Texas Tech football: Reasons to fire Matt Wells now are plentiful

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Jul 15, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells speaks to the media during Big 12 media days at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time.  The Matt Wells experiment has to come to an end.  The Texas Tech football program finds itself reeling this morning after the second blowout loss to a hated in-state rival in three games on Saturday night and it is clear that a new direction is needed.

Currently, Wells has a .364 winning percentage with the Red Raiders.  That is the third-worst in program history for a head coach and significantly worse than the .466 winning percentage that got Kliff Kingsbury fired.

In other words, this is a failed experiment and that lands at the feet of AD Kirby Hocutt.  Remember, Hocutt was a one-man committee when searching for Kingsbury’s replacement in 2018.  He undertook the task of finding the new head coach all on his own with no help or input from anyone.  This was his hire and his hire alone.

But just like the other football coaches that Hocutt has hired as AD at a Power 5 university, this hire has gone horribly awry.  Now, it is up to Hocutt to fix the situation before it gets even worse.

Unfortunately, that’s the problem.  Hocutt still has the final say here.  He’s beloved by his boss, Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, and thus, the pressure to make a move isn’t going to come from the top.

Rather, the pressure is coming from below Hocutt.  It’s coming from the fan base.  But the problem is that Hocutt likely doesn’t care what the fans think.  After all, he didn’t care that the fans were not on board with Wells as the hire back in 2018 and he hasn’t seemed to care that fans are turning away from the program in droves as this disaster of a move continues to burn itself to the ground.

Hocutt holds all the cards and he isn’t going to fold his hand yet.  That’s because his reputation as an AD is on the line with this hire and a mid-season firing would be the ultimate admission that he screwed up, something that few people in a position of such power and influence are willing to admit.

But any normal person can see that an in-season firing would actually make quite a bit of sense.  So let’s take a look at some reasons why it would behoove Hocutt to make a move now, rather than waiting for this situation to deteriorate any further.

Save this season

It is obvious that Matt Wells’ voice is falling on deaf ears in the locker room.  That’s evidenced by the repeated slow starts that his team puts forth on almost a weekly basis.

In fact, only once this season (against West Virginia) has Wells’ team come out of the gates at full speed.  In the other five games, the Red Raiders have been woefully unprepared to begin the game and as a result, Tech has been outscored 56-35 in the first quarter this year.  And if you take away the West Virginia game, that score drops to 56-21.

Constantly playing from behind is no way to survive in the Big 12.  And it’s a recipe for a disastrous season.

But with half the schedule yet to be played, there is still time for the season to be salvaged.  However, a new voice is needed as Wells’ message to his team appears to be missing the mark.

Somehow, inexplicably, in the three biggest games of the season (against Houston, Texas, and TCU), Wells’ team has come out flatter than a tire that just ran through a construction site.  And in only the season opener was Tech able to rebound mid-game and come up with a win that mattered.

That’s a sign of poor coaching during the week.  And Wells seems perplexed by it.  If he weren’t, he’d have come up with a solution by now.

The No. 1 job of a head coach is to have his team ready to play and time and again Wells isn’t accomplishing that task.  But this team sits at 4-2 thanks to a non-conference schedule that was softer than the creme filling inside of a Twinkie and that gives Tech a reasonable shot at a decent season.

However, the back half of the Red Raiders’ schedule is far tougher and Tech will be favored to beat only Kansas over the next six games.  Thus, another voice might be needed in order to get the most out of this team and get it to six or seven wins.  That’s because it is clear that what Wells is saying is falling on deaf ears.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse