I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, but Kingsbury opened the press conference yesterday in a manner he hasn’t done since he started at Texas Tech: he offered an opening statement before taking any questions.
All right. So I know Matt already told you all, but I felt the need to make an opening statement as an alum and as a head coach of this university. This community, the university, this program obviously means the world to me, and that performance was as embarrassed as I’ve been. Completely unacceptable in every way, shape and form. I take sole responsibility.
Didn’t have our guys ready to go, didn’t have them focused enough, didn’t have enough energy, didn’t have good enough game plans, obviously, and that’s on me. I think after watching the film there was no real silver lining to be found. We didn’t play well offensively, defensively, special teams, and we didn’t handle adversity well. It just got worse as the game went on, and that’s the responsibility of the head coach, and that falls on me.
We knew they were a better team. We talked about it, and the record indicated all week. But when we got out there, we didn’t match their intensity, didn’t match their effort, and it came back to bite us. I think we knew what was on the line. It was probably the most disappointing part to me as coaches and players and we didn’t answer the bell.
So with that being said, we can’t let that game beat us twice having Baylor this week on a short week. We know they’re a great football team. We know we have not beaten them in quite some time. It’s the senior’s last game. Our sole focus now is moving forward and trying to send those seniors who have never beaten Baylor off with a win.
Tell me if we haven’t heard those exact same reasons why Tech lost a game under Kingsbury before? This season? There’s no hiding this: I am in the camp that believes it is time to move on from Kingsbury. He’s right. What’s happened on several occasions is not acceptable. We can not continue to accept his performance. He’s had the time to get his guys in. He’s made bad hires on the defensive side. He’s bleeding talented players left and right, day after day. This isn’t getting better – in fact, it’s getting worse. With what Seth said yesterday with how important it is to be winning now, we can’t continue to beat our heads against the wall expecting things to change when we have seen over 4 years that that doesn’t happen with this head coach and staff. He’s got to go before this gets worse (hard to imagine losing to a BAD 2-8 team by 56 not the worst yet). There are too many embarrassing losses and no answers.
Q. You said before the season, you thought this was your best team, but now the record is what it is. What’s happened? What happened?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: That’s a great question. I think I obviously overestimated how we’d develop, how we’d come along. I felt like the pieces were in place. There’s been some attrition, but every team has that. So that’s not the answer. But, yeah, I still think it’s a talented team. We just haven’t closed out the games we had an opportunity to win. Obviously last Saturday was as bad as it gets. I’m not sure where that came from.
I can tell you where that comes from – you. Your evaluation of talent is off. Your ability to develop talent is off. Your ability to coach this team in close games is off. Your ability to coach this team when adversity hits is off. All of that is on you. Take responsibility for what you’ve created, coached, and allowed to happen.
He’s asked about possibly taking a step back and giving up play calling duties, but don’t get your hopes up of that ever happening under Kingsbury if he’s still around in 2017.
Q. It does seem Mike Gundy came in the last year or the year before when he gave up OC duties and he kind of went more to the CEO, head coaching role, is that anything you’d be willing to do or interested in?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: That’s something for an off-season thought process. I’m preparing for Baylor and trying to come up with a better plan to come up with as a staff. So that would be something that we look at in the off-season. If it makes sense for our program to be better, I’m always open to those good ideas.
Q. Were there times this season that that could have been beneficial?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I don’t think so. That’s the only way I’ve done it. So I haven’t seen it from the other side. So I’d really have to experience that to understand if that would give us some sort of edge.
One final question.
Q. How do you avoid pressing this last week?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, like I said, you try to control what you can control, and that’s come up with a great game plan offensively, defensively, special teams. Motivate our team and make them understand what this game is about and what it means to our fan base and those seniors and go from there. I don’t think you sit around and try to add any extra pressure. That comes with the territory. You understand that. My job is to get this team ready to play.
All those things you just listed, Coach, you have failed to show an ability to do. This weekend is going to be a dumpster fire of two teams that could not be less interested in being there. Baylor has checked out. Tech has checked out.