Friday, April 25, 2008
11. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Because of a lack of desire and comments, I've taken a long hiatus from my blog. But now I'm back, so the dedicated audience of five (if that) can exhale.
That brings me to West Texas and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are known as the team in the middle of nowhere in the Big 12. But that's not the only portion where the Raiders are in the middle of nowhere. Texas Tech finds itself near the bottom in these rankings.
Competitiveness: The Raiders have a very competitive football team. But their basketball teams have both crashed, their baseball team is not very competitive and the softball team is worse. Other than football, which is Tech's best sport and could possibly produce a championship, Texas Tech does not compete in much. Finishing in the top half might be an accomplishment at this point for most sports.
Championships: The Raiders won a couple in baseball and women's basketball, but nothing else, and that happened a long time ago. There's almost nothing here. Tech is the only team in the Big 12 South that does not have at least 20 championships in the history of the conference. That is really bad.
Facilities; These are actually pretty good. Jones Stadium is a nice facility, even if it was slow to eliminate artificial turf and replace it with FieldTurf. United Spirit Arena was built in 1999 and is a very modern arena. This is an area of strength for the Red Raiders.
Fan base: Tech's fans are passionate about football. They plan to add 20,000 more seats to hold them all. That's a strong statement. But that doesn't carry over to basketball. Bob Knight criticized his fans for not providing enough support for his teams at the games. Seriously, what else is there to do in West Texas besides go see these games? It's not like Lubbock is a bustling metropolis. At least Colorado has an excuse, being close to Denver.
Coaches: Mike Leach might be a nutjob, but he knows what he's doing on the football field. Pat Knight might or might not make things work in Lubbock. But Kristy Curry is struggling to replace Marsha Sharp, and the women's program is crumbling. Larry Hays is a legend for Tech's baseball program, but his program's best days appear to be behind it. The coaches are solid, but maybe they just don't work in Lubbock.
Important sports: Football is a strength, but the remaining sports are not. Still, the Red Raiders do have a past history in all but men's basketball, so I will give them credit here. But Tech's present state is too much for their decent past to overcome. Maybe athletes just don't want to be in West Texas.
My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy Staind.