Thursday, August 16, 2012
Biggest game for Tech's Tuberville?
By David Ubben
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was in charge last season, but the Red Raiders stumbled to 5-7, the first sub-.500 season in almost two decades in Lubbock.
After an eight-win season in 2010, that puts Tuberville on the Big 12's hottest seat, even if the pressure is far from boiling at this point.
Colleague Travis Haney took a look at the biggest games of the season for coaches on the hot seat, and Tuberville's name closes the piece.
What game does Tuberville have to win?
Haney points to the conference opener against Iowa State. I'd agree, but I'd also go with the season finale against Baylor. My bet? The winner of that game goes to a bowl and the loser settles for a bitter 5-7 against a longtime rival.
Iowa State's Paul Rhoads, a former defensive coordinator at Auburn under Tuberville, seems to have the Riverboat Gambler's number at Texas Tech. Despite being the underdog in both games, the Cyclones are 2-0 vs. Tuberville.
Rhoads squad embarrassed Tech in Lubbock with a 41-7 beatdown last year, just a week after the Red Raiders ended Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak in Norman.
The previous year, Tech lost in Ames, 52-38. Both games were the most points Iowa State had scored all season in non-overtime games. The Cyclones didn't score more than 26 in a non-overtime game last year, and in 2010, the 52 points were 24 more than they'd scored in any other game.
Tech's defense has to figure out what's going wrong in those games.
Tuberville has to make a return trip to Ames this time, but the Red Raiders should easily make it to 3-0 in nonconference play and are better than Kansas. Beat Iowa State and that's five wins. Tech only needs one more win to reach a bowl game, and it could very well come down to that Baylor game to close the season.