Texas Tech football: Tech has had success following 4-win seasons

LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 21: General view of Jones AT&T Stadium before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones on October 21, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Iowa State defeated Texas Tech 31-13. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
LUBBOCK, TX - OCTOBER 21: General view of Jones AT&T Stadium before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones on October 21, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Iowa State defeated Texas Tech 31-13. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Head coach Matt Wells of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Head coach Matt Wells of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

Tech is in the second year of Wells’ tenure

To find our third reason for optimism, we will venture away from the history of Texas Tech football and look towards the two programs that have become the toast of Lubbock.  That’s because both the Texas Tech basketball program of Chris Beard and the Texas Tech baseball program of Tim Tadlock made historic runs in the second year of their respective tenures.

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In 2016-17, Beard’s hoops team was just 18-14 overall and 6-12 in conference play as he made his debut in the Hub City.  The next year he took the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight for the first time ever and in his third season, he reached the National Title Game.

Meanwhile, in 2013 Tim Tadlock’s baseball squad struggled to a 26-30 mark in his debut season.  But just one year later, he took his program to the College World Series for the first time in school history and since then, he’s returned three times.

The idea that programs should take steps forward in year-two of a coaching regime is perfectly logical.  With more than a full calendar year under their new coaches and training with their new strength and conditioning staff, players are far more comfortable with the expectations and demands they must meet both on and off the field in year two.

The second year at a program is also a time when coaches can begin to reshape their roster to better suit the scheme they want to implement.  What’s more, coaches have had a full recruiting cycle to address holes in the roster by adding talent on the recruiting trail, something that Wells has prioritized.

My favorite professor at Tech, Dr. Carl Anderson, used to always say that “inconsistency is a crazy-maker” and that’s certainly the case in the sports world.  Thus, year-two of a coaching staff’s time in charge should see players operative with more confidence and consistency being as the returners should know the systems in place as if they are second nature.

One potential problem is that the current coronavirus outbreak has robbed Tech of the all-important spring football session and is threatening to interrupt the critical summer conditioning program thus cutting into the continued learning curve of Texas Tech football players under Matt Wells.  That’s especially harmful to all the new players that are entering the program and the players that missed most of the year in 2019 as they need as many practice reps as possible as they work their way back.

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Regardless, Tech should be expected to make strides in the second year under Matt Wells.  The so-called transition year is now in the past and the current head coach has his fingerprints all over this program.  Hopefully, that will lead to a better showing this fall.