Texas Tech football returned to bowl eligibility with 6 wins during the 2017 season — likely saving Kliff Kingsbury’s job as coach in the process.
And if one take on the 2018 season has any accuracy, the Red Raiders could — or at least should — be building upon their 6-6 regular season finish from a year ago.
Athlon Sports ranked Texas Tech football’s 2018 schedule as the second easiest of any Big 12 team, only above Baylor in terms of difficulty.
The Red Raiders play the vast majority of their games within the state of Texas this fall. Texas Tech kicks off the season with a neutral-site contest against Ole Miss in Houston, and will later host the Houston Cougars in Lubbock as nonconference play continues. Only three of Texas Tech’s regular-season contests — Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State — are set to be played away from the Lone Star State.
On the theme of staying in familiar territory, three of the teams that could be contending for the Big 12 title this fall will be traveling to Lubbock. West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas will all pay visits to Jones AT&T Stadium, and at least for the latter two, some weird things have happened on the football field when the Longhorns and Sooners have previously visited the windy plains of West Texas.
Texas Tech does have to travel to 2017 Big 12 runner-up TCU on Oct. 11, but the Red Raiders have had their fair share of success in Fort Worth, posting a 2-1 mark at Amon G. Carter Stadium in the Big 12 series between the two schools. Granted, both wins came in overtime, while the 82-27 loss in 2014 marked the most points ever allowed by any team in Big 12 history.
With the loss of talent on offense from the 2017 season, notably quarterback Nic Shimonek and wide receiver Keke Coutee, expectations are modest for the Red Raiders entering the 2018 campaign. But if anything, Texas Tech’s schedule could be the saving grace. And where the Red Raiders end up once the regular season concludes could once again be a determining factor in Kingsbury’s job security.