Texas Tech Football: Being picked #4 in the perfect preseason for the Red Raiders

Texas Tech football: Red Raiders Have Another Monster Recruiting Weekend

One of the annual rites of the summer is the launch of the Big 12 preseason poll, voted on by members of the media. That milestone we must always pass to get to practice games arrived on Thursday and the Texas Tech football team occupied a perfect place in the rankings.

location and 4th, Tech was second only to Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, respectively. What’s more, the Red Raiders got four first-place votes, the same number as the Sooners.

But let’s be honest, this poll is useless. It’s just a talking point to help generate buzz for the next 12 football media sessions, as well as a talking point to help writers, bloggers, reporters and fans have something to chew on until the games start in two months.

After all, last season’s poll was all wrong. Baylor was the preseason pick to win the league, but the Bears would finish the year ranked No. 6.

Meanwhile, eventual Big 12 champion Kansas State was only drafted 5th, while the National Championship team TCU was drafted only 7th in the conference. As for tech, the media ranked Joey McGuire’s team ninth out of 10 in the preseason poll a year ago, only to see the Red Raiders finish fourth.

So why do we care about preseason polls or all-conference teams? Why do we spend any time discussing them in the first place? Why do fans seem to put so much energy into worrying about their school’s ranking before playing any game?

It’s because these rankings are a sign of respect, and that’s what every college sports fan wants for their school. Seeing our school at the top of the preseason poll somehow makes us not only hopeful about the upcoming season, but also makes us believe that people outside of our specific fan base recognize and appreciate where our show is at.

On the other hand, having to scroll all the way to the bottom of the list to find your school often feels awkward while also dousing just about any embers of belief that might be burning in our sporting hearts. Tech fans know this sentiment all too well, considering how poorly Lubbock’s football program has been thought out over the past decade.

That looks to be changing, as McGuire’s show earned the No. 3 poll and is ahead of TCU, the show coming off one of the best seasons a Big 12 team has had in the last 15 years. years. In other words, people outside West Texas are now giving McGuire and his team what they deserve after an impressive 8-5 season last fall that included wins over Texas, OU and Ole Miss.

Coming in at #4 in this poll is actually a perfect spot for tech. Of course, everyone involved with the show has bigger aspirations than that for the 2023 season. However, this is a show that works best in the underdog role.

Almost regardless of the sport, technology has always been a poor pioneer. However, when there is some kind of chip on the shoulders of the Red Raiders, interesting results often come out.

For what it’s worth, McGuire seems a master at capitalizing on any kind of slight that might be perceived by his team. Having already shown a penchant for making his team play at maximum effort almost every time the ball is released, he looks like a manager who would be at his best motivation when he has the disrespect card to play in key moments. This year, when he leads his team against the Wildcats and Horns, that’s exactly what he’ll be able to lean on.

On the other hand, technology ranks high enough in this poll that people across the country are taking Red Raiders seriously. Believe it or not, many uninformed and far from college football minds still see McGuire as a glorified high school coach and don’t expect anything special from Tech this year since the brand’s star power is not what this list is built on. .

For example, few people with a national perspective are going to look too closely at Tyler Shough and see a potential All-Conference player, given his modest stats from a season ago and injury history. In fact, only two Red Raiders, wide receiver Jerand Bradley and defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings, were named. Preseason All-Big 12 Honorees.

So people across the country probably still don’t believe in the Red Raiders as potential factors on a national scale. However, when those folks see Tech in the top third of the conference’s preseason poll, they’ll likely be inclined to at least give McGuire and company a second look at the start of the season.

This is important because college football is the only major sport in the world where perception is 90% of the formula for winning a title. With only four teams invited to the world’s most exclusive postseason tournament and rankings driving nearly everything in the sport, the way a team is perceived is huge in college football.

Now ranked fourth in the preseason Big 12 poll, Tech should rightfully expect to be a top 25 team in the top national rankings when they are released in a few weeks. While that’s no guarantee of a successful season, it’s the preferred place to start the year, especially for a show that can’t simply make a living off of its reputation.

From the moment the confetti cannons shot scarlet and black paper across the field at Houston’s NRG Stadium after last December’s Texas Bowl, there has been great enthusiasm for technical football in West Texas. It’s a feeling that hasn’t existed among the Red Raider faithful since 2014, when Kliff Kingsbury was entering his sophomore year after also posting an 8-5 mark in his rookie campaign as head coach at Texas Tech.

What’s more, Thursday’s poll release also shows that people outside of Raiderland believe McGuire has put together a squad worth keeping an eye on. It’s a nice place to be back after so many years of irrelevance. However, the perch is not so high that it will allow the Red Raiders to look down on everyone in the league. That’s left for the Longhorns to do and we know how it usually ends up for them.

  • Published on 07/07/2023 at 00:44
  • Last update on 07/07/2023 at 00:44