There has been a lot of justifiable buzz around the Texas Tech program ever since the hire of Joey McGuire. Texas Tech finished the season strong, including a dominating bowl win. The recruiting class for 2022 will be officially signed in less than a week. And while the Red Raiders staff has continued to hit the recruiting trail hard for the 2023 class, it will officially be time for McGuire to conduct on-field coaching. McGuire has proven his coaching chops at the high school level, but the 2022 season will be his first as the head coach at the collegiate level. What would a Texas Tech successful first season look like for the Red Raider faithful?
You are what your record says your are.
Bill Parcells gave the football world the most basic and accurate evaluation of a football team. It’s very easy to get lost in all of the moving pieces of college football. McGuire’s impact on the recruiting trail has been apparent since he accepted the position. Ever since he had completed putting his staff together, they have been at high schools all over the state. Daily on Twitter, there is a member of his coaching staff meeting with high school coaches all across the state. Certainly, the need to have talented players on the roster is a requirement to become an elite program. But the fruits of this recruiting labor won’t be evident in year one. Yes, McGuire is going to sign a top-40 national recruiting class this year. In all likelihood, there might be one or two key contributors for his first season.
So what is a successful win-loss record? What is a realistic record to expect in order to define a Texas Tech successful first season? The Red Raiders snapped a three-year bowl-less drought this year. So the number should be at least six right? Well let’s look at another recent hire in the Big 12. Baylor head coach Dave Aranda took over a program that went to the Sugar Bowl the season before he arrived. The first-time head coach promptly lead the Bears to a two-win Covid-shorten season. Certainly the Baylor faithful expected more last year, even under the most bizarre circumstances. By any measure, the season was a disaster and a major regression. But it cannot be called a failure because of what happened the next year.
A Texas Tech Successful First Season Will Be Visible
Aranda made necessary changes and completely transformed his staff. He bolster the roster through the transfer portal, and secured the Bears a Big 12 title and a Sugar bowl victory. Parcels was right. You are what your record says you are. But defining a Texas Tech successful first season cannot be quantified by number of wins. Especially with a head coach that has never been a head coach at the college level.
Recently in a team meeting, McGuire was captured talking about brands. What brands mean. What people think of when they see a brand. He wants the Texas Tech brand to mean “The toughest, hardest working, most competitive team in the country.” McGuire painted the picture of what a Texas Tech successful first year looks like. The team he is inheriting and building with his first recruiting class has quality talent on both sides of the football. The key phrase of his brand vision is “most competitive.” It’s no secret the demise of the Red Raider program under Matt Wells was the new ways the team found to lose games. Multiple second half collapse, with each one being more head-scratching that the last.
A competitive team isn’t going to just melt in the second half of games. A competitive team is going to play discipline football. If/when the Red Raiders lose games next season, it should be a talent gap issue. “The most competitive team in the country” will find ways to make the one or two plays in the toss up games. The expectations for this Texas Tech program should be to have a team that doesn’t get beat 70-35 by a five-win team. How many wins does that translate to? Could be five or could be nine. But Red Raider fans should always feel like the team can be in any game for the 2022 season.