Texas Tech Football: Why fans have the right to be upset


Texas Tech Football fans have every right to be upset with the output in production and development throughout the Kliff Kingsbury Era, but must lead by example moving forward.

When Coach Kingsbury was hired back in 2011 following a pitiful few seasons under Tommy Tuberville, he added “this is personal” to his message to fans, boosters, and alumni. Unfortunately,  the personal investment Kingsbury and Texas Tech have in each other has seen a minimal return on investment in the wins and losses columns; however, it has seen huge returns on the character of players enrolling at Texas Tech.

As much as fans appreciate the quality of young men coming out of Texas Tech, that only gets you so far. With that said, while there are several issues fans have every right to be upset over, adjustments and experimentations have been made throughout the Kingsbury era, leading many to believe Texas Tech might finally be clearing some of its biggest hurdles.

The Turf Was Replaced

Hopefully Texas Tech’s decision to replace its turf will come with a sizable advantage. The original turf was installed back in 2006, and was still in excellent condition. The major issue Texas Tech had was how hard the surface was. Commentators, fans, players, coaches, and media-alike, all mentioned how the turf at The Jones was like concrete, and in the warmer months, made field temperatures an even bigger issue.

FieldTurf provided an advantage to Texas Tech’s iconic “Air Raid” offense, however, on a micro level, could have played a considerable role in Tech’s attrition rate–mainly in terms of injuries.

While Lubbock became a record shattering offensive destination, it could have been contributing to injuries, and word-of-mouth communication among recruits could have been the difference makers in bringing some much needed talent to Tech.

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Texas Tech wasn’t anticipating defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko’s transfer, although, look at the Fehoko history of football, and the signs were there. As folklore says, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is, and this news taught Texas Tech’s coaches a valuable lesson in learning how to read the tea leaves with a bit more scrutiny.

Players can’t be ridiculed for transferring, as football (even at the high school ranks) is considered a business, and players will do whatever it takes to make it in the NFL. So if players can’t be ridiculed, then does the same apply for coaches who let players go, or worse, have players walk out on them? Fans need to understand that players have left Texas Tech under Kingsbury’s leadership for a number of reasons; either they violated team rules and were kicked off the team, or they left because the program was too intense; they wanted more playing time without earning it; they had bad attitudes; or they were concerned with injuries.

While I feel like the attrition rate due to injuries will taper off with the new field installation, the bulk of the players’ stability will be under the supervision of the strength and conditioning staff. Many programs have flown under the radar in terms of improper benefits, while others (i.e.: USC, and SMU) have been rocked due to sanctions. Texas Tech fans can rest assured the NCAA won’t be investigating the Red Raiders in the Kingsbury era due to improper benefits, but with that, comes the necessity for the university to do whatever it takes (legally) to make Tech as competitive as possible.


It’s not exactly a secret; Texas Tech Football needs a facelift in several areas, but mainly in its facilities. While the weight room and overall facilities are adequate, in comparison to Baylor, Oklahoma, etc…, Texas Tech is far behind the curve in gimmicky recruiting attractions.

Where Texas Tech lacks in national championship trophy rooms, it has the opportunity to make up for with blue collar players in its new Sports Performance Center. A state-of-the-art facility, the program will be able to harvest growth and competition in facilities that will be unencumbered by weather, and will meet the demands of the evolving athlete.

The locker rooms, and overall facilities for Texas Tech’s biggest earning sports have seen improvement over the years (most recently with its basketball programs), but if Oregon can attract blue chips without a national championship trophy room, there’s hope for Texas Tech.


If Texas Tech wants to start climbing the ranks as a destination location for football, it needs to find a (legal) way to maintain commitment from players, and their families. When Fehoko announced his transfer, he said in an article by ESPN’s Max Olsen, “I just felt like, to further my career and the development of myself as a football player, I felt I had to be somewhere else.” That’s pretty telling, considering how despite finishing last in all of FBS D1 defensively in 2016, Texas Tech began to show signs of life.

For Texas Tech to build upon that life, it needs players willing to give it 110 percent every single day, and not view the weight room as a “gains playground” for photo ops. True leadership must come from within the players themselves, and that means being a man of your word, putting the team first, and not bailing when players think they can salvage their careers–especially when their personal statistics aren’t the best.

The Staff

Attrition hasn’t just been an issue among players, but also within the coaching staff itself. What fans need to realize is that the strength of the team lies within the conditioning, and Texas Tech is in the position to be competitive under second-year strength and conditioning coach Rusty Whitt.

Two things Texas Tech Football has lacked on a consistent basis are consistency, and accountability. Under Coach Whitt, excuses aren’t accepted, and he runs the S&C program similarly to a boot camp, or live combat operations. The difference is, if your conditioning doesn’t match your enemy on the front lines in war, you not only put yourself at risk to die, you expose your entire unit. In football, if a player doesn’t take the conditioning seriously, he runs the risk of injury, and puts his entire unit at risk to fail their assignment, too.

With a military-grade program being implemented at Texas Tech, the only thing fans should be mad at now, is that this wasn’t installed sooner.

The Red Raiders have running backs coach Jabbar Juluke back, and is already recruiting Louisiana–a region many suspected could face poaching in light of LSU head coach Ed Orgeron demoting Juluke earlier this month. Bringing Juluke back doesn’t take care of the defensive issues, but perhaps Kingsbury taking a more hands-on approach to the defense this offseason will finally be the transformative switch from offensive coordinator, to head football coach.

Yes, Texas Tech Football fans have every right to be upset at all the reasons for why the program is in the state it’s in now, however, just as fans ask players to stay committed, fans need to lead by example, and trust the process.