Texas Tech Football: Athlon Sports Picks Texas Tech 9th in Big 12

Who needs predictions?

Athlon Sports has their Big 12 preview up and it may or may not be a surprise that Texas Tech is picked to finish 9th in the conference. That’s probably not a huge shock. Head coach Joey McGuire is largely left with the roster that Matt Wells coached last year, less some graduated players, Erik Ezukanma and Dawson Deaton on offense and Colin Schooler and Riko Jeffers on defense.

New coach Joey McGuire is the right pick to rebuild in Lubbock. McGuire – a former successful high school coach in the state and assistant at Baylor – has never been an FBS head coach but surrounded himself with a top-notch staff, including coordinators Zach Kittley (offense) and Tim DeRuyter (defense). A three-man quarterback competition – Tyler Shough, Donovan Smith and Behren Morton – will continue into the fall for the chance to pilot Kittley’s high-powered passing attack. Some retooling is needed around the signal-caller with two returning starters up front, along with the departure of receivers Erik Ezukanma and Kaylon Geiger. The one-two punch of SaRodorick Thompson and Tahj Brooks at running back is among the top combos in the Big 12. DeRuyter inherits seven returning starters, but there’s work to be done to shore up a group that ranked near the bottom of the Big 12 in pass efficiency defense and has holes to fill at linebacker and in the secondary. The Red Raiders have allowed 30 or more points a game in each of the last 12 seasons. If DeRuyter can generate some improvement here, and the offense takes off under Kittley’s watch, another bowl trip should be within reach in McGuire’s first season.

Maybe the biggest surprise (I’ll speak for myself on this one) is that Athlon picked Baylor to finish first.

1. Baylor
2. Oklahoma
3. Oklahoma State
4. Texas
5. Kansas State
6. Iowa State
7. West Virginia
8. TCU
9. Texas Tech
10. Kansas

Athlon Sports also released their Big 12 All-Conference team and Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Texas finished with the most at 14 players, then Oklahoma with 13, Kansas State at 12, and Texas Tech and West Virginia at 11. Iowa State leads up the back end at 10 and Kansas at 6. No players made the 1st team on offense or defense for Texas Tech. Tahj Brooks, Myles Price, Tyree Wilson, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, and Austin McNamara made the second team. The third team included Jaylon Hutchings. The fourth team included SaRodorick Thompson, Caleb Rogers, Krishon Merriweather, Reggie Pearson (who they have at linebacker), and Rayshad Williams.

I don’t know who I would include that wasn’t included other than Dimitri Moore and if Tyler Shough (or Behren Morton or Donovan Smith) is able to have the type of year that would be expected then they would surely get a look as well.


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