If you need a reason for optimism, this might be it

It’s the offseason and if you need a reason for optimism for 2017, this might be it.

Yesterday, SB Nation’s Bill Connelly posted his terrific and annual preview of Texas Tech. Connelly uses a lot of numbers to make his predictions, which I love, because there’s a lot less personal opinion that goes into it, but those numbers only give Texas Tech more than a 50% chance of winning 4 games next year and is only projecting 5 wins all year. Connelly’s numbers are the same thing that you know, they’re just confirmation bias more than anything else. The offense is expected to be just fine and the defense is on the opposite side of the spectrum in that they are really, really terrible.

In regards to the defense, Connelly notes that there were a ton of injuries last year, or time period when certain players simply didn’t play. You could maybe chalk some of those defensive issues to the lack of consistency on defense and, as a result, a pretty terrible defense.

This got me thinking and if you ever wanted any hope, your hope should rest with the idea that more than likely, the 2018 team is going to probably pretty decent on defense, because just look at this chart.

Position Seniors Juniors Sophomores Freshmen
Defensive End Talor Nunez Kolin Hill Eli Howard Nelson Mbanasor
Kaleb Hill Lonzell Gilmore Noah Jones
Defensive Tackle Mychealon Thomas Broderick Washington Houston Miller
Zach Barnes Joe Wallace Nick McCann
Linebacker Dakota Allen Jordyn Brooks Riko Jeffers
Tony Jones Christian Taylor
 D’Vonta Hinton Jamile Johnson
Johnathan Piccone
Brayden Stringer
Cornerback D.J. Polite-Bray Jaylon Lane Desmon Smith Adrian Frye
Octavious Morgan Douglas Coleman John Davis
Safety Jah’Shawn Johnson Justus Parker Demarcus Fields
Payton Hendrix Kevin Moore Zaquincius Addison
Vaughnte Dorsey Willie Sykes

What you’ve got there is a good group of juniors and sophomores that will probably see a ton of experience in 2017 and whoever is the head coach will probably benefit from the way that David Gibbs & Co. have built this defense. Gibbs essentially started from the ground up and it started in earnest two years ago, a bit more last year, and began to supplement with quality players in the 2017 class.

I really don’t think the defense is going to be as bad as it was last year, there will be *some* improvement. Don’t ask me to quantify that because I simply can’t. But what I can do is tell you that I think the talent is there, it’s just a matter of getting these guys some experience and they’ll get all they can handle in 2017.

You’re probably thinking, Seth, this is just what I needed, a pick-me-up after seeing guys transfer out. Well . . . I’ll probably disappoint you next week because I’ve truly struggled to put into words what I think about the Jonathan Giles transfer and now the Tony Brown transfer just adds a bit more to the issue at hand. This is the elephant. We’re going to talk about it and I’m probably going to be perceived as negative, but we kinda need to address this.


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