Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Big 12 blog released a ranking of what they consider to be the best student sections in the conference. Sitting squarely at number one is Texas Tech.
Bucking a national trend of declining student attendance to college football games, Texas Tech actually set a student season-attendance record in 2013. The first home game had 14,915 students in attendance, breaking the game record of 12,910 set in the 2010 home opener. The student clamor for tickets kept growing, and eventually the school had to open another section of seats to meet the demand. Texas Tech students know how to have a good time, too. So does their football coach. Kliff Kingsbury gave out cash prizes to the best costumes during Tech’s home game against Oklahoma State, which fell two days after Halloween. The students responded and arrived dressed up as everything from Bender from the TV show “Futurama” to William Wallace from “Braveheart.” There was also a “future Mrs. Kingsbury” donning a bride’s dress. Jones AT&T Stadium is one of the most difficult places to play in the Big 12, thanks in large part to Tech’s rowdy student crowds.
Tech’s success in attracting students to the games was due mostly to winning. Despite a relatively unappealing home schedule, with a Thursday night game against TCU being the most popular contest, students showed up in droves to support their highly successful team, even after a frustrating loss to Oklahoma State.
But credit also goes to first year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the rather obvious attraction he poses, particularly to the female students. No group was more supportive of this young, attractive and hip head-man in his first year than the student body, to which he related quite well.
Now THAT is the Jones stadium I remember. Welcome back. We have the best students in America. #thankyou
— Kliff Kingsbury (@TTUKingsbury) September 13, 2013
My players just showed me the new Miley video…RIP Hannah Montana.
— Kliff Kingsbury (@TTUKingsbury) September 24, 2013
— Kliff Kingsbury (@TTUKingsbury) October 27, 2013
All this begs the question: will attendance suffer next session now that the “new” factor has worn off? Highly doubtful. Tech hosts one of the better home schedules in recent memory, with Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas all making trips to Lubbock.
But even if that isn’t enough, Kingsbury only got more popular after that Holiday Bowl win.