Right now, just like before every college basketball preseason, all the predictions come out on where teams stack-up by rankings. It is a fun exercise, that usually has some merit as to using an educated guess to anticipate how good/bad any given team is going to be for the season. It is always a great feeling for a sports fan or so-called expert to say, “I told you so” and feel like a prophet when correctly predicting any team’s future.
With that said, I am usually ticked off with the preseason rankings because “MY” Red Raiders are always ranked too low (in my opinion). The same thoughts that any semi-intelligent and rational sports fan has about their underrated squad. How dare they disrespect us? Yet, hey… I shouldn’t be surprised because it happens every season.
On a serious note, let’s take a look at how we are being evaluated in the preseason rankings around the country –
Sports Illustrated has Texas Tech checking in at #43.
The ESPN College Basketball Power Index has Texas Tech projected in the preseason at #22.
Matt Norlander of CBS Sports has the the Red Raiders ranked at #69:
“Veteran team with a good coach in Chris Beard. Kind of reminds me of when Tubby Smith was there a few years ago and wound up getting into the NCAAs with ease after having no expectation at all of doing so. Wouldn’t be a shock if I’m wrong on this team and it ends up as a top-50 squad, but senior tweener forward Zach Smith is going to need help.”
John Gasaway from ESPN ranked Texas Tech at #31.
College Sports Madness puts the Red Raiders at #42:
“Texas Tech will be one of the more interesting teams in the nation heading into the 2017-18 season. The Red Raiders get their two top scorers back, including All-Big 12 member Keenan Evans, but they will be without six rotation players from last year. Texas Tech is welcoming in ten new guys to the roster this season. There is talent on this team, but with so many moving pieces it could be tough to get them to play well together. The Big 12 is always one of the more challenging conferences in the nation, and the Red Raiders can’t afford to struggle early in the season with chemistry issues. If Chris Beard can get his squad on the same page, they should be competitive and could make the NCAA Tournament.”
Ken Pomeroy has our squad at #33.
Bart Torvik of T-Rank has the Red Raiders at #37.
Andrew Doughty of Hero Sports has Texas Tech at #42.
Conclusion: Wow, Texas Tech basketball is getting some respect! We could go on and on finding the MBB rankings predictions, but the above ones are a few that standout to me. The analysis done by computers show Texas Tech at #22, #33, and #36 (ESPN BPI, KenPom, and T-Rank). While most of the hand selected predictions have us in the 30s or 40s, we do have an outlier at #69 from Matt Norlander.
All of these predictions/rankings are actually fairly spot on with what I am thinking for the team this season. Besides Norlander, all the computers and “experts” seem to think that our Red Raiders will be a competitive team this season. Also, most of the preseason projections that you look at show Texas Tech getting into the Big Dance.
How will the bracket look next March if SI’s projections all play out? Glad you asked: https://t.co/PhTKhlfxLN pic.twitter.com/q7zRxcGK4c
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 31, 2017
I believe Texas Tech will finish as a top 50 team in the nation, and get an invite to March Madness. Anything less will be a major disappointment. That is my projection, yet it is always a nice feeling when others in the college basketball world are seeing the same thing as us. Let’s hope that we overachieve and bring the ruckus this season, and keep gaining the attention that we deserve. Wreck ’em Tech!!!