As we all gather around friends and family this week, the college football fans whose allegiance is colored in red and black should have plenty to be thankful for. One could say that they can celebrate a Texas Tech Thanksgiving this year. Why do the Red Raider faithful have so much to be thankful for this year?
Full Family Reunions At The Jones
It has to be acknowledged that the 2020 college football season was a slough. There was tremendous work put in by so many to just allow college football to happen in a safe manner. But it wasn’t college football. A cardboard cut-out can’t refill your cup at a tailgate. An empty stadium provides zero electricity. If the Masked Rider gallops across the field without fans in the stands, did it really even happen? But the 2021 season brought everyone back to Jones At&t Stadium. It brought some (literally) larger-than-life pre-game festivities. We welcomed college football back into our arms with a firm and warm embrace, vowing to never let it go again.
A Texas Tech Bowl Birth Secured
Red Raider fans have not had a ton of on-field things to cheer in the last few seasons. In fact, the Texas Tech Thanksgiving-week game was the known conclusion of the last two seasons. But not this season. Thanks to a 62-yarder on November 13th, Texas Tech seized that bowl bid that had eluded them that previous three seasons. For a team that leads the Big 12 with the number of “Super Seniors”, reaching the college football post-season extends their season for a few more weeks. For all the talk about college football being focused on who’s in/who’s out of the college football playoff, seeing many players dawn “Bowl Season” shirts the following week at press conferences highlights how much that accomplishment means to this team.
A Coach With A Future As Bright As Chrysanthemums
The bowl birth is not only an opportunity for Texas Tech fans to watch this team over the holidays. Extra practices help keep the trajectory pointing up for this program. Texas Tech made a mid-season coaching change after the administration felt that the program was not making any progress under then-head coach Matt Wells.
Less than two weeks later, Joey McGuire was hired on to lead the Red Raiders starting in the 2022 season. The Texas high school hall of fame inductee instantly won over the fan base with his passionate opening press conference about football and cheese sticks. With McGuire being brought with still three games remaining, current offensive coordinator and interim head coach Sonny Cumbie has been doing all of the game planning and in-game coaching and will continue to do so for the bowl game. So what has McGuire been up to since he was hired?
A Cornucopia Of Future Talent
Prior to McGuire being hired, Wells had tried to overhaul the roster quickly via the transfer portal. But to build sustained success at the college level, signing quality high school classes still is the primary thing a head coach must accomplish. Texas Tech has never signed highly ranked national classes, and the 2022 class was shaping up to be no different. When Wells was fired, Texas Tech’s 2022 class ranked 79th nationally and dead last in the Big 12.
McGuire started recruiting the moment he signed his contract with the Red Raiders. He was able to get two verbal commitments even before he arrived in Lubbock for his introductory press conference. In totality, he has received five commitments for the 2022 class. That brings the total class to 14 commitments, led by four-star Maurion Horn. This recruiting class now ranks 47th nationally, and seventh in the Big 12. Wells never signed a class that ranked better than 48th in his short two-and-a-half seasons as the head coach. McGuire already has a better class in less than a month.
He also has already three commitments for the 2023 class. While very early in the process, Texas Tech fans can see a recruiting class that ranks 11th nationally. McGuire was able to get four-star linebacker Isaiah Crawford to commit within the first two weeks of being named the head coach. The recruiting staff has also begun to fill out as Cody Bellaire was recently announced as the Director of Scouting. Bellair has has previous stops as a Player Personnel Assistant at LSU, Texas A&M, and Baylor. He had returned to LSU as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the 2021 season.
Happy Thanksgiving To All
A Texas Tech Thanksgiving has brought a bounty of blessings to both Red Raider players and fans alike. But this Thanksgiving holiday is an opportunity for plenty of college football fans to give thanks. Maybe their team is on the cusp of making the college football playoff. Or, just like Texas Tech, are going to a bowl game for the first time in a long time. Maybe, they beat Texas for the first time since the Taft Administration. Whatever the reason might be, college football fans have so much to be thankful for. May everyone have a happy Thanksgiving filled with those who mean the most to you and leftover turkey sandwiches as you digest the last of the college football regular season.