Latest Team Rankings
Free Rivals Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
November 19, 2013
Path for Tech is clear, not easy
Kansas State, Oklahoma State and now Baylor. The last two teams to represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl and, in all likelihood, the team the league will send to the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.
Texas Tech wants to be where the Wildcats and Pokes have been and where the Bears are right now.
Over the last three seasons, those three teams have shown, clear as day, that even programs with warts can win a Big 12 championship.
You don't have to be a traditional power. You don't have to have the best facilities, though clearly Mike Gundy's program wants for nothing in this area. You don't have to be located in a talent-rich region. You don't have to have great attendance or fan support.
Most importantly, you don't have to haul in nationally-recognized recruiting classes year after year to build a championship-caliber roster. Obviously, you would always prefer sign a class of 25 five-star prospects over a class of 25 three-stars, but those three programs have shown that stacking top-25 class upon top-25 class upon top-25 class is not a prerequisite for winning in the Big 12.
Oklahoma State won the Big 12 in 2011. The Pokes didn't sign a single top-25 class from 2007-11; their average Rivals.com recruiting class ranking over that span was No. 30.
Kansas State won a share of the Big 12 in 2012. Forget a top-25 haul, the fighting Bill Snyders only signed one class from 2008-12 that was ranked higher than No. 58 in Rivals.com's team rankings (No. 27 in 2008). KSU's average recruiting class ranking over that span was No. 62, which includes a 92nd-ranked class in 2009.
While this will likely change in February, Baylor hasn't inked a single top-30 class under Art Briles. The Bears are on the cusp of playing for the BCS Championship -- in the conversation with Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State -- with an average Rivals.com recruiting class ranking from 2009-13 of No. 43.
There seems to be this perception that Oklahoma State and Baylor have been consistently signing higher-ranked classes than Texas Tech in recent years. The facts don't back that up. The Red Raiders' average Rivals.com recruiting class ranking from 2009-13 is No. 34, ahead of Baylor (No. 43), Kansas State (No. 69) and just below Oklahoma State (No. 33).
The Bears didn't get to this point by signing higher-ranked classes than perennial powers Texas and Oklahoma, nor did the Cowboys or Wildcats.
So how did they do it? S-E-C. System. Evaluations. Continuity.
The path may be clear, but that doesn't make it easy. You have to have the right people in place, the margin for error is small and you have to be a little lucky. But, while things may seem bleak after four-straight losses, the good news for Red Raider fans is that if Kansas State and Baylor can climb the mountaintop, there is no reason that Texas Tech cannot do the same.
Texas Tech NEWS