Texas Tech Football: Five reasons for optimism in 2018

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Big 12 is wide open

If there ever was a year for Texas Tech to be the surprise team of the Big 12, 2018 could be it.  That is because this season’s conference race looks to be wide open.

For years, the Big 12 has been the home to the nation’s best quarterbacks, dating all the way back to the days of Graham Harrell, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford.  But in 2018, there is a lack of star power in the league with only West Virginia’s Will Grier being touted as a potential All-American QB.

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In all, Tech is one of four teams in the league breaking in new quarterbacks (along with Ok. St., TCU and OU) and the QB’s that are returning are all mediocre at best (some would even say that Grier is just an average QB). Therefore, there appears to be no dominant team in the conference.

Every team in the Big 12 has major flaws.  Preseason favorite OU is starting a first-time QB and must replace tons of offensive talent lost from last year’s playoff team.  Plus, the 2018 OU defense could be the worst the Sooners have fielded in a decade or more.

Speaking of awful defense, West Virginia finished last season ranked No. 107 in total defense overall.  Though many predict the Mountaineers to be Big 12 contenders because of their offense, their defense and a brutal schedule featuring 11 power-5 conference opponents could spell doom for a program that has a tradition of failing to meet high expectations.

And the teams expected to have solid defenses, Texas and TCU, have significant question marks abut their quarterbacks.  Meanwhile, Iowa State lost tons of firepower at the receiver position and Kansas State is replacing both of its coordinators with first time collegiate coordinators.

There is not a clear pecking order in the Big 12.  Plus, this is a conference that likely does not house a playoff team in 2018.

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That is good news for Texas Tech.  Though this Red Raider team is flawed, 2018 appears to be a perfect season for a flawed team to make noise.  Unlike in 2008 when the best Texas Tech team in the modern era couldn’t even qualify for the Big 12 title game, the current season will see a less-than-dominant team emerge as a contender for the league crown and isn’t it about time such fortune finally finds its way to Lubbock?