TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS
Record: 4-1 (1-1 Big 12)
Texas Tech played the worst nonconference schedule in the Big 12, and opened conference play with the league's worst team in Kansas. So, understandably, the 4-0 start wasn't wholly impressive. Texas Tech's first real test came Saturday night, and though the loss to Texas A&M meant the Red Raiders didn't pass, they were far from failing.
The 45-40 defeat was disappointing, but Tech hung tough against a team much better than its ranking outside the top 20. There's not much evidence to suggest the Red Raiders' streak of 18 consecutive seasons with bowl eligibility will be coming to an end anytime soon, even with the young team in a bit of a rebuilding stage in 2011. The lessons learned over the second half of this season, though, could set up a huge year in 2011. Tech is in the meaty portion of its schedule, and four teams currently ranked in the top 25 are on the slate during the next five weeks. Just how good is this year's team? We'll know exactly how good after that stretch.
Offensive MVP: Seth Doege, QB. No question about this one. Doege has been every bit the passer Texas Tech hoped and he's living his childhood dream of being the next legend in the red and black. He's already written his name in the record books by breaking former Tech QB Kliff Kingsbury's single-game completion-percentage record. Doege leads the league in pass attempts and is third in completion percentage; his 1,706 yards passing yards is good for eighth nationally and his 17 touchdowns have him tied with Case Keenum of Houston for second-most nationally.
Defensive MVPs: Safeties Cody Davis and D.J. Johnson. It's tough to pick between these two, who have a combined 58 solo tackles and 67 total stops. Texas Tech leads the Big 12 in pass defense, and Johnson leads the team with two picks. Only Texas and Oklahoma have given up fewer passing touchdowns than Texas Tech (6) this season. The pair have combined for five pass breakups. Defensive tackle Kerry Hyder deserves a shoutout, too. His efforts won't get much pub, but he's been really disruptive up front with Davis and Johnson holding down the back.