For the second straight week, Texas Tech really showed up and competed with a Top 25 team. Of course, Tech didn’t come out on the winning side in Waco, but let’s see what the analytics say about the second half of the season.
ESPN’s Football Power Index
|Team||National Rank||FPI||Big 12 Title Odds|
The FPI score is the expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. Purdue is the most average team in the country according to FPI with a score of -0.1.
The Big 12 median FPI remained at a season-high of 8.3 Below are the odds of victory for Texas Tech against each remaining opponent.
Texas Tech Win Probability (%)
|@ West Virginia||55|
Texas Tech’s average remaining win percentage is 46.6 percent, which squares with how many toss-up games remain on the schedule. Below are the odds that Texas Tech finishes with all possible season records. FPI currently projects Tech to finish 5.8-6.2.
SP+ measures the same thing as FPI; expected margin of victory against an average team on a neutral field. For reference, SP+ has Fresno State as the most average team in the country with a perfectly average SP+ of 0.0. Texas Tech is currently 3.4 points behind the median Big 12 SP+ of 13.9.
Adam McClintock ranks all 130 FBS teams every week and predicts the margin of victory for each FBS vs. FBS matchup. He gives Texas Tech a 33.6 percent chance to beat Iowa State and has the Red Raiders as about a one touchdown underdog.
Sagarin gives Texas Tech a 31 percent chance to win on Saturday and has them as one touchdown underdogs.
It looks like the analytical models are in very close agreement to the oddsmakers in Vegas. Iowa State opened as 6.5-point favorites and are currently 7-point favorites. Texas Tech’s money line opened at +180 and is now +230. Those equate to implied odds of 35.7 and 30.3 percent, respectively.
My Two Cents
The loss to Baylor wasn’t just a gut punch due to the specific circumstances of the game, but in terms of Texas Tech’s season outlook as well. Fortunately, the Red Raiders have an equally big opportunity this weekend. A victory over the Cyclones would put Texas Tech at 2-2 over the four teams from the top half of the Big 12 that they’ve played so far. That would not only exceed my expectations for year one of this coaching staff, but would surpass Texas Tech’s performance against the top half of the conference for the better part of the last decade.
By now, I think it’s clear what this team’s strengths and weaknesses are. The defensive scheme is solid, but lacks depth which is why Arizona, Oklahoma State, and Baylor all got better on offense as the game went on. The offense has found a pretty good balance between run and pass, but hasn’t taken advantage of the opponents’ scoring droughts and is often inefficient in the red zone.
All in all, I am excited by what I see. The program culture appears to have changed for the better. The defense is leaps and bounds better than it has been. It wasn’t long ago we were celebrating that we were a dozen or so spots better than the last place defense in the country. Wells and his staff are doing a great job on the recruiting trail. I’m a nerd and I love the numbers, but to an extent I’m willing to throw them out and say that I’m more excited about Texas Tech football than I have been in quite sometime.