The five biggest "What ifs" that Texas Tech football fans still ask themselves

These five "What ifs" will always haunt Texas Tech football fans as we ponder how things might have been different had things broken a different way.
Texas Tech v Ohio State
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It is wise not to live in the past. However, sports fans struggle in that regard. Texas Tech football fans are no different.

It's especially tough not to look back and wonder "What if" when your football program has been nationally irrelevant for over 15 years. In fact, during some of the more recent days of Texas Tech football, fans have had nothing to look forward to in the present so reflecting on past glory was all the more common of a past time.

Summer is a time for daydreaming about what could have been. The long hot days spent with no college football or basketball, and this year, no college baseball postseason run give Red Raiders an opportunity to reflect on years past as we patiently wait for the final weekend of August to roll around.

So let's jump feet first into the pool of nostalgia and wonder what could have happened for the Texas Tech football program had some key decisions and some massive games gone differently. Here are five "What ifs" that we've all probably asked ourselves at times.

What if Mike Leach and Kent Hance would have made peace in 2009?

Perhaps the biggest "What if" for Texas Tech football fans is the thought of what would have happened had former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach and former Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance made peace in 2009 amid the Adam James saga. Both men were at fault in the feud that ultimately led to Leach's firing after the 2009 season and the fact that each let his pride get in the way of what was best for Texas Tech football still stings.

After Leach was accused of locking a concussed Adam James in an electrical closet during practice (claims that were never officially verified or proven), Leach was suspended by Hance and the university. Now, keep in mind that Hance and Leach were already on poor terms due to contract disputes and Leach's flirtations with schools such as Washington, Miami, and Tennessee.

So did Hance take that moment as an opportunity to rid himself of a coach he believed to be troublesome? Only the former chancellor knows what his motivations were for firing Leach abruptly.

Meanwhile, Hance has contended that all he wanted from Leach was an officially-issued apology yet Leach refused to offer one. Could the marriage have survived had Leach simply swallowed his pride and taken his medicine? Of course, if you believe Leach's account and that he did nothing wrong, then why would Leach have apologized?

Ultimately, we will never know exactly what happened with Adam James and the closet nor will we ever truly know the circumstances around Leach's firing. Of course, Leach has passed away and Hance isn't going to rehash this issue.

But what we do know is that Leach had taken Texas Tech to a No. 2 national ranking in 2008 and in 2009 he won nine games and was working on a top-25 recruiting class at the time of his dismissal. Since then, the program hasn't come close to sniffing the type of national success that Leach achieved. Rather, it has become an afterthought not only across the country but even in the Big 12. So it is easy to understand why Texas Tech fans will always wonder "What if Leach and Hance could have found a way to make peace?".