After Saturday’s blowout loss to Oklahoma in Norman, Texas Tech football fans quickly turned their attention back to the program’s ongoing head coaching search. And on Sunday afternoon, two huge dominoes in the process fell.
First of all, UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor, who was widely considered the Red Raiders’ top target, signed a lucrative 10-year extension which seemingly takes him off of the market for Texas Tech. Then, just hours later, TCU agreed to part ways, effective immediately, with long-time head coach Gary Patterson.
Now, those two developments might be combining to bring Tech and TCU face to face in a courtship battle over current SMU head coach Sonny Dykes. At least, that’s what CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd Tweeted on Sunday night.
This would be a fascinating battle between two long-time Southwest Conference and Big 12 rivals and one that could shape the face of that rivalry for years to come. And both programs have quite a bit that could appeal to Dykes.
Of course, he has deep roots in Lubbock and West Texas. His father, Spike, was Tech’s head coach from 1986-1999 and retired as the program’s all-time leader in wins, a title he eventually surrendered to Mike Leach. What’s more, Sonny, a graduate of Lubbock Coronado High School as well as Texas Tech University, was an assistant coach under Leach from 2000-06.
Thus, some assume that the Red Raider job is in Dykes’ blood. But could the TCU job be close to his heart as well?
Staying in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex might be rather appealing to Dykes and his family. He’s been coaching in the area since 2017 with the last four of those seasons as the man in charge at SMU. And it is important to note that in 2017, Dykes was an offensive analyst for the Horned Frogs, thus giving him some unique insight into that program as well.
Overall, Dykes is one of the hottest names on this season’s coaching carousel. His Mustangs are 7-1 on the season and were ranked No. 19 in the national polls until Saturday’s last-minute loss at Houston.
For his entire career, which also includes stops as head coach at Louisiana Tech and Cal, Dykes is now 70-60. He’s also taken his teams to five bowl games.
But it’s what he’s done at SMU that has vaulted Dykes to the top of the coaching candidate list for Tech and TCU. Taking over a program that had managed only one winning season in its previous five, he has put up three winning seasons in a row after a 5-7 debut in Dallas. That includes a 10-3 season in 2019.
Now, it appears that he will have his choice of jobs this offseason, including perhaps Tech and TCU. If that proves to be the case, this could be the biggest recruiting battle ever between these long-time rivals.