Considering the 2 year window I examine is about as depressing as it gets for any of the 10 Big 12 teams, I figured I owed the university some sort of positive image. But the date implies I still couldn't do it within that 2 year window. But if this truly is the 2004 swim team, that puts most of these girls at my age.
Texas Tech marks the final of the "original" big 12 members other than K-state. Next week we start with the newcomers TCU, followed by WVU. So in case you've missed any, before the jump you have the chance to go back:
2010-11: 8-5 (3-5) - There's no doubt whoever was to follow the winningest (84-43) head coach, and loosest cannon on the pirate ship Mike Leach, was to have an upward battle in year one following the coaching change. The horse chosen for such race was Tommy Tuberville, who in year one did what he could to keep himself in 'ok' terms with the fans in Lubbock. His efforts finished the year 8-5 with a Ticket City Bowl win in a year the Big 12 would struggle to make much hay in the post season. This was more than 'ok' for the administration, as they inked the coach to a contract extension shortly thereafter good until 2015. What holistically sounds great on paper (8-5), doesn't necessarily appear so impressive under the microscope as the 'all-nickname' backfield of Potts and Sticks were left to outscore their opponents all year. Sometimes successfully other times not so much, as the team fattened up on 5 wins out of conference over the likes of: rising SMU, hapless New Mexico, Weber State, Case Keenum-less Houston and of course NorthWestern in the bowl game. Only three victories would come within conference play. Of the three, only one wasn't over likely sources as probably the season pinnacle for the Red Raiders was frustrating the Missouri Tigers who just came off beating the #1 Oklahoma Sooners, winning 24-17. So as you can see, even though the Red Raiders have a similar two year record to the Texas Longhorns, there's quite the difference in this 8-5 tally compared to the 2011-12 Longhorn's 8-5.
2011-12: 5-7 (2-7) - For many Tech faithful, they could admit to as much that the 2010-11 season was good but not by any stretch of the imagination impressive. So with non-con patsies on the docket once again and the new 9-game conference schedule, Tech fans saw the opportunity for Tuberville to impress and consequently help them separate from sting of losing Leach. Trying to tie up loose ends in the off season, the coach brought in former TCU secondary coach Chad Glasgow as the man to turn things around with the 4-2-5. What sounded so great on paper ended up a train wreck, as TT allowed nearly 40pts a game, and nearly 6.5yds a play. Even Chris Cosh looked like genius in comparison to in-over-his-head Glasgow. Despite their issues, Tech once again found a diamond in the rough performance after a lightning delayed game on the road in Norman Oklahoma. It seems that even Tommy T has a little Paul Rhoads in him as he provided a single knock-off upset for the second year in a row, defeating the #3 OU Sooners 41-38. An accomplishment only two other coaches have done before him with Bob Stoops on the other sideline, and ruining K-state's chances of hosting college game day the following week. The mid-season heroics would catapult Tech into the top 25 at #19 at and 5-2, but would be short lived as Iowa State would bring them back to their senses the very next week with a 41-7 defeat. That 5 win total would stay the same as, well you can do the math, the remaining four games would all end up in the L column results wise.
Again, I think you have to tie Texas Tech and Texas at #8 in the conference for football success wise. But while both the Red Raiders and Longhorns share the 13-12 two year total, the two appear to be going in quite different directions. You might remember last week I thought UT had a 10 win potential this season, in part to using last year as a baseline and counting on talent for 2012-13. Similarly, Coach Tuberville should start to see the fruits of his labor in recruiting talent (with two top 25 classes), and combine that with yet another year of embarrassing non-conference foes, there lies definite potential to exceed last year's shameful performance. As one of the few with a 4-4-1 conference schedule, there should enough relief for 6 wins on this year's schedule for bowl eligibility. Should the defense improve this year like KSU's did from 2010 to 2011, and a couple of opportunities Tech is looking at a 8-win season should things fall into line especially if Tommy finds another upset somewhere on the schedule like the 2010 Mizzou and 2011 OU games. If not, look for Kirby Hocutt to think long and hard about picking up the phone and calling Sonny Dykes, to help the alumni go back to yester-year. Who knows, maybe the two have already talked?
2010-11: 13-19 (5-11) - Should K-state fans need an example of what nepotism gets you, look no further than the Pat Knight tenure. Should you look at the season as a "what could have been", about the best way to slice it, would be the fact that three conference games were lost by 3 points or less. That would have been good enough for an 8-8 conference mark, and 16-16 overall, which likely would have been NIT worthy. However, that was not the case, instead it was pack up your suitcase Pat season.
*editor's note: same situation as Oklahoma, less text when a coaching change occurs as I can't compare one coach's stats with another coach's and try to project out any sort of future success.
