Three Years Later

Justin Laney writes about Tuberville's time here at Texas Tech and how it had its ups and downs.

Just three years ago, the Texas Tech fan base was shaken and divided after the removal of a Tech icon. And now here we are, in 2012, sitting without a coach yet again. In fact, I'm sure the entire Ole Miss community has acknowledged what has transpired, and feels our pain as Tuberville did the exact same thing to them in 1998.

But now it is time to move on and band together as a university as we continue our coaching search that has seemingly come down to its final two candidates - former Red Raider gunslinger, Kliff Kingsbury and Clemson Offensive Coordinator, Chad Morris.

But first, let's take a look back at the three year stint under Tommy Tuberville.

The Red Raider football program saw some ups and downs under the Riverboat Gambler. He inherited a solid team in 2010 after Texas Tech compiled an 8-5 record and claimed the 2009 Alamo Bowl in a 41-31 victory against Michigan State.

2010 felt eerily similar as the Red Raiders completed yet another 8-5 season and a 45-38 Ticket City Bowl win over Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern Wildcats. The team was very inconsistent and obviously going through some growing pains the disastrous performance in week 3 against the University of Texas. The Red Raiders lost that game 24-14 and then went to Ames, Iowa to get lit up for 52 points.

The high of that season was doing something that Leach couldn't. Beating Colorado in Boulder and winning a game at Cotton Bowl Stadium against an RGIII led Baylor Bear squad.

Then came a disastrous 2011 season, which saw Tech's bowl eligibility streak come to a sudden halt. The Red Raiders have always prided themselves as being the only Big 12 school to be bowl eligible every season since the Big 12's inception in 1995, but instead Tech stayed home for the holidays.

However, this Red Raider squad did something that only one has done before them. They beat the No. 1 Sooners 41-38 in Norman, Ok. This gave Tech a 5-2 record after two disappointing losses to both Texas A&M and Kansas State but little did we know, it would be the last win of the season as Tech dropped their final five games.

It was a team that was completely ravaged with injuries and that 5-7 record showed just that.

And now, fast forward to 2012. This is a squad that had high hopes with a new defensive coordinator and supposedly much more depth. The only thing that could hold us back would be the injury problems Texas Tech fans are so accustomed to seeing.

The Red Raiders started off fast, garnering the No. 1 total defense ranking. Tech was 4-0 and flying high until a determined Oklahoma team came to Lubbock. OU defeated Tech 41-20 and the national respect went out the door.

However, when No. 5 West Virginia came to Lubbock for the first time, Texas Tech delivered a 49-14 beat down that shocked the country and gained Tech some of the national credibility back.

That game ended up being the last high point in Tuberville's tenure here at Texas Tech as the Red Raiders dropped four of their final five games to finish the season 7-5 (4-5 Big 12).

Tuberville has been known to shop around, and this time, he found a familiar face in Whit Babcock who promptly offered him the same position at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday.

Tuberville eventually accepted the position and seemingly the divided fan base drove him out of town for good. The Tuberville chapter has ended but the Red Raider fan base seems to be stronger than ever.

Texas Tech football will be back under the next guy. But for now, the Red Raiders have a bowl game to prepare for as interim head coach Chris Thomsen looks to lead the Red Raiders to a sound victory over the University of Minnesota at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX later this month.




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