Texas Tech football: Youth movement leads Red Raiders to dominant bowl victory over Cal

Dec 16, 2023; Shreveport, LA, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive linemen E'Maurion Banks (98)
Dec 16, 2023; Shreveport, LA, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive linemen E'Maurion Banks (98) / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Joey McGuire is off to a solid start at Texas Tech

No one if going to proclaim that Joey McGuire's first two seasons have been stellar. After all, he's just four games over .500 overall.

However, by winning his second bowl game, he's already won as many bowls as Tommy Tuberville, Kliff Kingsbury, and Matt Wells did in their combined 11.5 seasons in charge of the program. What's more, by securing a winning record in 2023, he's the first Tech head coach since Mike Leach to post two above .500 seasons in his first two years as head coach in Lubbock.

Also, McGuire has secured the first two winning Big 12 seasons in Tech history since 2009. Of course, everything he's done has come as he's dealt with constant turnover at the QB spot because of injuries.

Is McGuire perfect? Far from it. But he does appear to have a plan and it is not hard to see how he's trying to build this program.

He's got a top-25 recruiting class about to sign this week and he's got a top-10 (depending on the day) transfer class set to join his high school recruits this offseason. What's more, he still has the support of the vast majority of the fan base, something that his predecessor never enjoyed.

It was always going to take time to get the mess that this program had become turned around. McGuire tried to hasten that process with his offseason bravado last summer and it backfired on him in a big way, though.

However, the momentum he is creating is real and tangible. This program has the feel of one that is on the verge of a breakthrough and that could be even more likely in the reconstituted Big 12, which will be devoid of a dominant blue-blood bully.

Again, no one is ready to erect a statue of McGuire on campus, and beating Cal in a low-level bowl to get to 7-6 is no cause for a parade. However, anyone can see that Texas Tech football is in a much greater place now than it was when McGuire arrived. The question is whether or not this offseason will be a building block toward serious Big 12 contention in his third year because it is time for McGuire's program to get serious about competing for a conference crown.