2011-12: 8-23 (1-15) - Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. Texas legend Billy Gillispie has frankly his toughest coaching challenge cut out for him yet in Lubbock. With such a depleted roster, that wasn't great to begin with, year one was nothing short of a disaster for the Clyde. As bad as everyone wants to make out the TCU basketball program, you'll even find that the Horned Frogs were able to defeat the Red Raiders in 2011-12. In conference play, Tech averaged only 59.5pts a game. The highest point total they had in conference play was 67 pts and that came in overtime. The lowest point total for the season was 38 (though all things fair, Texas A&M only scored 47 that game too).
I think it's safe to say, you can only go up from here if you're Texas Tech. There's absolutely no way the team doesn't get any better than 8 wins in 2012-13. Though how much better will be tough to tell as two years at 21-42 doesn't exactly foster a culture of winning. At least this year Billy G should have a full bench as he signed 9 commitments for 2012, who all average 3-stars per rivals. Regardless, I would find it tough to believe TT has much hope of being better than 7th in this league. Either OSU or OU will be better, leaving poor TCU as the likely cellar dweller.
2010-11: 22-11 (8-8) - By now, for those who have read through everyone of these probably know that an 8-8 conference record probably automatically means an NCAA tournament berth. Especially if in that 8-8 includes wins over #18 Oklahoma and # 20 Iowa State. Well that was the assumption I operated under, and when I double checked my facts, sure enough. The Lady Raiders made it in, but left right away as the Red Storm of St. John's proved to be 5pts too much for them. The tournament berth marked the 19th overall but the first time in five years.
2011-12: 21-14 (6-12) - Hoping to not make it take another five years to get back to the NCAA, the new 18 game conference schedule would prove to be the biggest obstacle in the way of that goal. As it would turn out, an early 5 game losing streak ending at game 7 of the conference schedule would prove too challenging to overcome. At 2-5 in the conference, an every other affair would help inflate hope, then come back to reality, as the team sat at 5-7 before another 5 game losing streak would ultimately doom the season. However before the conference tournament, the Lady Raiders were able to steal one last game from Deb Patterson's crew on her home court to get the sixth conference victory. An additional victory in the conference tournament would help pro-long the season in the form of a WNIT berth, and a 2-1 record within that tournament.
Looking ahead, I don't think that there's any reason not to expect "much of the same". As 43-35 (14-20) looks over the past few years, I would think 23 wins and a 9-9 conference finish would be achievable.
2011: 33-25 (12-15) - A late season conference surge, including a series victory over the then ranked #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys proved helpful, but not helpful enough. That victory helped solidify the #7(of 10 baseball playing teams) seed at the Big 12 tournament. OU would show the Raiders the early exit, and that's where the season would end, OKC.
2012: 29-26 (7-17) - As lackluster as 2011 would sound, 2012 would be a much more difficult road to travel. Though travel's an interesting word as only 10 games on the schedule took place outside of the state of Texas. And those states you ask? Nearby New Mexico, and Oklahoma hosted 6, with one game in Tempe and the other 3 in Lawrence Kansas. Despite this luxury, AD Kirby Hocutt saw the need to find the ninth head baseball coach at Texas Tech, due to the lack of production. The ninth head baseball coach, Tim Tadlock took over early summer.
Once again, a comparison to Texas' write-up feels fitting. Too hard to project anything when coach Tadlock hasn't coached a game, but it's a Div1 school in Texas where the grounds are fertile for baseball potential. It shouldn't be hard to at the very least keep up the status quo of 62-51 or 55% winning percentage.
2010: 4-23 (2-18) - As bad as it sounds, yes you guess it a coaching firing occurred with 9 games left on the schedule. A season turned door-mat for the rest of the conference was considered one full of "ups and downs" on the university's website, but to me sounds like the scale is tipped towards the latter.
2011: 15-17 (1-15) - Certainly first year head Coach Don Flora has plenty to brag about compiling the most wins in a single season in the past decade at TT, but definitely has plenty of room for improvement to live up to his statement of becoming "one of the top volleyball programs in the country". Certainly those 15 wins feel good anyway you can get them, when the previous three seasons netted only 11 combined.
Even with the majority of the starting rotation returning in 2012, I find it hard to see this team make exponential strides in the conference Win column. If some how Coach Flora can milk more than 4 conference wins out of the schedule and finish with a .500 record on the season, than this guy is a worthy coach for the job, as Texas Tech is apparently a pretty poor Volleyball destination with the 2 year mark of 19-40 (37% winning percentage). Point is, this guy has his work cut out for him, and could potentially be one of the greatest turnaround stories in the making should he get his team competitive in a conference like the Big 12.