Texas Tech cornerback commit Nigel Bethel II tweeted out a bold prediction earlier this week that got us thinking: what really is a reasonable timeline for the Red Raiders to win a national title?
— Nigel Bethel II (@_NigelBethel) March 30, 2014
We think Bethel has a great shot at starting as a true freshman, so really that gives Tech four years – by his timeline – to bring home whatever the new playoff trophy is. But let’s think for a second about what that really means, shall we?
First, to make it to the national championship, Tech has to win the Big 12. The closest they’ve come was 2008, back when the conference had 12 members and a championship game to decide the winner. Since then we’ve lost Colorado, Nebraska, A&M and Missouri, replaced by TCU and West Virginia. I don’t think anyone denies that the conference isn’t nearly as tough now as it was back then.
Second, not only does Tech need to win the conference, they need to go undefeated. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that a one-loss Big 12 champion has no shot at the title. If Oklahoma State (2011), Kansas State (2012) and Baylor (2013) couldn’t make it with one loss, it’s reasonable to assume Tech can’t either. Going undefeated in a conference like the Big 12, even as weak as it is these days, is a tall, tough order to fill.
Finally, Tech has to knock off not one, but two top-four teams back-to-back to win it all. With the new playoff system in place now, the road to a national championship in college football got that much more difficult. Tech would have to beat a very good team one week, and then the best or second best team in the country the next. Not an easy task for anyone, let alone a program like Tech.
We’re not saying it can’t be done, just that it may take more than four years.
But what do you think? Will it take less or more than four years for Texas Tech football to capture its first national championship?