The term Cinderella has been thrown around in the college football world as the NCAA Tournament is underway and we consider whether or not the Texas Tech football program is a Cinderella team, set to take the stage in 2015.
Texas Tech a Cinderella? A couple of days ago a Bleacher Report article labeled Texas Tech as being a Cinderella type of team, one that did poorly last year, but could turn into a princess (is this the right analogy?) in 2015. Now, ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon has his three Cinderella candidates, which includes Kansas State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. All of those teams had winning records last year, so I don’t really know if they meet the definition of a Cinderella before she becomes a princess as they all went to a bowl last year. Now, the rest of the Big 12 blog bros answer the same question and Jake Trotter chooses Texas Tech:
Jake Trotter: Who could reprise the role of TCU as Big 12 Cinderella? I think it’s Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are coming off a dreadful 4-8 season in which they fielded a turnover machine of an offense and one of the worst statistical defenses in Big 12 history. But the Red Raiders are not devoid of talent. Patrick Mahomes was one of the most exciting players in the league late last year as a true freshman quarterback. DeAndre Washington is coming off a 1,000-yard season. Jakeem Grant leads a bevy of playmaking receivers. And All-Big 12 performer Le’Raven Clark heads an underrated offensive line. The big question is whether Tech can play better defense. But new coordinator David Gibbs ought to give the Red Raiders an immediate jolt with his ability to coach turnovers. Pete Robertson can get after the quarterback and linebacker newcomer Mike Mitchell should instantly improve the run defense. I’m not saying the Red Raiders are going to win the Big 12. But if you’re looking for Cinderella-like potential, they’re the pick.
Another question was which team was “underseeded” or possibly underrated heading into 2015 and Max Olson chooses Texas Tech, largely because of defensive coordinator David Gibbs:
Olson: Takeaways make any defense look a lot better, and I think Texas Tech is going to find a way to get a lot more under new DC David Gibbs. With so much offensive firepower returning along with two confident guys at quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb, I think Tech is getting closer to having what it needs to play with the best in this league. Folks will be wary of expecting much from the Red Raiders, but I think they’re moving in the right direction.
Of the teams that I think actually fit the definition of a Cinderella, I think the choice has to be Texas Tech because they just were not very good in 2014, there’s just not any other team that performed poorly and had a losing record that has a realistic expectation of greatly out-performing that poor season in 2015. The only other options, at least to me, are Iowa State and Kansas and I don’t think they’ll out-perform the 2014 records all that much.
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