There’s nothing that says that Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury has to get to 8 wins, but I think it’s a pretty important to get to those wins, if nothing else, to get off the treadmill of mediocrity. These are, in my opinion, the most critical games to get to 8 wins.
1. Lamar. This one is pretty simple, don’t win this game and you can pack it in. I don’t think this will be a difficult game to win, Texas Tech should be heavily favored and this is probably the one game that’s marked down as a win.
2. Kansas. The Jayhawks are pretty terrible on the road and this is a game that’s in Lubbock and this is the second half of a back-to-back, the first half being in Morgantown and then coming to Lubbock the next week. Kansas isa power Five team, but Kansas has not won a road or neutral site game since 2009 when they beat UTEP. So yeah, you can’t win 8 games if you don’t win the ones you are supposed to win.
3. Ole Miss. There’s part of me that thinks that this game should be higher. Get this win and things really get started off in the right direction. Ole Miss is talented and fighting NCAA issues, but they’re still very talented and they’re still favored in this game. This is a game that should essentially be a home game for Texas Tech and Kingsbury should be more than prepared for the Black Bear Rebel Land Sharks.
4. Houston. Another game in Lubbock and after getting the win against Houston last year in Houston then I think this is a game that Texas Tech should win. Texas Tech should be favored slightly and if anything, it would be nice if the karma gods released all sorts of furious anger for hiring Kendal Briles. Major Applewhite sold his soul, there should be a punishment for that.
5. Baylor. Baylor struggled mightily lat year as a result of some scholarship issues and a very green offensive line and an inexperienced quarterback. Baylor should be better, but they shouldn’t have the horses on defense to keep up with Texas Tech and a game at the end of the year should hopefully reveal a Baylor team that is not as deep as they were when they started the year.
6. Kansas State. The first road game of this group and this one probably seems unlikely. The last time Texas Tech won against Kansas in Manhattan was 2008 and Ron Prince was the head coach of the Fighting Wildcats. Everything for Texas Tech will need to click to get a win in Manhattan and Kliff Kingsbury will need to be patient on offense. Be efficient on offense, not just fast on offense.
7. West Virginia. I mentioned this in the West Virginia preview, but the Mountaineers have some scholarship issues, only 70 scholarship players right now with a lot of defections on defense. The question that we really don’t know the answer to is whether or not the Texas Tech offense is going to be good, bad, or great.
8. Iowa State? Texas? I don’t know which one to pick, but my gut tells me to pick the Longhorns and that’s sort of a crazy thing to type out. Iowa State is on the road, Texas is at home. Texas Tech has had the doors blown off of them in Ames and Texas Tech has been competitive against Texas for the last few years. That makes me think that the Texas game is the right pick, but I think this is why 8 wins is going to be tough because after picking one of these two teams, you’ve got Oklahoma State, TCU, and Oklahoma as the next best options. Oklahoma is the only home game on that slate.