SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s preview is usually the one preview I wait to read each summer. Not Dave Campbell. Not Athlon. Not Phil Steele. Not Lindy’s (is this still a thing?). It’s Bill.
- Connelly starts off with the idea that the Texas Tech offense has almost always been good, always within the top 25 for all 10 years of Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching career and Bill’s premise really relies on the fact that Texas Tech ‘should’ have that trend continue in 2018 because it’s been true for an entire decade. Connelly correctly notes that there really isn’t a front line starter at quarterback and that’s the biggest question mark, well that, and receiver where there are four very important parts that are all being replaced. I am more confident in the receivers than I am in the quarterback. I have nothing to base that on and I really should be more cautious, but I think the receivers will be inconsistent, like a lot of unproven players, but they’ll be fine.
- The defense is ‘projected’ to be a top 40 defense, 39th actually. ‘Projected’ is the key. This is sorta like potential, it’s all potential until someone goes out and does it. The one thing that bothers me is that Connelly correctly notes that in the bend-but-don’t-break methodology of defense, Texas Tech is very bendy, which is true. Texas Tech gave up a lot of yards last year and becoming less bendy would strengthen what is already going to be a pretty good defense.
- In looking at the projected score schedule and score and there are in fact 7 games that are predicted to be within a touchdown: Ole Miss (-6.8); Houston (+4.6); West Virginia (+1.6); at Iowa State (-3.0); Texas (-3.0); at Kansas State (-0.3); and Baylor (+0.2). Arguably, that’s four games with home or home-like crowds, 2 games on the road and one neutral site game, that being Baylor. There are two projected double-digit wins, Lamar (+49.9) and Kansas (+14.7). Win those two, win the home games and that gets you to 6 wins right there. Holding serve at home needs to be the priority this year. Not going to be easy necessarily, but winning at home needs to be a thing.
- Seriously, a healthy Clayton Hatfield could literally change everything (or could have changed everything last year).
- I can afford to be hopefully. It’s better for my soul and then the crushing disappointment usually dissipates before Christmas because I still have young kids who make me happy. All kidding aside, this will maybe turn out to be one of the more interesting football seasons in Texas Tech history. There is so much riding on this season, more than any other than I can recall.