Dramatic Change Must Come

With only two games left in the season, Tech must change something if it wants to be in a bowl.

A Cancer within the Body of the Program: The totality of Tech's last three losses goes far beyond the ability of typical football analysis to describe and explain. One cannot explain the profoundly dreadful play of this team by criticizing schemes, critiquing game plans and questioning play calls. And you can't use injuries as an excuse either.


No, there is something far more insidious and fundamental at work here. As ABC commentator Bob Davey noted, the talent disparity between Texas Tech and Oklahoma State is simply nowhere near significant enough to account for the 60-point pulverization.


I do not know how and I do not know why, but somehow Tommy Tuberville and his staff simply lost this football team. Somewhere down the line the players simply ceased listening to the coaches, they stopped believing in them, and they ceased wanting to play for them. The team lost all motivation. It lost the desire to play the game of football.


The only thing that can dispel the terrible atmosphere that has engulfed the Red Raider program is dramatic change. Some of that change will occur when the current group of seniors graduates, but that is not sufficient. Assuming Tommy Tuberville remains the head coach (and I'm not convinced that's a sure thing), he will have to fire his staff, or at least the greater portion of it. There is no other solution.


Worst Stretch in Tech History: The unbelievable awfulness of Red Raider football goes far beyond the single most lopsided loss in school history. With Tech's 66-6 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders have now lost their last three games by a combined 126 points. That is not merely the worst three-game stretch in school history, it utterly demolishes all previous segments of ineptitude.


Prior to Saturday's loss, Tech's worst three-game slide occurred in 1956 when the Red Raiders lost to Baylor, Texas A&M and West Texas State by a combined total of 80 points. In losing to Oklahoma State by 60, the Red Raiders, unfathomable as it is, came within shouting distance of the previous worst three-game stretch in just one game. There can be no excuse for what we saw in Jones Stadium in that game.


The Momentum Is Gone: Beginning in 1986, Texas Tech football slowly generated an unbroken swell of momentum. Yes, there was a down period in the early 90s, but the overall arc of Red Raider football has basically been a steady ascent since 1986.


During the Mike Leach era, that rise crested in 2008, but even in 2009 and 2010, the drop was anything but dramatic, and it looked for all the world as through Tech was poised to soon eclipse even that marvelous 2008 campaign.


No more.


Tech's play throughout the 2011 season, and in particular the current three-game skid, proves conclusively that this Golden Age of Red Raider football has ended. Tech retained enough momentum from the Leach years to coast to a respectable 8-5 season in 2010, but now that the momentum has been expended, and in the complete absence of any further self-generated propulsion, the Red Raider football program, like an airliner whose jets have failed, is in complete freefall. Soon the crash will occur and then will come the arduous task of cleaning up the wreckage, and rebuilding the program anew.




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