It’s never too early to talk college football. Never.
Even if the calendar say it’s barely summer, fall cannot get here fast enough. So over the next two weeks or so, Kermit the Blog will count down the 10 Easiest Schedules of the 2007 College Football season. We’re aiming for one a day (weekday), but we’re lazy, so it might take longer. Thankfully we’ve got time.
#5 Texas Tech
Because this is the same movie. The Raiders non-conference schedule in ’05 was Florida International, Sam Houston State and Indiana State. Tech then picked up conference wins against Kansas, Kansas State and at Nebraska.
While beating the Huskers in Lincoln is not something opponents get to do too often, Tech beat a Nebraska team still lingering near the program’s nadir of roughly the last 50 years. Kansas beat Nebraska in 2005.
So Tech rolls into its contest against the #2-ranked University of Texas that year thinking it’s legit. The Red Raiders were undefeated, ranked #8 and #10 in the two major polls, and talking BCS bowl even though it was the middle of October.
Even Game Day fell for it and showed up in Austin. Tech was undefeated. Texas was undefeated. Both were ranked in the Top 10. We got ourselves a football game.
Uh… Nobody bothered to look at Tech’s schedule. The only people who didn’t buy into the hype were the people that do this for a living: Vegas, baby. Vegas had the Horns as 17 point favorites. Even they missed the mark. You could have spotted the Raiders twice that and still broke the bank.
Vince Young shook off a couple of early interceptions and a game that was still a game at the end of the first quarter was over by halftime. The Longhorn crowd serenaded the Raider players and fans with chants of “over-rated” early and often in the second half.
Final score: 52-17
As a reward for scheduling some high school JV squads to complement the conference tilts, Tech made the Cotton Bowl that year. They lost that game to Alabama.
So why is this year so much like 2005?
Northwestern State, Rice, SMU, and Texas El-Paso.
Again, this year the Big 12 North schools would struggle in the MAC. And Tech has a particularly easy draw of North teams with Missouri, Colorado, and Iowa State. In fact the way South foe Texas A&M has struggled in Lubbock lately, 2007 could look just like 2005 only better… or worse, depending on your the color of your diploma.
Texas Tech could very well be 10-0 and highly ranked when they roll into Austin this time, as the Horns are now the penultimate game on the schedule (Oklahoma is the last game and the Sooners are probably still upset about that bogus homer call in Lubbock two years ago that robbed them of a win).
Whatever the line is, double it. And I’ll still take Texas and give the points.
There are no jokes for the Red Raiders and their schedule, only shame. And not the kind of shame that hides in the closet. This is plain old regular shame.
Look, I love the ‘Mad Scientist’ role that Mike Leach embraces. The pirate thing a little less so, because, all that time out on the ocean on a ship with just a bunch of other guys. Pirates are kind of gay.
And gimmicky offense or not, Tech can put up points. But they also lost at home to Texas last year because they couldn’t rush for one goddamn yard on three goddamn tries.
So, what’s the strategy here? Get to 10-0 and hope the stars align for that one magical year where you beat the Horns and the Sooners then go to the BCS Championship game?
Not happening. A one-loss SEC team is going over Tech for the foreseeable future. If is there isn’t a one-loss SEC team, there is a one-loss Big 10 team.
You’re Tech. That’s just how it’s going to be for a while.
You’d be much better off swapping out Miami or Tennessee or West Virginia (take the over by the way) for UTEP and getting the upset. That would get your players believing they could win when they get to Norman. And that’s more important than what the pollsters believe in the middle of October.
2007 Texas Tech Schedule
9/3 at SMU
9/15 at Rice
9/22 at Oklahoma State
9/29 Northwestern State
10/6 Iowa State
10/13 Texas A&M
10/20 at Missouri
11/3 at Baylor
11/10 at Texas