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TRASH TALK: Texas Tech

Red Raiders are the “also ran” of the Big 12.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days
“Girl, you know I can handle criticism. I’ll never get defensive.”
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Through 21 full seasons, nine teams have won a Big 12 Championship in football. One other, Missouri, made it to the championship game but never won it all.

Of 14 teams that have played at least one season in the Big 12, only four have neither won a title nor made a championship game appearance. West Virginia has only been in the conference five years. Iowa State and Kansas have traditionally been Iowa State and Kansas.

So what is Texas Tech’s excuse? The Red Raiders have one South Division co-championship to their name, which is exactly the same amount of Big 12 hardware the Cyclones and Jayhawks have. All three missed the championship game on tiebreakers, but only Tech lost a three-way tie.

The South Division is remembered for being really strong, but it wasn’t for the first few years of the conference. Oklahoma and Texas didn’t get really good until 2000, 2001. A&M only had one great year in the Big 12. Oklahoma State didn’t hit its stride until the division structure broke down. And Baylor was the conference laughingstock until 2010.

Tech’s last conference championship came in 1994, when they tied with Texas, Baylor, TCU, and Rice at 4-3 in the Southwest Conference, while 6-0-1 A&M was ineligible because of NCAA sanctions. Their last championship that wasn’t a result of someone else’s sanctions was in 1976 and was shared with Houston. The Red Raiders’ last non-shared championship was in 1955, when they won the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 3-0-1 record, beating Arizona, West Texas State, and Hardin-Simmons while playing to a draw vs. Texas Western.

Since the mutiny that marooned the Dread Pirate Leach, until Washington State found him, the Red Raiders haven’t even accomplished a .500 record in conference play. Tommy Tuberville and Kliff Kingsbury have managed a combined 23-45 record in Big 12 games.

And on the topic of Coach McDreamy, what kind of spelling is “Kliff?” It’s spelled “Cliff.”

Manhattan gets a bad reputation in college sports as an “outpost,” so what does that make Lubbock? As currently constituted, three Big 12 members (KU, OU, Oklahoma State) are closer to Manhattan than anyone is to Lubbock (and realignment cost K-State two additional trips shorter than Lubbock to Fort Worth).