regular season.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and see how every game the rest of the year plays out and which teams wind up in certain bowl games. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 17:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl No. 1 Alabama No. 4 Washington
Fiesta Bowl No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Ohio State

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl Wisconsin Utah
Sugar Bowl Oklahoma LSU
Orange Bowl Louisville Michigan
Cotton Bowl Penn State Boise State

2016 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Mexico Bowl UTSA New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl Arizona State San Diego State
Cure Bowl S. Alabama UCF
Camellia Bowl Arkansas State Toledo
New Orleans Bowl Troy Louisiana Tech
Miami Beach Bowl Ohio Tulsa
Boca Raton Bowl Old Dominion Memphis
Poinsettia Bowl BYU Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Colorado State North Texas
Bahamas Bowl Western Kentucky Central Michigan
Armed Forces Bowl Navy TCU
Dollar General Bowl Appalachian St. Western Michigan
Hawaii Bowl Southern Miss Hawaii
St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida Boston College
Quick Lane Bowl Maryland Miami (OH)
Independence Bowl S. Carolina Baylor
Heart of Dallas Bowl MTSU Army
Military Bowl Georgia Tech Temple
Holiday Bowl Iowa Colorado
Cactus Bowl Texas Tech Air Force
Pinstripe Bowl Minnesota Pitt
Russell Athletic Bowl Florida State West Virginia
Foster Farms Bowl Indiana Washington State
Texas Bowl Texas A&M Kansas State
Birmingham Bowl Kentucky Houston
Belk Bowl Virginia Tech Georgia
Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State USC
Liberty Bowl Ole Miss Texas
Sun Bowl Wake Forest Stanford
Music City Bowl Northwestern Arkansas
TaxSlayer Bowl Miami (FL) Auburn
Outback Bowl Nebraska Florida
Citrus Bowl North Carolina Tennessee
Arizona Bowl Idaho Eastern Michigan